Full Project – The role of non-governmental organizations on the development of rural areas
In terms of level of economic development, quality of life, access to opportunities, facilities and amenities, standard of living and general livability, the gap between the urban and rural areas in Nigeria is very wide. This leads to what is appropriately characterized as the rural urban dichotomy. The rural areas are usually grossly neglected as far as development projects and infrastructure are concerned. As a result of the relative underdevelopment of the rural areas when compared with the urban centres, rural areas are usually zones of high propensity for our-migration. The challenges and prospects of rural development in Nigeria have been of great concern to the different tiers of government due to the rate of rural-urban migration. Onibokun (1987) sees rural development to be faced with the paradox that the production oriented rural economy relies heavily on non-productive people who are ill-equipped with outdated tools, technical information, scientific and cultural training and whose traditional roles and access to resources pose problems for their effective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, whereas the consumption oriented urban economy is flooded with make (people) many of who are either unemployed or unemployable, or marginally employed or underemployed in the urban centres where they choose to live. As a result of this mass exodus, the rural areas have become qualitatively depopulated and are progressively less attractive for social and economic investments while the urban areas are becoming physically congested, socially unhealthy and generally uneconomic to maintain.
There is an overwhelming need to accord rural development a priority on the ‘must-do-list’ of government at different levels if the rural communities must contribute meaningfully to the social, cultural and economic development of Nigeria. A bulk of the Nigerian wealth is derived from agriculture, and oil which lies in abundant quantity in rural communities. Current estimates put the rural population at over 80% of the entire population of almost 140 million people. So far, not much in terms of infrastructural development has been done to bring this bulk of concentration of both human and material resources to contribute optimally to national economy. Te neglect has resulted to the mass exodus of rural dwellers and in turn has made the rural area qualitatively and quantitatively depopulated, and progressively less attractive for socio-economic investment. There is the need to strengthen and encourage cooperative and community based initiatives in the formulation and management of rural development programmes. Also, cooperative philosophy should inculcated in rural dwellers as its grassroot appeals make it an ideal means of promoting sustainable rural development.
Non-government organizations with their advantage of non-rigid, locality specific, felt need-based, beneficiary oriented and committed nature of service have established multitude of roles which can effect rural development. In this context, the need to analyze how far the NGOs are effective in rural development, what their roles are, components of their development work, their consequences etc. was evident. With this objective, a survey study was conducted in Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is no exaggeration to state from the beginning that our rural areas have been deliberately milked to impoverishment and to the advantages of the urban areas. This ugly condition of the rural area dates back to the colonial era of Nigeria under the British government. This imbalance in development was inherited at independence and carried along successive government during the abundant natural resources in the rural areas were explored. Any attempts to develop such areas, the political and administrative institution were public decision making. Power in reality was more concentrated and centralized that dispersed especially at the federal level of power as a result of this type of political structure,
This was a clear demarcation between the urban and rural areas development. The urban areas being the seats of government were developed at the expense of the rural areas. In recent times, the issue of rural development has become crucial in the political, social and economic life of nation. This is as a result of the realization of fact that the rural areas and their inhabitants constitute about 70 percentage of the nation population. In order to bring about real development in the rural areas, there must exist active collaboration between government, non-governmental organization and communication with the rural people.
The rural people need to be recognized and helped by the government to enable them form cooperation and productive organization. They should be encouraged to participate actively in the decision making process for the determination of societal goals.
Since the past few decades, various non-governmental organization have shown interest in the development of rural areas. Various communities that have not benefited from the limited financial resource of the government have embarked on development project. It has stimulated and galvanized individuals into activities participation in social economic activities of the nation and has also brought development to the grassroots.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Development of the rural areas has been a constant issue in Nigeria’s recent economic and political history. In order to bring this into reality, there is the need to evolve a system that would activate the participation and support of the rural people.
Having this in mind, the non-governmental organizations have been making a move to support the government in the bid to develop rural areas. Nevertheless, some problems have been consistent that necessitated the writing of this project work which are:
- Inadequate government presence in the rural areas.
- Lack of basic amenities in the rural areas.
- The absence of good medical services in the rural areas.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to analyse the role of NGOs in the development of Abasi Local government area. The specific objectives of the study are:
- To analyse the role of NGOs in promoting sustainable development policies.
- To find the extent NGOs are promoting awareness programmes and upgrading development facilities.
- Examine the role being played by non-governmental organization in the development of rural areas.
- To identify the causes of low rate of involvement of the non-government organization in the developmental activities in rural area.
- To ascertain the reason for the inadequate government presence in rural areas.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In pursuit of the research objectives of the study, the following research objectives have been formulated:
- What are the roles played by non-governmental organization in the development of rural areas?
- What are the causes of low rate of involvement of the non-governmental organization in the development activities in the rural areas?
- What are the reasons for the inadequate government presence in rural areas?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the beneficiaries of this work:
- The non-governmental organization.
- The local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.
- The government of Akwa Ibom State
- Future Researchers: The study will be useful to those who will carry out studies in related areas in future. It will serve as a reference material to them. Even, the findings can provide the basis for further studies.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This work explored the role of the non-governmental organization in the social and physical development of rural areas. The researcher assessed the level of involvement of non-governmental organization in the development of the rural areas. They are locally with regards to the social economic and political like of the people. The work did not cover the role of religious, cultural and administrative organization in the development of rural areas rather the scope covered the non-governmental organizations operating in Abasi L.G.A.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
There are many factors that acted as constraints in the course of writing this project. Most prominent of the factors are:
Time: Time was a major limitation. It was not encouraging because the researcher has to prepare for his exams amongst other engagements and as a result too little time was devoted to the study.
Finance: finance was another major limitation of this work. Due to limited financial resources available, the researcher found it very difficult to procure all the needed materials, books, journals etc needed for the project for reference purposes, hence the use of few ones in the school library.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Non Governmental Organization: In this study are conceptualized as any non-governmental group of two or more people coming together to perform some activities that lead to the accomplishment of objectives. These organizations are age grades, town unions, cultural groups, philanthropist organization etc.
- Development: For the purpose of this study, development implies any form of improvement, progress, positive change that improves the living condition of the people in a particular community.
- Rural Areas: Rural areas are characterized by depleted workforce rudimentary and inefficient availability of basic infrastructure and social amenities such as safe portable all season roads, telecommunication, electricity, schools, medical facilities recreational facilities and social awareness.
- Rural Development: According to Michael, Olisa and Obiukwu (1992), rural development involves a process by which the people efforts are united with those of the government to improve the social economic and cultural conditions of the community integration of the community into the life of the national rural development. It involves comprehensive change in the cultural economic, social, educational and political affairs of the people designed basically to make themselves reliant.
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Full Project – The role of non-governmental organizations on the development of rural areas