RURAL – URBAN MIGRATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS. (A STUDY OF UZO-UWANI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE)
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Migration is a multidimensional phenomenon that deals with economic, social and political factors. Basically, it involves localities, which are areas of Origin and destination involving either change in residence for short or long period of time. It has been very difficult to give a comprehensive explanatory and analytical framework with regard to migratory process.
Aina (1987) elaborates that migration could literally to be taken as the physical movement of people from one geographically area to another by changing residence usually not less than a year.
Migration has been an old year long ever since the creation of man. Biblically we can view where Bible recorded the movement of Israelites from their residence to Egypt and many other movements. Despite all these movements, ever since it still become difficult to define comprehensively and measure which involves in a physical transaction within special form or geographic mobility of human population dealing in movement, a change of human resident, a change in physical and social environment, distance and time.
There is no definite definition as to what constitutes anyone of the above elements especially time and distance. Regardless of the difficulties involved, however, the fum migration connotes a form of population movement that takes place when a person changes his/her place of residence either temporarily or permanent basis, though the length of time and distance to be covered is determined rather arbitrarily, and depends on the purpose of the classification and set of criteria used (Kebede, 1994). The main characteristics of migration are a change in usual residence based on whether the movement is across administrative boundary (internal) or across the national boundary in which case it is identified as international migration. While internal migration refers to population movement within the boundaries of political administration of a country. There are four types of internal population movements occurring in a country in terms of place of origin and destination of migration pattern, which are rural to rural, rural to urban, urban to urban and urban to rural.
Nigeria is among the few countries of the world characterized by contradictory socio economic and development scenarios (Nwoucha, 2007) despite her enviable and embedded human and material resources, the country and its people are still classified among the very poor (Okunmadewa 2001) with no fewer than 54% of Nigerians living below poverty level (Akinyele, 2005) multiple environmental, political, religion and cultural factors have been implicated in Nigeria’s under development (Okafor, 2005; Makinwa Adebusoye, 1997).
The political factor is considered in most quarter as most crucial in understanding the Nigerian economic development crisis. In a way, this paper subscribed to the above position but argues and in line with systematic analysis, that distortion of Nigeria’s development agenda could have resulted from any component given that parts of the society function collectively to sustain the whole with emphasis Interdependence.
Furthermore, migration in its endless motion surrounds and pervades almost all aspects of contemporary society and contributed to the present situation of instability throughout the country Nigeria. It is a system in which the circulation of people, resources and information flows in many ways. The instability caused by migration has destabilized the routes of mobility and can create doubt about the possibilities of settlement. In relation to this, NIKOS (2000:2) write the following: “Migration must be seen in a broad sense referring to the plight of the destitute and others who have been displaced from their home/abode or lands and also metaphor of the burnt one, for the complex forces which are integral to the radical transformations of modernity”.
On the other hand, migration is inevitable and brings significant benefits. The move takes experience when the expected return is greater to possible alternative activities. Migrants learn by experiencing many things not found within their environment more especially in terms of substantial serial variation in the demand for farm labour in rural households which can boost income and increase the (GDP) of the nation. However, there is a continuous debate on whether migration is advantageous or disadvantageous for the place of origin and destination. The answer to this question may depend on who are the migrant? Why are they migrating? Where do they migrate from? And where are they migrating to? One of the most significant of all post-war demographic phenomena and the one that promise to loom ever larger in the future is the rapid growth of population in developing countries such as Nigeria. This growth has out placed the development of human and physical infrastructure needed for even moderately efficient economic life and orderly political and social relationship. Since the industrial revolution, rural-urban migration has become one of the most important demographic issues of nations. The rates of rural migration may change overtime in response to changing national income circumstances, or to the improvement or deterioration of economic opportunities and living conditions in both urban and rural areas. The rate of rural-urban migration creates imbalance in the supply and demand side of country. Rapid increase in supply and lagging demand growth tend to convert a short run problem of skilled manpower into a long run situation and may create chronic and rising urban surplus labour (Todaro, 1969).
Finally, all the effects made by government to curb the level of rural-urban migration in Nigeria through improve agricultural system and establishment of programmes/policies such as; farm settlement scheme, Directorate of food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) and Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) failed. The primary purpose of these programmes were not achieved. This is because of political instability/inconsistence and poor implementation of policy in Nigeria. However, the actual failure of these policies could be seen principally on the forces of most Nigerian rural dwellers and the living condition very deplorable. These, in no doubt has made the energetic youths in rural areas to continue to migrate to urban or cities to the detriments of rural areas. Accordingly, rural-urban migration increases internally for example, in the period between 1984 and 1994 about 66% of Nigeria population growth was due to migration and the remaining 34% was from natural increase (Mujereb, 1997). It is then in view of the above that this study will be conducted.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Migration occurs throughout the world and vary from country to country, from region to region or from locality to locality within a region in view of these, Enugu as a case study, people migrate from the area of large scale cotton and coffee farming such as Ugbo-egbunike, farm settlement to Adani in Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu State thereby eluding the local resources that ought to be utilized by them. It is obvious then, that the above acts has been marrying and stagnating economic growth of the country with emphasis on Enugu State.
