An Appraisal Of Rural Development Programmes In Nigeria 1999-2009: Akwa Ibom State Experience

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An Appraisal Of Rural Development Programmes In Nigeria 1999-2009: Akwa Ibom State Experience


Generally, development has always being to the favour of the urban Areas, thus creating disparities between the Urban and Rural Area, which is consequentially affected in all Ramifications. The resultant effect of the gap between the development in urban areas and rural areas is shown in the low standard of living, poverty, low self-esteem and community crisis which have beleaguered our Rural Areas. The research on the Evaluation Rural Development Strategies in Nigeria, using Ibesikpo community in Uyo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State as a case study, was carried out because of the eminence of these problems in our Rural Areas. The data for this study were derived using the empirical survey, a population sample of 396, out of which 290 were valid for the analysis. The present status of rural Development strategies, level of Development and emotional perception of the inhabitant were analysed from where different revelations were manifested. Chi-square statistical test method was used to test the hypothesis, after which Recommendation and Model of proposed rural development were given. Emphasis were made on the CDDS-community-driven development strategy, which gives room for Adequate participation of the community in the processes of rural development as well as partnership with Government and NGOs to foster the growth of Rural development.

Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 statement of problem
  • 1.3 Aim and Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Hypothesis formulation
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Significance of the study
  • 1.8 case study Area / Location
  • 1.8.1 Geology and Soil
  • 1.8.2 Location
  • 1.8.3 Climate
  • 1.8.4 Rainfall
  • 1.8.5 Temperature
  • 1.9 Limitation of study

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Conceptual/ Theoretical Framework
  • 2.2.1 What is a Rural area
  • 2.2.2 What is Development
  • 2.2.3 What is Strategy
  • 2.2.4 Concept of Rural Development
  • 2.2.5 Scope Of Rural Development
  • 2.2.6 Classification of Rural Development Programmes
  • 2.2.7 Various Rural Development Approaches
  • 2.3 Empirical Survey

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Target population of the Study
  • 3.3.1 Population Projection
  • 3.3.2 Sample Population
  • 3.4 Sample and Sampling Techniques
  • 3.5 Data Collection Instrument
  • 3.5.1 Personal Observation
  • 3.5.2 Questionnaires
  • 3.5.3 Interviews
  • 3.6 Data Collection Procedures
  • 3.7 Data Analysis Techniques

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis of Findings

  • 4.1 Analysis of Questionnaires Distribution
  • 4.2 Data Presentation
  • 4.3 Socio-Economic Data Of Respondent
  • 4.4 Occupational Status Of Respondent
  • 4.5 Assessment Perception
  • 4.6 Hypothesis Testing

Chapter Five:

Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Development is a necessary aspect of societies, indeed any society without development could be said to be static. Hence all societies are dynamic. Development as a term has been defined by many writers with different views: – Ablu, (1982) viewed development as synonymous with economic growth measured in aggregate terms. Abubakar (1981), sees development as qualitative improvement in all societies and in all groups of individuals within societies. He asserts that all men must surely have enough goods in order to be men and to develop themselves. As defined by Forest (1981), development is creating the condition for the realization of human personality. He noted that development has to be marked with reduction in poverty, unemployment and inequality a high level of nutrition, high health standard, low infant mortality rate etc. From the above definitions of development, it can be deduced that development is virtually changing the life of an individual, group of people or community in terms of social amenities, such as good health, good road, adequate and clean water, education etc.

Rural development as an exercise is geared towards a specific field requiring thought and action on the government and the populace which its effect is a socially conditioned one, meaning that it brings about improved conscious relationship amongst individuals; groups and organizations. According to Ndangara (2005), rural development efforts must be derived from the needs and aspirations of the rural people and not necessarily in response to the needs of the urban political economy such as unemployment, food shortage, and rural urban migration. It entails a line up programme of actions targeted at increasing the efficiency of the rural population to the extent that there is rural steady power supply to the extent that standard of living and productivity are enhanced, and education and the environmental sanitation promotion are witnessed.

