In Nigeria, local governments encounter challenges in terms of revenue generation and effective maximization of the available revenue. The rate of embezzlement, bad leadership, low level of accountability, and overall laxity of the finance department in local government in Nigeria served as the inspiration for this study. The study looks at issues preventing Nigerian local government from effectively using the resources it has at its disposal: a comparative study of Ife Central, Ife East, and Ife North Local Government, Osun State. It investigates the differences among Ife Central, Ife East, and Ife North Local governments in their utilization of revenue and explore the effects of revenue utilization on Ife Central, Ife East, and Ife North Local Government areas. Primary and secondary sources of data were used in this research to generate data. Through the distribution of questionnaires and interviews, primary data were gathered. To generate frequencies, percentages and contingencies, secondary data were gathered from pertinent journals, books, government publications, and statistical software for social sciences (cross-tabulation). The information obtained from the questionnaire was examined in a descriptive manner. While interview responses were analysed to constitute a component of the result, the descriptive analysis involved percentage tabulations and the application of proper statistical analysis. It was demonstrated that statutory funding from the federal government to the local government was used for rural development without intervention from the federal and state governments; 56.2% strongly agreed, 34.1% agreed, 2.4% disagreed and 7.3% strongly disagreed. Based on if local government revenues had been utilized effectively for grassroots development; 24.3% strongly agreed, 66.1% agreed, 4.8% disagreed and 4.8% strongly disagreed. The implication of this is that statutory allocation made available to local government has been tampered with by the State government interference. Based on whether Local Government has always had financial independence in terms of their expenditures; 7.3% agreed, 43.9% disagreed and 44.8% strongly disagreed. This means that local government authorities lack autonomy in managing her expenditures. It was raised that expenditure of Ife-East local government had been in line with their internally generated revenues; 7.3% strongly agreed, 2.4% agreed, 44.8% disagreed and 41.5% strongly disagreed. From this, it could be seen that expenditure of Ife-East local government had not been in line with their internally generated revenues. This study concluded that local government is unable to drive revenue effectively because of its over-dependency on statutory allocation. It suggest thus, the implementation of disciplinary measures to ensure that any council workers (revenue officers) who violate established guidelines regarding revenue generation should be dealt with, and that honest staff (revenue officers) should be rewarded with fringe benefits or promotions.
Keywords: Local government, Revenue, internally generated revenue, rural development, and Accountability