Furthermore, the migration of the energetic young youths to urban or cities neglect agricultural system and other development programmes in our various rural communities, in Nigeria. The neglection of agricultural products and other local resources which was left un-utilized amount to the shortage of food all over the nation, which encourage importation of foreign food to our own country (Nigeria). This extremely affects our economy, thereby encumbering economic development in Nigeria with emphasis on Enugu State.
Moreover, as people keep on migrating from Uzo-Uwani Local government to Enugu, thereby over populating the Enugu city, it is pertinent to mention here that this amounts to many social vices in Enugu such as crimes, kidnapping, robbing, food scarcity. That is why (Malthusian) stated categorically that if population is not checked, that population will keep on increasing geometrically while food supply will be at arithmetic progression.
Finally, rural-urban migration has caused unemployment everywhere because of over population in urban centre. This problem has been linked as environmental degradation, food insecurity, poor housing, crimes etc. Inspire of the attendant problems, people still migrate from Uzo-Uwani to Enugu.
Below are the outlined problems as:
- The reasons why people migrate from their abode to other areas.
- Problems associated with migration with regards to economic development.
- Stagnancy of agriculture due to rural-urban migration
- PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to survey, access and identify the main impact, consequences, reasons for rural-urban migration and economic development in Nigeria, specially the study intends;
- To find out the reasons for migration
- To identify the problems associated with this migration on economic development.
- To ascertain the effect of rural-urban migration on agriculture.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Even though migration is a universal phenomenon, there are development efforts that were made mainly in some few urban centres. This can create imbalance in economic, political, social and cultural opportunities between rural and urban areas. The gap creates skewness in public investment and can faster more urban-urban migration. The migration process will direct to indirect impact on the socio-economic conditions of policy. Therefore, attention should be given to planning and managing in the development process and in formulating development to influence this process in socially desirable ways such knowledge can deliver a nation design of public policies to stabilize proper rural-urban development plan. The study can contribute to the region as well as the country, how to handle and mitigate migration of population. Local government need to be very cognizant on those factors that amount to migration of the rural dwellers to urban areas. This study will also aid us to ascertain why those government policies/programmes were unimplemented and its consequences and affects in economic development.
Furthermore, this work will in no small measure increase the knowledge and understanding of the economic life and value of most of the rural dwellers in Nigeria, therefore, it will equip them with the best ideas. Economic investment in the rural communities of the state.
Finally, both government and the people of Nigeria can learn more about the greatest demand. Both in the social and economic activities of the rural and urban dwellers in Nigeria by going through this research work and through that, learn about the best way to assist them in achieving an enviable standard of living.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
- Why do people migrate from the rural area to the urban area?
- To what extent does rural-urban migration affect economic development?
- How can rural-urban migration affect agricultural production?
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work is carried out to ascertain the rural-urban migration and economic development in Nigeria, problems and prospect. The areas of concern includes; the historical background of Uzo-uwani, Rural push-urban pull factors, the economic development, economic growth and effect of rural-urban migration with particular attention to the three communities which are Adani, Ogurugu and Umulokpa in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
One of the greatest challenges faced while carrying out this research work which could have marked the success of this project if not the other enormous and cumbersome effort added us the issue of distance from my research setting to that of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area. In regard to the distance, transportation is another born of contention which was as a result of dilapidated road toural area, this made the collection of data very difficult.
There are scarcities of materials in this area of study coupled with the fact that most rural dwellers in the state are illiterates, because of that they did not contribute much to filling the questionnaire. This limited the much information needed from them. Nevertheless, for the progress of this work, instead of stagnating it, the researcher used observation research method and other information gotten from the internet to complete this work. If not the independent effort, this work would have not come to completion.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
This is done for more clarification of some key words used in the study of the subject. It is mainly done to aid the readers understand some concepts used and to appreciate the work. These key words under the study are; migration, rural, urban, economic development, urbanization and population.
For the interest of this chapter, the aforementioned words are to be discussed briefly and would be discussed intoto in subsequent chapter (Literature review).
Migration: This is a movement of persons from one place of residence to another. It could be of temporary, which is short time period or permanent, depending on the aim of the migrant. It is also pertinent to discuss these, migrant, immigrant and emigrant.
Emigrant: This is a person who leaves their own country to live in another.
Immigrant: This is a person who has come to live in another country permanently.
Migrant: This is a process of moving from one place to another.
Population: This simply means the total number of people in a particular geographical area.
Rural Area: The rural area is an undeveloped area of the part of a country that is characterized with high agricultural activities with low population density.
Urban Area: An urban area is characterized by higher population density and present social amenities in comparison to areas surrounding it.
Urbanization: This is the movement of people from the rural area to the urban area, due to present of development and thereby isolating the rural areas.