Basically therefore, rural development is concerned with raising the quality of life of the low-income population living in rural areas on a self-sustaining basis through a fundamental transformation of the rural mode of production (Gana, 1986). Central to this transformation, is the provision of rural infrastructure that are required to facilitate the production, distribution, and consumption activities as well as enhance the quality of rural life. Since the daily tasks of the rural people are carried out on space, land is therefore basic to the viability of rural life, and a comprehensive spatial reorganization of rural land through rural planning is of paramount importance for the attainment of rural development objectives.

According to Abah (2000), rural development in Nigeria dates as far back as the 1940s when projects known as Bamenda Cross River and the Niger Agricultural scheme Mokwa, 1954, were launched. Abah cited above says, since that period, successive impact of all the efforts are yet to be fully felt in the rural areas. Supportively Olayiwola and Adeleye (2005) asserts that, there is absence of infrastructure, which improves the quality of life like potable water, electricity and good feeder roads. However, this situation has made the rural settlement difficult for young school leavers.

In another development, rural development has been mono-cultural field to agriculture which is the occupation of the rural settlers thereby relegating other sectors of development needs of the rural people to the background. In the words of Ndangara (2005:139), the process of rural development is therefore synonymous with agricultural development but agriculture cannot develop unless other rural development amenities are present. On this note Abah (2005) succinctly put that: To many people, rural development simply means agricultural development; to some it is primarily concerned with welfare. These views are myopic because rural development should affect all aspect of the economics, social and political lives of the people who inhabit the rural areas and it should be relevant to the alleviation of all the conditions associated with the rural sector. It is true that economic base of the rural people is agriculture, but beyond food, they also need education, employment, decent housing, medical care, electricity, roads, other means of communication, entertainment, facilities for social interaction, etc.

Evaluation of rural development in Nigeria is incomplete without the contribution of international organizations such as food and agriculture organization (FAO) as the leading agency, international labour organization (ILO) United Nation Education, Social and Cultural organization (UNESCO), United Nations (UN) World health Organization (WHO) and World Bank. These organizations have enhanced Nigeria rural Rural development in Nigeria: problems and prospects for sustainable development through their technical expertise in the field of education, extension and training which have continued to strengthen the technical, physical and environmental bases to rural development in Nigeria. Specifically, FAO and World Bank have been the main sponsors and promoters of agricultural development formulation or irrigation development programme, River basin and other developmental projects. FAO in collaboration with UNESCO and United Nations Development programme (UNDP) have disseminated information and knowledge about soil erosion and method of controlling it, ILO and UNESCO have been in the area of training of the grass root level extension workers and general education. World Health Organization (WHO) has been active in the area of prorated of primary health care and designing special programme for the delivery of such services.

It is worthy to note therefore that Government at all times make attempts to develop the rural areas. These are seen in the lofty goals set for the development of the rural settlements. Every successive government will tends to explore new methods or ways to accelerate the development. Akwa Ibom State having benefitted from the democracy now operating in Nigeria also has to follow the laid down democratic procedures to get any programme operating. A change in the policy thrust or direction of previous government or administration implies that the administration will start afresh from the beginning. This involves thinking out the best policy and sending them to the State House of Assembly which will have to legislate on the said bill and having been passed by the House, will be sent back to the Governor for assent which will eventually becomes law and implementable. Thus, for such procedures to be completed, time consuming which characterized our legislative proceedings would have eaten deep into the live of the administration, thus leaving little or no time for its implementation (Gana, 1986). Either the new government that comes in will abandon such policies or where the government succeeds itself, it will no longer visit such policies.

This had always been a major feature of the Nigerian system be it at the national, state or local government levels. Lack of continuity of government programmes has been the major challenge of the Nigerian political development.

This paper is therefore set to explore the problem of implementation of rural development programmes with a view to highlighting its consequences on the rural inhabitants and also make useful suggestions on how to handle the programmes.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Due to the erroneous belief held by politicians and some government officials, without any professional outlook, that the urban areas constitute the developmental potential for any state, the rural area has been neglected and attention has being focused on the urban area. This belief has led to the neglect, underdevelopment, underutilisation, of resources in the rural area. Living conditions in the rural area is nothing to write home about, an assessment of the present situation of our rural area, exhibit the exact indication of abject poverty. Urban problems such as housing, inadequate transportation system, basic recreational facilities, consequential effect of unemployment like increase in crime rate, kidnapping, and environmental problems because of huge concentration of industries in these urban centres have on a consistent basis consumed a large portion of the state annual budget expenditures.

