AN APPRAISAL OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES IN NIGERIA 1999-2009: AKWA IBOM STATE EXPERIENCE
1.1 Background of the Study
Development is a necessary aspect of societies, indeed any society without development could be said to be static. Hence all societies are dynamic. Development as a term has been defined by many writers with different views: – Ablu, (1982) viewed development as synonymous with economic growth measured in aggregate terms. Abubakar (1981), sees development as qualitative improvement in all societies and in all groups of individuals within societies. He asserts that all men must surely have enough goods in order to be men and to develop themselves. As defined by Forest (1981), development is creating the condition for the realization of human personality. He noted that development has to be marked with reduction in poverty, unemployment and inequality a high level of nutrition, high health standard, low infant mortality rate etc. From the above definitions of development, it can be deduced that development is virtually changing the life of an individual, group of people or community in terms of social amenities, such as good health, good road, adequate and clean water, education etc.
Rural development as an exercise is geared towards a specific field requiring thought and action on the government and the populace which its effect is a socially conditioned one, meaning that it brings about improved conscious relationship amongst individuals; groups and organizations. According to Ndangara (2005), rural development efforts must be derived from the needs and aspirations of the rural people and not necessarily in response to the needs of the urban political economy such as unemployment, food shortage, and rural urban migration. It entails a line up programme of actions targeted at increasing the efficiency of the rural population to the extent that there is rural steady power supply to the extent that standard of living and productivity are enhanced, and education and the environmental sanitation promotion are witnessed. Basically therefore, rural development is concerned with raising the quality of life of the low-income population living in rural areas on a self-sustaining basis through a fundamental transformation of the rural mode of production (Gana, 1986).