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1.1     Background of the Study

Community development can be viewed as a process, a method, a movement and a programme of human action (Anyanwu, 2010). He described it as a continuous way through which communities continually identity their felt needs and overcome them as they emerge. As a process, it lays emphasis on what happens to people socially and psychologically in the course of community development. In this context also, communities becomes competent to co-operatively find a solution to their problems. They become competent and are able to develop skills to assess the relative important problems and to select appropriate options open to them. The whole process therefore, is based on the premise that when people are given the opportunity to work out their own problems, the chances are that they will find solutions that will have a lasting effect.

A sovereign territorial integrity that operates a political ideology known as federalism often has an organised channel of reaching to its people via federating units. The federating units are such as the federal, state and local government, there is the concept of separation of power which allocates responsibility to each tier of governance. The local councils being the third tier of government connected to the second tier which are the state are closer to the people at the grass root which is the community. This is to say that all government socio-economic, political and programmes targeted at enhancing the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry.

Development could therefore be seen as a situation in which human beings or people interact with themselves to transform and utilize the natural resources of their environment for the improvement of their lives leading to change. In other words, it is the ability of the individual or society to make use of the available resources of its environment for the purpose of living a better life.

Nigeria today operates federalism as a political structure, the third tier of government which is at the local community. Has its share of statutory allocation from the federal and state government which is their constitutional responsibility. The role of community development is the participation of the people in the socio-economic development of that community such as provision of social and infrastructural amenities i.e. quality durable road networks, pipe borne water, electricity, security, primary health care etc. to the people at the local community.

The task of nation building through provision of socio-economic service and facilities is a joint responsibility of government and the people. It is in this respect that people are usually called upon and sometime encouraged to wake up and help them for self-help they say is the best help. Through self-help efforts, many communities have been able to provide some of their felt need, with little or no assistance from the government through self-help efforts, does not have the resources to provide all their needs at all time. Government too is able to assess the capability of various community in terms of financial, material and moral contribution is to own development. In short community development has been an effective means of communication between the government and the people for the important purpose of promoting social and economic growth and development.

Community development represents a process of social action which the people of the community organize themselves for planning an action, define their common individual need and solve their problems. It is this seen as an approach which much government employed to teach the rural and urban inhabitants to gather them and overcome their felt needs.

According to Kingsley (2014) conceptualized community development as “the process by which the efforts of the people themselves are United to improve the socio-economic and cultural condition of their environment or community to co-ordinate and enlighten their community and the world in general and which will as well improve the nations standard”. This is to say that the effects of community at uniting themselves to improve the socio-economic and cultural well being do not only end with the community themselves but exposes to the world and also improve their nation’s standard as well. The definition even though, do not imply governmental of non-governmental support, “it however tries to show how communities can inculcate in themselves the spirit of coming together to fight exploitation and oppression perpetuated by the international Bourgeois and their international collaborators”. This definition emphases the fact that development means a structural transformation to the economy, politics and the culture of the society. The definition also viewed development as not only economic development alone, but as socio-cultural and psychological.

Walter (2011) has rightly pointed out that development cannot be seen as an economic affair but rather as an overall outcome of man’s effort to deal with his natural environment. One thing common to all the definition of development is the emphasis of change.

Development must lead to our control over choice as well as what we produce. It must be imminent in economic, social and physical aspects.

True development must lead towards a better quality of life. It must satisfy basic needs, self-reliance and respect for cultural identity. It also implies greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well being. Therefore, when we work at development in terms of how Nigeria can obtain and dump Western artifact within our territory, then it will be an unending process with low prospects of Nigeria rising up. This is because the foreign countries always develop new ways of creating new artifacts. If we therefore place emphasis on these items as constituting development in Nigeria without adequate attention paid to the real needs of the people, we will then end up with our misconception of the term.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Every community needs development but the resources needed to develop such communities are insufficient which makes development activities not fully achieved.    

Among various problems, community development lack sufficient financial resources to the local government which has monthly statutory allocation but however, the statutory finance does not reach them directly instead it goes through the state local government joint account, subsequently depriving local government financial autonomy.

Also, lacks of loans given to service members of the community who are enterprising so as to enable them invest in economically distressed communities. More also, local politics has become the bedrock of corruption in Nigeria which is characterized with mismanagement of the available little resources which in turn hinders development at the grassroots and this leads to rising unemployment, poverty, crime among others.

