Rural resources have a lot of potential which needed to be brought into full production as to uplift the values. These values can only be achieved when other resources like times, money, infrastructure, expertise an d the like are applied. The high demand of products is expected to propel the application of the said resources into maximum production which in turn increase the value of rural environment, confirming value to be a function of profit. Unfortunately, government policies and programmes in the year past failed to reflect the need for balance rural and urban development. Thus, most development polices and programmes are urban – oriented. As a result rural dwellers have been subjected to poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructure, economic and social defects. Incidentally, rural dweller a stick to migration. Therefore, this study on Rural Development. As a strategy, for reducing Rural – Urban Migrations in Nigeria, a case study of Ishiehi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, seek to identify rural development programmes/projects extent of rural urban migration and factors responsible for rural urban migration in the study area. From the findings based on the analysed data, integrated Rural Development Strategy has been pin-pointed and recommended as a feasible and viable measure toward minimizing the rate of rural – urban migration in Nigeria at large and Ishielu in particular.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria, a country in West African sub-region is blessed with abundant natural and material resources. With an estimated current population of over nine hundred and twenty four thousand (924, 000) square kilometers, Nigeria is easily the most populous in African and one of the largest in terms of geographical area. About seventy percent of the population depend on agricultural activities for their livelihood and live in rural communities. Currently, over forty million out of the total population of over one hundred million people live in urban area. Therefore, the rural area within the geographic entity of the country is whereby majority of the population is found. Some of the government officials fear of the belief held that urban areas constitute the development potential of the state, the rural areas, have been neglected in terms of development opportunities.
Following the moribund attitudes that existed in the rural areas the rural dwellers are attracted to the urban areas to benefits from better paying jobs qualitative supply of basic amenities, highs level of commercial, recreational and industrial activities. Arising from the rapid. Urban population growth and physical expansion are very serious physical planning problem such as poor physical layout like Ajegunle, Gwagwa,, Abakpa in Lagos, Abuja, Abakalike and Enugu respectively. Also in the list include mass transit problem inadequate supply of housing, water and other basic social services. Hence, it is expected that various governments policy maker rural dwellers, planning team and the general public should involve in harnessing the capture and build in preference of the rural dwellers at anytime.
The advent of civilization brought about urbanization or urban settlement. Civilization is the climax of man’s inventions as a means of raising his standard of living. Man believes in hedonism and indeed obtain much pleasure in the company of other fellow men. No doubt, this is why if one had to give one word the raison d’etre for a city it would surely be “communicated”. People come together in cities to be able to communicate person to person, person to firm person to government. In the pre-history of urban evolution when technology was large and archaic, people had to search for fertile lands for abundant for harvest. These fertile land occurred in Abakaliki division now in Ebonyi State. Settlements in these areas were promoted as a result of fertile land. The oldest organized settlement known today as the cradle of civilization such as settlement at alluvial plains of Rive Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Indus and Yangtze – kiang were equally as a result of fertile land.
The discovering of limestone and the establishment of Cement Company at Nkalagu in Ishielu Local Government Area in 1957 attracted many investors and offered employment to the people. During this era there were considerable notice of immigrants in Nkalagu and its neighbouring communities. As a result of failure of the cement company to produce satellite town thereby extending its social amenities to the surrounding communities, the dwellers in the said communities like Nkalagu, Amazu, Umuahuli, Nkalaha, Obeagu started rushing to the urban areas in middle seventies. It is at this period that rural urban – migration gathered much momentum in the study area.
Generally, cities or urban areas apart from fertility of land discussed already started growing as a result of goods site for defence like Ibandan, mineral deposit such as in Enugu for Coal and Port Harcourt for crude oil, other include religious activities like Elele in Nigeria Jerusalem and Mecca. More recently, political tranquility influence of royal courts, holiday attraction and be antiful sceneries as well as economic activities, coastal orientation mineral deposit and traffic junction are the prevailing factors for the growing of cities. The level of standard of living which most of the cities or urban areas provide compel rural dwellers to more to urban areas and settle. It is in the light of rapid growth of urban over rural communities that form the bedrock of this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Generally in Nigerian, there have been uneven development and glaring inequality of opportunities between the rural and urban area. In spite of the fact that the majority of Nigerian are rural dwellers rural areas still have little or no opportunities for education and employment. No doubt rural areas in Nigeria are characterized by poverty, malnutrition, poor communication, illiteracy unproductive agriculture with the use of traditional implement, general low per capital income. Also includes lack of health facilities, public electricity, borne whole water and motorable roads which hinder them from evacuating foods and industrial raw materials.
Rural development proper should module all and sundry, unfortunately lack of sufficient fund for progamme execution, high cost of building materials and labour, failure to incorporate people affected in planning and in more serious note, the rural dwellers level of understanding is too low that instead of attracting government attention by initiating a project, they expect the government to do every thing for them which is impossible. All these factors problems act as a push against the rural dwellers in the study area to the urban areas, where they can enjoy social amenities and infrastructure such as water supply, electricity, health facilities, tarred roads, and abundant job opportunities. At the end of this study, we shall know how the rural development can be effective means (strategy) for reducing rural – urban migration in Nigerian generally and Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State particular. The preceding sentence, therefore, form the focus of this research.
