The Socio-Cultural Factors Affecting Rural Development In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Owerri North Local Government Area)

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE


Most agricultural innovations were not sustainably adopted due to incompatibility to social and cultural practices. Based on this proposition, this study was designed to analyze the effects of socio-cultural factors on agricultural training programs for farmers by the Benue State Agricultural and Rural Development Authorities (BNARDA) for farmers in Zone C. Seven communities were purposively selected due to their unique cultural practices and a total of 118 respondents were randomly selected for the study.

Questionnaire was used as tool for data collection. Descriptive statistics and logit regression were used for data analysis. The results show that there were 22 % of respondents aged between 50-60 years, 72 % of them were married and about 60 % had at least secondary educational attainment. Annual income of respondents was between ₦80,000.00 – ₦100,000.00. About 72 % had farming experience of less than 10 years, and 31 % were cosmopolites.

The result further shows that fear of ostracization was among the major reasons that inhibit training program participations. The results of logit analysis show that education (-3.3987), gender (2.268), rivers/streams (-.732) and leadership (2.150) were significantly affect training program. It was concluded that farmer who have strong cultural beliefs were responsible for non- participation in the training program. It was recommended that aggressive advocacy program be embarked by BNARDA before packaging a training program for the farmers.

Keywords: Socio-Cultural; Training Program; Farmer; Benua State

Chapter One


Development according to the oxford advanced leaner dictionary is the action or process of developing or being developed. It is a new stage or event. It can also be a new product or invention. Development entails in moral, politics culture industrial development, economic and in technological aspect.

It is when a nation is growing with the achievement of all these mentioned above that they will be regarded as a developed state or nation. No wonder Todaro (1985) defines development as “a multi-dimensional process involving the re-organization and re-orientation of entire economic and social system.

This involve in addition to improvement of income and output, radical changes in institutional, social and administrative structures as well as in-popular attitudes, customs and benefits”. Rodney (1969) defines development as “a many-sided process which at the level of individual implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well being”. The word rural development on the other hand, according to Ahab (2005) “is the availability of infrastructure which improves the quality of life, like potable water, electricity, good road etc.

Ever since the existence of Nigeria as an independent state in 1960, Nigeria has been popularly noted for their lack of development despite the impact been laid down by our colonial masters before leaving the country, Nigeria is still battling to develop. It is a fact that most of the national target planning made in developing our country usually turn to no avail as a result of political instability and military dictatorship that faces Nigeria.

Most of our states and local government areas lack the possible infrastructures that will move our localities forward. There is problem of infrastructures like good road, lack of quality education, electricity, potable water and lack of recreational parks in rural areas which made most of our young graduates who are educationally equipped to migrate from rural areas to urban areas in searching for their green pastures since agriculture is the only bases of occupation on the rural dwellers. It is those factors that affects rural areas in development that we will base our study on.

1.1 Background Of The Study

Owerri North is a local government area in Imo state, Nigeria. It has its head quarter at Uratta. It has an area of 198 squares in Kilometers and a population of 175,395. The postal code of the area is 460.

Owerri North is a semi- urban government area, it encircles Owerri municipal like a peninsular six major roads that lead out of the municipal, cut across Owerri north communities. In the north, Orlu road leads to Amakaohia and Akwakuma communities, in the west, MCC roads leads to Obibi Uratta and Ulakwo communities. In the east, Okigwe road leads to Orji community. In the south, Mbaise road leads to Egbu and Emekuku communities while Aba road lead to Naze, Agbala, Ulakwo communities.

Owerri north traces its origin during the military regime of Sani Abacha as the head of Nigeria state in 1996. The local government was created as a result of the request made by the Late Eze (Dr) Onu Egwunwoke for the creation of the Uratta local government area with the head quarter at Orie Uratta. However, since the creation of another local government in Emekuku/Emii and Alaenyi blocs did not come to actualize, they were forced into the proposed uratta local government, which culminated into changing the name to Owerri north local government to accommodate the new configuration.

The inclusion of Obube, Agbala, Ulakwo and Obibiezena bloc was later considered as they were not accepted by Ngor- Okpala local government area. There are nineteen (19) autonomous communities in Owerri north as thus:

  1. Agbala Autonomous Community.
  2. Akwakuma Autonomous Community.
  3. Amakohia Autonomous Community.
  4. Awaka Autonomous Community.
  5. Azaraubo Autonomous Community.
  6. Egbu Autonomous Community.
  7. Emekuku Autonomous Community.
  8. Emii Autonomous Community.
  9. Ezimba Autonomous Community.
  10. Ihiteoha Autonomous Community.
  11. Ijitta Ogada Autonomous Community.
  12. Mbaoma Autonomous Community.
  13. Naze Autonomous Community.
  14. Obube Autonomous Community.
  15. Obibiezena Autonomous Community.
  16. Orji Autonomous Community.
  17. Obibi Autonomous Community.
  18. Ulakwo Autonomous Community.
  19. Umuakaliku Autonomous Community.

Owerri North local government area is made up of four (4) blocs as Uratta, Emekuku/Emii, Alaenyi and Agbala-obibi/Ulakwo blocs.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

This work intends to evaluate the problems in the socio-cultural factors affecting rural development in Nigeria. Therefore, the research shall be addressing the following problems.

