THE IMPACT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KUDAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE
This research titled “The Impact of Community Development as an Instrument for Socio-Economic Development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State”. Two research objectives were raised and one null and alternative hypotheses were formulated. The research objectives are to determine the relevance of community development projects and programmes on socio-economic development and examine the impacts of community participation on socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The sample size was 399 respondents selected from the population of 138,992 based on 2906 census, using Taro Yamane Formula. Out of 399 questionnaires distributed to the respondents, only 299 were found valid. The research made use of both primary and secondary sources of gathering information. The simple percentage was used to analyze respondents’ opinions. The research findings revealed that community development projects and programmes have a great positive effect on communities and have stimulated socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State and that projects and programmes carried out with the community people’s effort and support are serving the purpose which they are created for because of the feeling of ownership of the projects and programmes by benefiting communities. Based on the findings, conclusion was drawn and recommendations given that: Communities should be aware that developmental projects embarked upon by themselves through self-help projects, government or external bodies are meant for their overall wellbeing and as such should protect and ensure that they are maintained to continue to serve the purpose which they are created; Governments at all levels need to encourage the communities to partake fully in all issues concerning their development, morally, financially or otherwise. The local governments in Nigeria should provide enabling environment to communities to initiate, plan and execute projects that will be beneficial to them.
1.1 Background of the Study
Community development is not a creation of modern times; it is as old as mankind when the family was the central focus of any activity. Community development is an age long movement that has been in practice in various communities even before the advent of colonialism. Before colonization, leadership was rooted in the culture and tradition of various the people and decision making was part and parcel of rural development. Rural development has always been equated to community development from immemorial to date; the two words are used interchangeably, Chukwuezi (2000) and Cavaye (2000), had lent their supports when they wrote that all rural development are equally community development. This assisted largely in mobilization of people for developmental activities.
The argument has been that since the vast majority of Nigerians of over 80% reside in rural areas, Human Development Report, in Cavaye (2000), there would not be social welfare without rural areas transformation and development so that the rural people share in the social amenities and other facets of economic, social and political life of the country.
Historically, the notion of community development owes a great deal to the efforts of colonial administrators. Hence after the Second World War, the British Colonial Office became concern with ‘community development. Mayo in Cavaye (2000) suggests that administrators invented the term out of their attempts to develop ‘basic education’ and social welfare in the UK colonies. For example, a 1944 report, Mass education in the colonies, placed an emphasis on literacy training and advocated the promotion of agriculture, health and other social services through local self-help (Midgley in Ugwu 2009).The importance of community development in contemporary Nigeria cannot be over emphasized as its significance stems from its recognized role in the process of achieving the improvement of the economic, political, social and cultural conditions of communities.
As an instrument, “Community development ensures rapid national development. Ugwu (2009) asserts that community development is one of the major planks upon which National Developmental policies and their implementation are hinged. This is why the group dynamic perspective of community development becomes imperative, especially as issues concerning community development with special emphasis on self-help approach tend to rely on the “felt-needs theory” and the traditional participatory democratic theory. These theories are indicative of the place of people’s participation in development. Some community development programs that were put in place by Federal, State and Local Government include the poverty alleviation program, National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, having their versions in State and Local Government respectively.
Community development has become a national importance in Nigeria. Flora and Flora in Emeh, Eluwa and Ukah(2012) argue that community development combines the idea of ‘Community’ with ‘Development’ hence the concept of community development relies on interaction between people and joint action, rather than individual activity- what some sociologists call “Collective Agency”. Christenson (1999) sees Development to involve change, improvement and vitality; a direct attempt to improve participation flexibility, equity, attitude, the function of institutions and the quality of life. It leads to a net addition to community assets.
Nigerian government policies of development such as Department of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) are to be concerned especially with rural development in two major aspects. The first is the recognition of the people as the center of development. The second is the need to build strongly on existing social, cultural, political and economic foundations from the Federal, State and Local. Governmental policies on rural development can only succeed if the people especially in Kudan Local Government adopt these policies and participate actively and massively in their implementations. Such substantial participation and sustained interest can only be achieved through community development efforts of the people and in direct consonance with the people’s social, cultural, and religious values (Jones cited in Obetta and Charity, 2012).
It is generally accepted that self-sustained community development is vital to the economic and social progress of any developing nation like Nigeria. Larger percentage of the nation’s population lives in the rural communities which serve as the basis for the production of food and engage in primary activities that are supposed to form the foundation of any economic development for the country. Despite its importance, the rural areas lack basic amenities such as potable water, electricity, health facilities and motor able feeder roads. The rural people have low purchasing power and standard of living. While agriculture is the dominant economic activity, the tax base is limited. So rural areas are rarely able to mobilize sufficient resources to finance development projects. The prevailing situations in rural areas have been poverty, deprivation, lack of basic amenities, services and lack of opportunities for advancement.
To overcome these obstacles to rural development, a systematic policy of mobilization of the rural people in the development perspectives is necessary. This focuses on the active involvement of people in the issues which affect their lives; and encourage participation, empowerment, self-help and the sharing of skills, knowledge and experience (Jones cited in Cavaye, 2000). Mobilization is required to facilitate implementation of carefully planned programmes and to establish partnership between the government and the people in carrying out development programmes and projects. This can be achieved if community development has been taken seriously as it deserves. Community development is people’s oriented development and a catalyst for socio-economic development.
