International Journal of African Society, Cultures and Traditions (IJASCT)

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The Practice of Rural Development in Enugu State, Nigeria


Rural development in Nigeria has undergone several modifications in both ideology and practice. However, successive governments have used the mobilization approach. The community development model of rural development has for long been applied to Nigeria before the colonial masters and after their departure and even up to today. Adequate literature was reviewed covering wide range of issues on rural development. Despite, the huge investments on rural development and strategies many Nigerian rural communities are not yet developed. The problem was in the implementation of these strategies. The Capital Maximization Economic Strategy which ensures top-down approach has never had a sustainable impact on beneficiary’s living conditions. Using descriptive and analytical approach with anecdotal evidence gleaned from a qualitative and historical literature on rural development, self-help development strategy. The study revealed that control over decision and resources eluded the agents of change in rural community. Since the rural people true were not involved in the decision making their priority were not known. Therefore, they had little or not commitment to the project implementation. If the rural people were involved at the decision stage they will see the project as theirs and even continue where the government stopped if they could not finish the project. Moreover, in many rural communities women are discriminated against in inheritance right, decision making mostly at the village level and non empowerment of women were among the factors led to underdevelopment of rural communities. Based on the finding, the study recommends amongst others that Community-Driving Development (CDD) gives control over decisions and resources to the true agents of change in rural communities, i.e. traditional organizations; peer groups, women’s groups, producers’ unions organized by co-operatives etc. This approach allows stakeholders to freely decide what action to take, and take responsibility for initiatives that affect their lives. CDD has taught communities how to set infrastructural priorities (drinking water supply, health care centers, roads and schools) and how to achieve these goals in a cost-effective, transparent and sustainable way with little or no government support.

Keywords: Mobilization, Rural Development, Self-help, empowerment and underdevelopment

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