The Role of Local Governments in Reducing Disaster Losses and Vulnerabilities in Ibadan City, Nigeria

There have been formal commitments by national governments to empower Local Governments (LGs) to undertake practical DRR actions as part of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk (SFDDR) (2015-2030) and UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign. Literature indicates a few attempts to assess the extent to which these commitments are followed up with practical action. Using the widely-acknowledged four key roles that LGs are expected to play as reference and the Pressure and Release Model (PAR) as exploratory framework; the paper examines the role of LGs in reducing disaster losses and vulnerability in Ibadan, Nigeria. Findings reveal that despite avowed policy commitments to empower LGs in line with international conventions, LGs in Ibadan still lack the capacity to implement practical DRR actions. There is growing disenchantment among local communities with the LG system.  Given these circumstances, LGs in Ibadan face formidable challenges to coordinate and mobilize stakeholders across local communities for DRR activities. The political dynamics related to the 1976 LG reform is the overarching factor of Ibadan LGs capacity gaps. The implication is that unless determined efforts are made to restructure the LG systems, Nigeria would not likely meet the top four DRR priorities of the Sendai Framework by 2030. This study aims to draw the attention of relevant stakeholders to the need for concerted effort to address the myriads of local governance issues that plague less developed countries in order to attain the priority targets of the Sendai Framework by 2030.