  1. Non challant attitude towards the use of improved agricultural techniques hinders development in Owerri north local government area.
  2. Dependency has become a factor of the problems of Owerri north local government area.
  3. Land disputes contribute in low small measure to under development in Owerri north local government area.
  4. Insecurity and its attendant problems contribute to lack of development in Owerri north local government area.
  5. Incapable leadership in Nigeria contributes to lack of development in Owerri north local government area.

The above stated research problems puts Owerri north local government area far from development in Nigeria and so leads to research work.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The main objective of this research work is to ascertain the socio-cultural factors affecting the rural development in Nigeria.

  1. To know the need for rural development
  2. To identify the problems militating against proper development of rural areas in Nigeria likewise in Owerri north local government area.
  3. To find out ways in which development will evenly reach every town or villages within the local government of Owerri north.
  4. To examine the communities reaction to development.
  5. To know the people’s felt need.
  6. To examine the strategies for rural development.
  7. To proffer some recommendation for the solution to the problems hindering development in Owerri north local government area.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is Owerri North local government area underdeveloped?
  2. Does government interfer towards the development of the local government area?
  3. What are the feelings of the inhabitants of Owerri north towards the level of under-development?
  4. What are the sources of funds in Owerri north local government area?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The research work is very significant in several ways more especial at this present situation of administration in Nigeria government. The significant tends to fish out the problem facing development in rural area in Nigeria at large; it paves way to avoid mismanagement of many localities in Nigeria trends.

This research work will contribute tremendously to the knowledge of the tance of community development. It will help to educate the masses on the need for community development. Moreover, these identified socio-cultural factors affecting development in Owerri north local government area will help to proffer solution on how to overcome such factors.

Finally, the study will equally educate the future leaders on the need to develop their area to meet up with the standard lives of their people.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study focused mainly on the socio-cultural factors affecting rural development in Nigeria with a reference to Owerri north local government area. Therefore books from federal polytechnic library, newspapers, journals, reports and internets will be our major source of reference to this research work.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

This project work is been limited by time factor due to indefinite strike that befall all Nigeria polytechnics, it was not easy to carry a thorough research work as there is lot of assignment to do either at home or in a lecture hall/room.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


This can be defined as the totality of people’s way of life. It entails the way or what people do as their custom to earn their living without depending on another as source of their living.


This can simply be seen as a place where social amenities or infrastructures that help to make people live better are scarce or not even available. It is a place where lives are of nature without the aids of artificial things. People living in rural areas usually have their earning through agriculture.


This is a change that is mostly of positive in the people’s life. It is a change for growth in economy, infrastructure, educational, information, industries etc.

Chapter Five

Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary Of Findings

Based on the analysis of the primary data collected by the researcher as presented in chapter four (4) of this work, the following findings were made.

  1. The dwellers in Owerri north local government area said that the area is not achieving its objectives. A significant percentage agreed that the present level of performance could be improved to help the local government develop.
  2. A significant percentage of the respondents considered lack of social amenities as the greatest hindrances, preventing the local government from developing fully; however, there are some respondents who considered corruption and poor leadership styles as the most problem militating against the development of Owerri north local government area. Moreover, majority of the respondents rated the performance of Owerri north local government very inefficient in terms of developing her rural areas.
  3. A significant percentage of the respondents accepted that Owerri north local government sustains her communities through its internal generated revenue. They equally pointed out dissolution of chairman as the major change the local government has experienced for the past two years due to conflict that arose between staff and the local government executives.
  4. The respondents agreed totally that cordial relationship exist among the communities in Owerri north local government area, however, some respondents said that leadership style of the traditional rulers in the area affects development positively
  5. The workers in Owerri north believed that appointment and employment of staff were based on quota system.
  6. The respondents considered so many factors that hinder development in Owerri north local government to be corrected through educating the masses on the appropriate thing to do while taking decision on felt needs that affects them.

5.2 Conclusions

Local governments in Nigeria are the vital instruments for the development of rural areas. But over the years, local governments have been facing a lot of problems in developing their rural areas. This leads to the reforms being under-gone by them to make a great impact but all to no avail. Local government like Owerri north, has been affected with so many factors which hinders their development. Those social factors encountered by Owerri north local government area need to be eradicated to count the gains made by the governance of the place in developing their rural areas. Also, local government as a third tier of government should not be scrapped or changed to local administration. It should be strengthened and democratized also. Its officials should always be elected and not appointed so as to help promote transparency, equity and accountability in government. In developing the rural areas in Owerri north local government, rural dwellers should be involved in decision taking as to stress their felt needs.

Finally, government should place premium on the participation of the people in all governance and development issues, if all these are implemented, not only at the local government level but also in other tiers of government, development will not be far from more Nigerian societies and the rural areas as well.

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the summary of findings, it was seen that a lot of problems were responsible for lack of development of Owerri north local government area. Thus, the following recommendations were put forward by the researcher to assist the local government to effectively tackle these problems.

  1. Adequate funds are to be given to Owerri north local government area through federal or state allocation account.
  2. Leadership excise should be by voting and not by appointment as this will enable the rural dwellers participate in choosing their executives as well as to involve in taking decision.
  3. Staff personal in Owerri north must be employed by merit system.
  4. Owerri north local government in other to carry out their function very efficiently should have strong economic base to assist the statutory allocation from the federal or state government.
  5. There should be better welfare package for all staff to help them give out their best service delivered.
  6. Finally, every individual of Owerri north need to be educated in terms of politics, and socio-economic purposes for national building. It is the belief of the researcher that if this recommendation is strictly observed, it will lift the Owerri north local government from their relegated position of development to the aspired status of instrument of change and development at the grassroots level.

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