1.3 AIMS OF OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Maris system of life is dynamic coupled with his insatiable nature which demands better food, shelter and clothes. These are usually achieved through verity of good jobs efficient use of human and natural resources.
The extensive area of land in the rural area can be put to various industrial and agricultural activities, thereby improving the lots of rural dwellers and urban dweller alike Agriculture provide us with food, medicine, firewood, timber and other raw material to the industries as well as employment and foreign exchange. Unfortunately the rural dwellers and farmers which constitute the largest population in the rural areas have not been properly taken care as regards development and as a result the rural dwellers rush to the urban areas to find alternative jobs and social amenities that abound in the urban areas.
This study therefore, is aimed at carrying out a research as follows
(i) To identify rural development programmes /projects available in the study area.
(ii) To identity reasons/factors responsible for rural – urban migration.
(iii) To examine the extent of rural urban – migration.
(iv) To suggest and make feasible recommendation on reducing migration in the study area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
(i) What kind of rural development programmes/projects are being / have been executed in your rural area?
(ii) Does lack of integrated rural development responsible for rural – urban migration in your area or not?
(iii) In what way(s) have the absence of integrated rural development affected the standard of living in your rural area?
(iv) In your own opinion what are the factors militating against rural development in your area?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO Lack of integrated Rural Development is not responsible for Rural – Urban migration.
Hi Lack of integrated Rural Development is responsible for Rural Urban Migration.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study concentrates more on the rural development as a strategy for reducing rural – urban migration in Nigeria with a particular reference to Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. Ishielu local government area with Ezillo as its headquarters has a total population of one hundred and twenty eight thousand seven hundred and twenty persons according to the result of 1991 population census (see table I). The communities that form the local government area are as follows Agba, Amazu, Azumyaba, Ezillo, Ezzagu, Iyonu, Nkalagu, Nkalaha, other are Nkezi, Obeagu, Ohafia, Okpoto and Umunuali.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is an attempt to highlight the various development imbalance existing in the rural and urban areas which resulted rural urban migration. The rapid acceleration of the urban areas as a matter of urgency need to be redressed through the propagation of well articulated rural development programmes or strategies. Therefore, the problem is on how to inculcate adequate planning development in rural areas to fit the overgrowing migratory demand without sacrificing any of the migrants motives and objectives. Rural dwellers seen to be most beneficiary, government and the general public will also in one way or the other be benefited, if my suggestions and recommendation are adhered to.
1.8 THEORETICAL FOUNDATION OF THE STUDY
1.8.1 ECONOMIC GROWTH MODEL AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT DUAL ECONOMY MODEL
The dual economy model classifies the economy of less development countries in two. The modern sector and the subsistence section. These are also referred to as the urban and rural sector respectively (Olayide et al 1981). According to the model the modern (urban) sector is both capital and technological intensive which the subsistence (rural) sector is less capital intensive. The model believes that while the urban sector is market orientated, the rural sector produces for family consumption and relies on non-purchased inputs like labour and -----. The model accuses the rural sector of lack of savings and capital formation.
The problems with this model is that its adoption as a development strategy will lead to outflow of resources from rural to the urban area. there will be a rural neglect which creates a gap in earning. Also there will be migration to cities and consequently unemployment and increased demand for urban social services like water, electricity and so on. Moreover thee is no economy where the rural sector is characterized by absence of saving and capital formation, rather savings are small. It assign a restrictive role to agriculture as a mean of providing cheap foods and raw materials for industrialization. That is the rural urban migration as a result of lack of saving and capital formatting in the rural areas.
The congestion in the urban areas, unemployment and social are the out come of rural – urban migration which is brought about by the neglect of rural development. The government should realise that for a balance economic growth and development, the rural area have to be developed along side the urban areas. This models attempts to explain the existence of substantial productivity difference among farmers in the same economics and geographic region. The model attributes the difference in production to difference in the adoption of new varieties of seeds mechanical and chemical inputs, by farmers (Olayide et al 1981)This model of great relevance to rural development in the less developed countries like Nigeria. It introduces the idea of agricultural extension services, experimental stations and demonstration farms / farm settlements.
The model of some relevance in the development of the study area. the idea of farms settlement and demonstration farm have been experimented upon in Ezillo community the headquarters of the study area. The problem associated with this model is that the same people are not willing to adopt modern method of farming and organization. They are skeptical about the use of fertilizer and insecticides due to ignorance in farming, there is the need to educate the farmer on the use and profitability of the new techniques. The works successfully where the farming population is educated and enlightened.
1.8.2 BASIC RESOURCE THEORY
This theory state that economic growth and development depends on the availability of natural resource in a region. This model holds that the development of these resources attract investment capital to these areas and bring about increase in income and employment. One of the limitation of the theory is that mere availability of basic resources are not enough for economic growth to occur in a region. There has to be appropriate technology and expertise to exploit these resources.
The relevance of this model in the study area n that the government should realised the need for education and man power training for a self – reliance and economic development. The dependence of imported machinery and equipment as well as the personnel to operate these equipment does not make for a self – reliance. This goes to show why in spite of abundant natural resources in the study area hunger and disease have continued to threaten the survival of the rural population. The prices of locally produced goods have remained higher than their imported counterparts
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