The study area is one of the few rural communities in Akwa Ibom State that has suffered what the litigation profession calls ― Error of Double Jeopardy‖, because apart from the normal present phenomenon that militates against rural development in Nigeria, the study area in recent times, around 2006 was in a severe community crisis that lasted for about two years, this was as a result of local politics, since the community is an oil producing one, some people were bent on siphoning what belongs to the community, this led to agitation of the youth and within a twinkle of an eye, people were killed, some sent on exile, properties destroyed, farmlands, fish ponds and local palm oil processing plants were all abandoned. In recent times people hardly come to the village as everyone want to save their head from any form of problem, a work through the village recently was an emotional journey of sorrow as the once lively village in early 90s is quite dry and without much activities, a visit to the secondary school was another big blow as no new structure has been added but just mere renovation and as small as the school was, different projects were being handled by different people. Rural areas are known for their ability for food production and Ibesikpo community is not left out, but the mayhem caused by flood in 2012 which affected over 30 states in Nigerian submerged all their agricultural farmland including the Green River Project initiated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the operators of the oil wells in the community, to help increase food production in 2012.

From the above one can understand that Ibesikpo community which is the study area suffers from political backwardness, environmental problems, and even internal community crisis in terms of rural development. Presently, discovery reveals that the number of pupil in the community`s secondary school from the lowest class to the highest is 72, even the grown up youth don‘t want to participate in farming activities any longer, and there are no industries to employ them and educational system is very poor, with this, the gap between the urban area and the rural area is very much. It is based on the above problem that i have embarked on this study to proffer possible solutions to increasing problems of the rural community.

1.3 Aims and Objectives

The aim of this research work is to evaluate the Rural development strategies in Ibesikpo community with a view to proffer solution for effective Rural Development.

The above aim will be achieved through the following objectives.

  1. To identify the rural development strategy in the study area
  2. To evaluate the level of development in the study area.
  3. To evaluate the strategies of Rural Development in the Area
  4. To identify the limitation or obstacle to rural development strategies
  5. To proffer solution and recommending for a more functional strategy for rural development.

1.4 Research Questions

In order for this research to be carried out effectively the following questions has been raised

  1. Is there any rural development strategy in Ibesikpo community?
  2. What is the impact of the rural development on the social life of the community?
  3. Are the provided facilities sufficient?
  4. What are the problems militating rural development in the study area?
  5. Who has being responsible for development in the study area

1.5 Hypothesis Formulation

  • H1 There are functional Rural Development Strategies in the development of Ibesikpo community
  • H0 There are no functional Rural Development Strategies in the development of Ibesikpo community.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study covers the entire area of Ibesikpo community of Uyo local government of Akwa Ibom state. The study intends to emphasise the need for effective and function rural development strategy in the study area; an understanding of the present situation in terms of rural development will be made, the strategy in place, its efficiency, and possible limitation to it`s progress and why the community has not be rejuvenated economically, finally a functional and sustainable rural development strategy for the success of the study area will be given at the end of this study

1.7 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is basically to emphasise and re-awake the attention of the government, citizen of the study area and private individual as well as professionals to rural development which is only antidote to a crumbling economic situation in the study area. The rural area has always being acting as a feeder or supporter to the ever demanding urban area, even in present situation, the agricultural products, man-power, artisan and workers of all form of quack professions that serves the flamboyant life of the urban area are all from these neglected rural areas, medically, the whole body parts of a human being operates so as to achieve a healthy functionality of the body metabolism, so is the economical trends or progress of any society.Our social and economic system is not effective which has led to so many problems like lack of jobs, even when there are no jobs, housing provisions, nor adequate facilities in these urban area, ruralurban migration is still on a high rate, putting our society in a situation of ―the survival of the fittest‖ the rural area has large expense of land, untapped resources, better environmental condition and more people, therefore it is pertinent that a rural development strategy that can bring about an equilibrium in the social and economical as well as political condition of our nation is initiated. The need for this should be not be negotiated if we must experience an accelerated economy in the nearest future.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

From the research conducted from the study area the following summary has been reached.

