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1.1 Background to the Study:
Public policies in Africa have been formulated and implemented over the years with the help of International organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Some have also been formulated single handedly by African political leaders aim at achieving radical and rapid improvement in the conditions of life after many years of colonial rule (Ozumba, 2014). However, most of these policies are beclouded with politics and implementation bottlenecks. The politicization of public policies in Africa has led to the formulation of overambitious policies by political parties to win political capital coupled with excessive bureaucratic procedures. An example is Nigeria’s “free education for all” policy which couldn’t establish a strong public education system but rather got many choosing private education as a better alternative (Makinde, 2005).
Nigeria has been an independent nation for the past 54 years with policies on development of rural communities, but rural areas are still not developed and the quality of life of people in the rural areas continues to deteriorate throughout all tiers of government of both politicians and the military regimes.
Diso (2005) added that Nigerian people are still dominantly peasant farmers, petty traders, middle men or commission agents. The country has the potentials to develop all sectors of human endeavour more especially if public policies are fully implemented in the rural communities throughout the country. The rural communities in Nigeria are the majority in terms of population yet, the neglect and sufferings they are encountering presently form the bases for impediment to policy implementation.
The need to bring rural communities to mainstream of contributing meaningfully to the social, cultural and economic development of Nigeria requires an overwhelming priority to be accorded to its policy implementation. As Larson cites in Emeh et al (2012) posits that a policy or programme is a way of dealing with public problems, a sort of concrete socio-economic action or a response to weakness and inability of private sector to supply necessary goods and services or a response to a missing link within the norms of the society .It gives direction to action and activities. In order words, policy refers to a verbal, written or implied overall guide setting up boundaries that supply the general units’ direction in which administrative or managerial action will take.
There is an urgent demand to strengthen and encourage effective and adequate implementation of policies for community development programmes. This will help to stem the challenges of community development which have been of great concern to the different tiers of government in Nigeria -urban migration. The focus of various policies of rural development programme in Nigeria is meant to improve the living conditions in the rural areas with a view to curbing the streaming rural-urban migration.
Despite the countless number of rural development policies introduced at different times by successive governments coupled with the huge financial and material resources employed, little or nothing is felt at the rural level as each policy has often died with the government that initiated it before it starts to yield dividends for the rural dwellers. Onuorah (1996) supports this claim when he states that not minding the lofty objectives of these policies, government’s efforts and initiatives never endured beyond the government that initiated the schemes.
The importance of community development in contemporary Nigerian society cannot be overemphasized, as much as it cannot be relegated to the background; its significance stems from the recognition of the roles it plays in achieving the improvement of economic, political, social and cultural conditions of the communities. As a strategy, community development ensures rapid national development hence Ugwu’s (2009) posited:
“community development is one of the major planks upon which National developmental policies and their implementation are hinged”.
Hence, this research work explored the effect of public policy implementation on community development in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem:
The development of a country cannot be completed with the singular act of developing the urban areas at the detriment of the communities which supply the urban areas with food and labour. Disheartening as this may seem, the rural communities are characterized by pervasive and endemic poverty, made manifest by widespread hunger, malnutrition, poor health, general lack of access to formal education, liveable housing and various forms of social and political solution compared with their urban counterparts. Secondly, it is being recognized that the problems of our urban centres cannot be solved unless those of the rural areas are solved, or at least contained. Hence these problems emanated from the unprecedented rural-urban migration which in turn derives from community area underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment (Akpomuvie, 2010).
As stated by Ugwuanyi and Chukwuemeka (2013) implementation of public policies in Nigeria often turns out to be the graveyard of it where the intentions of the designer of policies are often undermined by a constellation of powerful forces of politics and administration in cooperation with people. Little attention is paid to the subject of policy implementation by policy decision makers while it is often taken for granted that once a policy is adopted by government it must be implemented and the desired goals achieved.
Onibokun (1987) says community development is faced with the paradox of production oriented rural economy which relies heavily on farmers who use non-productive and outdated tools, technical information, scientific and cultural training and whose traditional roles and access to resources pose problems for their effective incorporation into modern economic systems.
Despite efforts made in the past to effect development at the community level, the conditions of rural dwellers have not improved, rather they have further deteriorated. It is not clear how public policy can help arrest this ugly situation. It is against this background that this study examines the Effect of Public Policy Implementation on Community Development in Nigeria with a special reference to Ojo LGA.
1.3 Objectives of the Study:
The major objective of this study is to assess the Effect of Public Policy Implementation on Community Development in Nigeria. While other specific objectives are:
1. To determine the effect of public policy implementation on community development in Nigeria.
2. To investigate the effect of government programmes on poverty reduction in the rural community.
3. To identify the impact of socio-economic policy on rural-urban migration in Nigeria.
4. To identify problems and challenges of implementing public policies in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions:
This research work shall be guided by the following research questions:
1. Is there any significant relationship between public policy implementation and community development in Nigeria?
2. Is there any significant relationship between government programmes and poverty reduction in the rural community?
3. Does socio-economic policy have impact on rural-urban migration in Nigeria?
4. Are there any problems facing public policy implementation in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses:
The under mentioned hypotheses will be tested in the course of the research study;
Ho: There is no significant relationship between public policy failure and community development
Hi: There is a significant relationship between public policy failure and community development
Ho: There is no significant relationship between government programmes and poverty reduction in the rural community.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between government programmes and poverty reduction in the rural community
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