In view of the above, the researcher intends to assess the role of community development as an instrument of socio-economic development.

1.3     Aims and Objectives of the Study

The ultimate goal and objective of this study work is to study and recommend ways to enhance the socio-economic development of rural areas in Nigeria with a particular reference to Kaduna South Local Government of Kaduna State.

The aims and objectives seeks:

1.     To identify and determine the level of corresponding financial ground which adequately stimulate the explanation of provision of rural social infrastructures.    

2.     To evaluate the community development participation by the coming together of students, institution or organisation located in such community and general public.

3.     To proffer solution to the problems of social infrastructure.

4.     To assess the contribution of local government toward actualization of the social objectives.

1.4     Significance of the Study

This extended essay titled “The role of community development as an instrument of socio-economic development” will help to enlighten Kaduna South Local Government to understand better how to use community development. This study work shall be of immense value and gain in order to bring about development in rural communities. The study will also help the general public who are interested in the development of the society to understand how to formulate and implement community development programmes.

It is hoped that this study shall be of immense value to the practitioners of the rural community development workers, student and general public.

This extended essay will help to increase the knowledge of researchers on how to organize community development and also discover the problem associated with community development programmes and how to solve them.

1.5     Scope and Limitation of the Study 

The role of community development as an instrument of socio-economic development study work will be focused on Kaduna South Local Government for a while, within a specific time frame. However, Kaduna South Local Government the study area of focus will cover approximately 7 years (2008-2015). This study cannot avoid some certain limitation during the study period. To start with, the process of administering and collecting data or information needed for this study work subjected the research work to be a difficult task, having miss lectures due to time as a result of short period needed to complete the work. It is also costly in book finance and energy.

1.6     Definition of Key Terms

·        Local Government: Middeck (1997) local government is defined as a sub-unit of government controlled by a local council which is authorized by the central government to pass ordinance having a local application, levy taxes or exact behaviour within a limit specified by the central government.

Local government is also known as the government of the grassroots or the third government that is closer to people.  

·        Community: The term community refers to a population living in legalized established c

·        ity limits where the people have some social and economic feature in common which are used to pursue common goals.

·        Development: According to Dare (1992) view development as a multi-dimensional process which enables that individual to move toward self-actualization. In other words, development means the ability of the individuals to make the best out of their ability.

·        Community Development: The United Nation definition has it that it is the process by which effort of the people themselves are united by that of governmental authority to improve economic social and cultural conflations of communities, to integrate this community into lives of the nation and to enable them contribute fully to national progress.    

MENDES (2008:3), as the employment of community structures to address needs and empower group of people.

·        Economic: According to Lionel Robin, he defines or views economy as the science that studies human behaviour in relation to ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.

·        Socio-Development: According to Robins (1992), who view socio-economic development as a branch of economy that focuses on the relationship between social and economic behaviour.

·        Resources: Resources is a source or supply from which benefits are produced. Typically, study are material, energy, services, staff, knowledge or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable.

·        Empowerment: A management practice of sharing information, rewards and power with employee so that they can take initiative and make decision to solve problems and improve services and performance. Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcoms of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.   

·        Rural Development: This is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas, often relatively isolated and sparsely populated area. It can als be seen as a process integrated with economic and social-objectives, which must seek to transform rural society and provide a better and more livelihood for rural people.

·        General Public: Including every part or member of a given or implied entity, whole etc as opposed to specific, general public is not limited a specific class, it is concerned with all branches if a subject or area.

·        Enterprise: A Company business, organization or other purposedful endeavor, it is an understaking or project especially a during and courageous one.

An enterprise is willingness to undertake new or ricky projects, energy and initiative.

·        National Development: National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the live of its citizens. Some of the measures are increase in gross domestic product, improving literacy rates, improving medical facilities.

·        Decision: It is refers to the firmness of conviction, a choice or judgement, it is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration of several it possibilities.

·        Association: An association can be seen as a group of people organized for a joint purpose, an association can also be seen as two or move people united by a common interest or goal.

·        Authority: Authority can be seen as the power or right to give orders, make decisions and enforce obedience. Authority can also be seen as the lawful deligation of power by one person to another.      

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