  1. The existing Rural Development strategies are not functional The strategies in use at the study area are not sustainable
  2. Development does not meet the desired needs of the people
  3. The strategy of rural development is not community Driven neither is it self-sustaining
  4. The government and oil companies are major propellers of Rural Development
  5. The provided development in form of rural development lacks participation of the inhabitant of the study area (public participation)
  6. Provided facilities are poorly maintained
  7. The inhabitant are not happy about the rate of development
  8. Problems militating against Rural development ranges from political elite, corruption, nonchalant altitude of leaders, to community youths agitation

5.2 Recommendations

From the research conducted at the study area, it is obvious that there are elements of rural development, but the major problem of the strategies used in the achievement of rural development in the study area is that, they are not Functional nor sustainable. From this revelation, a Bottom-up approach to rural development strategy (RDS) is recommended, this simply implies that development starts with the people that needs the development, below is the elaboration of the recommended strategy of development that can be used.

A Community-Driven Development Strategy (CDDS), has to do with a strategy of rural development that maximises the participation, knowledge of the host community in order to create a self-reliance or self-sustaining development, that will lead to empowerment of the inhabitant of the community to take their destiny into their hands with little or no help from outside. In most cases, this type of development strategy accesses the best out of any partnership. CDDS is geared towards the recognition of the facts that local communities have a tremendous amount of knowledge and information about their environments that can form the baseline of sound and sustainable development. This development is so recommended because it leaves room and opportunity for any type of development that will enhance the quality of life and standard of living of the people.

The emphasises of the CDDS explains that People have a right to partake in actions and plans which affect their lives as nonparticipation approaches to development have failed to significantly alter the quality of life and resources of the poor people worldwide. The strategy encourages the generation of participatory programme Development (PPD) as means of rural development. This is a process of working in partnership with communities to develop feasible, desirable and sustainable development. Community-Driven Development Strategy (CDDS), uses an approach known as Participatory Learning and Action (PLA).Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) is a process that enables community members to:

  1. Analyze their needs;
  2. Identify possible solutions to meet those needs; and (c) Develop, implements, and evaluate a plan of action.
    Participatory Learning and Action (PLA).

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) is based on the assumption that community members are the best ―experts‖ about their own health and social situations. The role of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) facilitators is to help the community members tap their own knowledge and resources and use them effectively. This is very important in the rural development of Ibesikpo community, as this strategy will help in the equal and adequate participation of the inhabitant, learning in the process of development as well taking of necessary action eventually when needed. There should be emphasizes on the ACTION phase of the process of development, that is, the phase when the community implements its solution. PLA can be conducted in all aspect of community development e.g, in agriculture, environment and natural resources sectors including health, gender, education and violence prevention, crisis resolution, within the health sector PLA has been used in project dealing with woman‘s reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition, child survival, health care financing and water sanitation e.t.c. The application of the CDD strategy in the rural development of Ibesikpo community can be applied in three different areas or sector of the community for optimum maximization of the available resources as studied. The following areas should be concentrated on in the development of Ibesikpo while applying the CDD strategy.

  1. Agrarian Transformation (Farming)
  2. Rural Development
  3. Educational Transformation

Fig 5.1; showing proposed Major Area of Development of Ibesikpo

SOURCE: Africa comprehensive Rural Development Strategy Plan (CRDSP) 2009

5.3 Conclusion

In conclusion, Rural development is the activities and actions of diverse actors-individual, organisations, groups- which when taken together leads to progress in rural areas. The dynamism of the rural sector is imbedded in it capacity to act as a major support to it corresponding urban areas, therefore it‘s development should be treated with utmost concern and technicality. The strategies of rural development are myriad, the end product of the used strategy in any development should be of paramount concern as the life of people are jeopardise if not suitable to the host community. Hence there should be high consideration for the participation of the concerned community or people in order to arrive at an efficient and sustainable mode of rural development.

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