EVALUATION OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF IDHEZE COMMUNITY IN ISOKO-SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA DELTA STATE

EVALUATION OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF IDHEZE COMMUNITY IN ISOKO-SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA DELTA STATE

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 ABSTRACT

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 Idheze community in Isoko-south L.G.A, Delta 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.   

CHAPTER ONE

                                         INTRODUCTION

1.1            BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

      The world started with the emanation of small number of people with inconsequential atom of development in geographical locations now referred to as rural areas today. In recent times there is a quantum increase in the population of the world thereby leading to massive development for the large population to dwell in, ten years before now it was estimated that over six hundred million of the world`s population lives in absolute poverty(UNDP 2004). The Nigeria population census conducted in 2006 put the population of Nigeria at a stand still of 140 million. The increase in  population and the effort of the government to create comfort for her citizen has in turn caused an enormous drift of man-power and able body men from the rural area to the urban area, 

                  According to (Olayide et al 1981) most Nigerian rural areas are characterized by Low income, low savings, low investment, low capital formation, low investment which brings about low capital formation, Poor infrastructural facilities, e.g. health, road, electricity, etc., either absent or in a poor state, high population density, there is no family planning hence population explosion, gross illiteracy, low educational background which affects decision making process, low social interaction i.e local politics – There is no assessment of who is qualified, rather, greed overrides, disguise or under employment – This is a manifestation of labour intensiveness, Informal groups, eg. age grade, social club, etc., are involved in development projects, high rural-urban migration – They migrate in order to obtain executive jobs and Low technological base – There is low rate of transformation and abundant untapped resources resulting from the lack of skilled manpower. With the above situation on ground, urban bias in Nigerian development policy is reflected in prices, institutional opportunities, availability and access to market, health, infrastructure, communication and transport linkage and many other structural characteristics of national economies.

The majority of urban residents rely directly or indirectly on government employment, which has been the major stimulus for urban growth, studies have revealed that government employees are purely overhead expenses and that they are non-productive; and that the rural production in Nigeria is what sustains this country. Despite this pivotal role of rural production, the productivity of the rural masses are low because of lack of basic infrastructural facilities. These infrastructural facilities are needed for growth and functioning of any country or community, and obviously they will go a long way to stimulate rural development, encourage rural industrialisation and check rural-urban migration.

        Rural development is the activities and actions of diverse actors, individual, organisations and groups which when taken together leads to progress in rural areas.— Rural development strategy is a mechanism designed to improve the economic and social life of those who live in rural areas.  Embarking on rural development is very important considering the fact that more than two-third of the Nigeria‘s population are living in rural areas, and they experience a lot of misery, poverty, morbidity and under-development. Reflection on the Nigerian Government experiences in rural development showed that not much has been achieved even before and after independence. There exists a sharp contrast between policy formulation and its implementation. The resultant effect becomes more hardship and poor standard of living among the rural dwellers. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a functional rural development strategy that will be used to salvage the crumbling productive nature of the study area.

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 Delta 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 Idheze 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 Idheze 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 Idheze 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 Idheze 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 Idheze community

H0 There are no functional Rural Development Strategies in the development of Idheze community.

1.6              SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study covers the entire area of Idheze community of Isoko south local government of Delta 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.

1.8              CASE STUDY AREA/LOCATION

Idheze community migrated from Irri which of one the 17 clan of the Isoko south local government of Delta state. Idheze community is located at the south eastern part of delta state. At about 20  years ago the community had a population of 15000 but in recent times the population has reduced to 4500 because of crisis and rural-urban migration, the village has several oil wells being operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), oil exploration started since 1975, this has resulted to soil damage and environmental problems, which on a long run has created intermittent community crisis between the  community and oil company, the people of Idheze are majorly farmers, creek fishermen and a good number of their men still engage in local palm oil production. There are two educational institutions, a secondary school and a primary school, no functional industry; the village still rely on the neighbouring community for a lot of things, though it is just 10 minute drive from the village

1.8.1          GEOLOGY AND SOIL

The geological formation of idheze has it origin as far back as 1600AD, creating relatively flat landforms, with little or no hill, the closeness of the community to  River Niger has also resulted in the geological formation of creeks, rivulet and streams used for fishing. Idheze`s landscape is mostly covered with close to open broadleaved evergreen or semi-deciduous forest. The soil in the study area is high in fluvisols, gleysols, cambisols, a soil developed on river deposits showing alluvial stratification. There are little or no erosional challenges; the community is situated at about 344 feet above sea level. One of the prominent river that serves as the landmark of the village is the Orobe River attached to a shrine at the entrance of the village, which used to be the recreational site for most young people in the past years has now mysteriously run dry but the shrine still exist with big trees. Though the area has about 40% flooding tendency.

1.8.2   LOCATION

Idheze community is located at south eastern part of Delta state in Isoko south local government, it lies between Longitude 5°31`N  6°17E and latitude 5.517° N 6.283° E, it is about 344feet above sea level, and landforms are relatively flat. The community is surrounded by swampy land and creeks as an indication of Niger locality. The study area is bounded at west by villages like Bethel, Aviara, Oyode, at the north by Azagba, Orie Ofabge and ibede, at the east by Ekpe, Ige, etebege and at the south by Ibedeni, Ase and ikpdiar

1.8.3  CLIMATE

Idheze community lies within the belt of luxuriant vegetation as well as coastal swamps It experiences tropical wet and dry climate at different time of the year, the dry season occurs between November and march and is significantly marked by the cool harmattan dusty haze from the north east wind, while the wet season occurs between April and October with a short dry spell in august. It has a relatively constant temperature throughout the course of the year. Idheze humidly is high in most part of the year with about 84%, the pressure is steady, while wind direction is west ward, the wind speed is about 2.5ms/9km/6mph. The climate is classified as a tropical monsoon (short dry season), with rain in other months, as well as a tropical moist forest bio-zone, which are all under the tropical rainforest of the Niger delta

1.8.4     RAINFALL

The month of july has the highest rainfall, while the average annual rainfall is between 1900mm- 26600mm, an important feature of the rain is it`s seasonal distribution which is closely associated with th movement of the inter-tropical convergent zone (ITCZ) and

precipitation resulting from local conventional storm

1.8.5     TEMPERATURE

Idheze community has a relatively constant temperature throughout the course of the year. March is warmest with temperature range of

31°C-35°C, July is coldest with temperature of 26°C, the temperature at night is cooler than the temperature at daytime. But the area has an annual temperature of 31°c 

1.9    LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Certain difficulty were encountered in the course of this study, despite the campaign for Rural development, by professionals, politicians as well as the creation of agencies to tackle the issue at hand, i came to discover that majority of this ministries, agencies, authorities or boards are mere political avenue to siphon money because the so called rural area still remains the same without any improvement, this actually made it difficult to get data which most of them don‘t have any way. Apart from that, the term rural development is an important aspect of economic and social planning but there seems not be recent study on the topic making difficult in getting required details as well, i would have love to extend my research to the whole of Delta state among the 25 local government area, but for time sake and most especially the finances involve is huge. With all these shortcomings not-withstanding, a visit to the Rural development Agency at Asaba, Delta integrated development Programme at Asaba  and a preliminary visit to the study area kick started this work




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