Community Development in Nigeria – PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT IN STATE


Community Development in Nigeria  is as old as history itself, it could be traced to the early man and his settlement into community which was brought about by the discovery of fire and farming.

Before the coming of colonial masters, Nigeria as a whole has employed commercial efforts as the means for mobilizing community resource with aim to developing her localities. However in as much as development is meant to advance the total well being of the individual and social economic advancement of the nation at large, it must take into account the enlightenment of everybody through education.

Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960 till date, the vast rural communities of the country are in a deportable state, it is an established fact that majority of Nigerians that lives in rural communities which are characterized by illiteracy, disease, neglect, exploration and equality been oppressed by the nation. They belong to Anyanwu (1992).

Most of our rural areas suffered from inadequate provision of social service, from social infrastructures and employment opportunities, high birth and death rate, low life expectancy, malnutrition, diseases Adelemo (1993).

As regard to the level of economic development, quality of life, access to opportunities, facilities and amenities, standard of living and general liability, the gap between the urban and rural communities in Nigeria is very large and noticeable.

On this ground Omosuji (2004). Disclosed that rural areas is a geographical location or an area which is inhabited by a population which is less than five thousand (5,000) people, majority of whom are farmers and whose economy is predominantly agrarian in nature.

However, it is virtually impossible for the poor to acquire the bare essentials of life, let alone contributing meaningfully to the progress of the society within a national setting.
Adebayo Adedeji (2002) said “Enlighten a man, you develop the community”. Therefore community development have to be man’s oriented. ASAN should determine the direction of community development.

When man’s needs are met, he strive for higher others needs which bring self actualization (Ubetu 1975).

History of Community Development in Nigeria

As a prospect of community development in Nigeria has embraced on community development oriented programme (such as poverty alleviation programme (P.A.P), better life programme (B.L.P), operation feed the nation (O.F.N), Green resolution, integrated rural development programme.

Role of Local Government in Community Development in Nigeria

Nigeria local government system has been confronted with the problem of developing their communities and Oju local government is not an exception. It is an established fact that, rural communities in Nigeria local government are characterized with backwardness in various ramification, this is in terms of shortage of infrastructural facilities and service.

Statement of Problems on Community Development
Different view has been expressed as to the organ or body that has responsibility of executing community development programmes.

In the recent year community development has proved themselves veritable instrument for the planning and executing of community development programmes.

The community development in Oju local government area of Benue state embarked on a road construction project which have been abandoned for some years without accomplishment. These maybe the problems of inadequate funds to carry out these developmental projects not to be accomplished, not minding the fact that inadequate funding of the project may have been hindering the accomplishment of the road project, absence of qualified manpower to enhance the technical area should not be forgotten.

As political entity, the community development projects is always influenced by the politics of who should be the leader within the members based on the level of community development most of the leaders of community development are illiterate who may not know  how to used modern equipment for development purposes.
The main problems of this work is to analyses how inadequate finding has hindered the effort of Oju town.

Some members of the community are illiterate and suffering from object poverty. This make them not to understand that those developmental projects embarked upon by the government are for their good or not.

All these mentioned problems have posed serious threat to community development in Oju Local government area of Benue state.

Research Questions on Community Development in Nigeria

Therefore based on these facts, the research questions are as follows:-
1.    To what degree has corruption negatively affect community development?
2.    How does lack of active participation an impediment to community development?
3.    To what extent have illiteracy and poverty been a setback to community development?

1.3    Objective of the Study
1.    To examine the effect of corruption on community development programme.
2.    To ascertain what is responsible for the lack of active participation among the members of the community.
3.    To examine the effect of illiteracy and poverty of members of the community in community development effect.

1.4    Research Hypotheses
H01:     Corruption among the development official and community elites does not negatively affect community development.
HA1:     Corruption among the development officials and community elites negatively affect community development.
H02:    lack of active participation among members of community elite does not negatively affect community development.
HA2:    Lack of active participation among members of community elite negatively affect community development.
HO3:    Illiteracy and poverty among members of the community are not setback to community development.
HA3:    Illiteracy and poverty among members of the community are setback to community development.

1.5    Significance of the Study on Community Development
The study is very imperative among men, women and children in Oju local government area because the study was initiated bearing in mind the position of rural communities in all the development of Benue State.
However the problems which are identified the study are half-solved and should equally be tackled to bring succor to the people, since community development is now the focus of the government.
The study will equally help Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O) to assist government in brining solution to some of the problems.
Finally, policy makers and implementers will current their mistake from this study. This finding solution to solve the numerous problems that are facing community development at the local government.

1.6    Scope and Limitations of the Study of Community development

The study covers community development in Oju local government area, Benue State. Emphasis will equally be placed on social-economic venture aimed at enhancing the life of the rural communities.
While the limitations of the study in community development in Oju local government area, Benue state are as follows:
The researcher encounter problem of information. The research could not get the necessary information needed for the study of the members of communities.
The research equally witnessed the problem of time, the time given for the research work was not enough to conduct the research thoroughly.
The researcher encountered the problem of relevant materials. Relevant materials that could add more meaning to the work were scarce.

1.7    Theoretical Framework
For the purpose of these research works, the equilibrium theory will be used.
However the equilibrium theory links society to a living organism with each part being indispensable to the survival of the system.
On the general level, the equilibrium approach grows out of social action framework in which society is viewed as if it were a system of different but highly inter-rated part in which the various part performs different function to meet common system need, harmony and gradualism which evolution is emphases as key to development.
Therefore rural society is accordingly viewed as a sub system competing with other sub-system for the limited society resources.
Conclusively the equilibrium theory was used or suitable for this field of studying due to it’s focus on re-orientating the masses towards social change.

1.9    Operational Definition of Terms
To the purpose of clarity, the research will operationalized the outstanding concept in the research works. They are community development, local government and community development.

Community Development in Nigeria and its Surroundings

COMMUNITY: This simply means groups of people with the same or common tradition, belief, custom and language living within a specific geographical area.

DEVELOPMENT: This could be seen as a deliberate effort made by human beings so as to tap available human and non-human resources at a given time in order to bring positive result.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: This could be seen as a third tier of government (government at the grass root) created by laws to take care of the people are united with those of government to improved the social, economic and cultural conditions of the communities and of the integration of these communities into the life of the nation.