Community development is an instrument or approach for improvement that is directed towards a specific field of social development requiring action on the part of the people to improve their condition of living, whether social, economic or cultural. Its effect in the field of social development is socially conditioned, since it brings about awareness and the improvement of relationships between individuals, groups, communities and organizations to ensure a sustained development. In this light, from a humanitarian perspective, it may be seen as a search for community, mutual aid, social support and human liberation in an alienating, oppressive, competitive and individualistic society. In its more pragmatic institutional sense, it may be viewed as a means for mobilizing communities to join state or institutional initiatives that are aimed at alleviating poverty, solving social problems, strengthening families, fostering democracy and achieving modernization and socio-economic development (Campfens cited in Ohiani, 2006).Therefore, attempt is made to justify community development as an instrument for socio-economic development, with particular reference to Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is important to recognize that most of the challenges of development in Nigeria are a clear manifestation of the weakness in the strategies adopted by the government, from Federal, State, and Local Government. Most of the development strategies adopted by government are mostly those that are top-down in their approaches. For example, the development programmes to empower the people or enhance community development from time, such as DFRRI, NAPEP NEEDS with state and local versions are all not people friendly, since the people were not involved or carried along. This makes community development to suffer and thereby frustrating socio-economic development. This is because the input from the people was not included, despite the fact that the development was targeted at them (Obetta and Charity, 2012).
The people lacked sense of belonging to any of government projects or programmes, they never felt as if they were part of the development effort of their communities, which affected the maintenance of those projects, leading to the problem of not sustaining those facilities or programmes put in place to serve the people. In some communities in Kudan Local Government of Kaduna State, like any other communities within the country, there are projects initiated and implemented by the government that are no longer serving the purpose which they were meant for because the community’s inputs were neglected. For example the solar boreholes of Ungwan Galadima ward, the solar borehole in Ungwan Duste Ward worked for only a year and are no longer functioning. Also in Sabon Lemu community, about seven boreholes were sunk by the L.G. only the one in front of the house of a member of house of representative representing the constituency is functioning. Most of government projects and programmes provided by government within the local government area are not properly maintained, thereby leading to problem of sustainability.
It is mostly a top-down approach to community development, which makes projects and programs unsocio-economic due to misplaced priorities, as to what the people need, is not what is given to them, but what the donors feel they need.
It is against this background that the study explores how, and what model to be used for community development to serve as a veritable instrument for socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study is to examine how community development can serve as a viable instrument for socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area, Kaduna State from 2015 to 2019.
The specific objectives of this study are to:
- Determine the relevance of community development projects and programmes on socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area;
- Examine the impacts of community participation on socio-economic development in Kudan Local Government Area Kaduna State.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
A set of assumptions of speculation which in tentatively accepted as the basic for an investigation. Hypothesis are testable statements about the relationships between variables. They are meant to be tested statistically and accepted or rejected on the basis of the findings which arise from the study. The hypotheses to be tested in the project are:
H1: Community Development Projects and Programmes to a greater extent lead to Socio-Economic Development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
H0: Community Development Projects and Programmes to a greater extent do not lead to Socio-Economic Development in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Although the research is carried out to fulfill an academic requirement, it will also go beyond that scope encouraging more meaningful and conscious development efforts on the part of Community people. Previous studies on development have often laid emphasis on Community development as one among numerous instruments employed by government for development, not paying attention as to whether the development is socio-economic or not, and what are those salient issues in Community development that will ensure socio-economic development.
Therefore, the study laid emphasis on the issue of community development in a participatory manner, Jumare and Mohammed (2012), in a study on the effort of community development in socio-economic development concluded that, most common of the problems of socio-economic development is the problem of poor participation of beneficiaries of the development. With the mode of collaborative and collective action by the people and the government. The collaborative mode of community development postulated that local people work together with outsiders to determine priorities, responsibility remains with outsiders for directing the process. While the collective action mode postulate that local people set the agenda and mobilize to carryout, utilizing outsiders not as initiators or facilitators, but as required by local people. This mostly is done in projects or programmes that require quick action to be taken Nicole (2002). This study is in line with the above scholars, with a paramount significance of filling the gap that most researches in the field of Community Development are yet to fill, in bringing out community development instrument that will be more Socio-economic for socio-economic development (projects and programmes to continue serving the need which they are created).
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
1.6.1 Scope of the Study
This study covers a period of four years, 2015-2019. The researcher chooses this period in other to make a reasonable and proper appraisal on community development projects and programmes within Kudan Local Government Area and how they continue to serve the purpose which they are executed.
1.6.2 Limitation of the Study
The study in limited to only Kudan Local Government Area, the major limitation of this study is the problem of very poor record keeping in Kudan local government; It was a great task to get documented data, on community development projects and programmes within the local government.
Secondly, the study has the problem of the attitude of some local government officials’ respondents, especially (the political class) who were either absent from office and or very often feel reluctant to sit and attend to our questions. It took a long period of time, over two months of the researcher’s repeated visit to their offices and sometimes their homes, before some of the officials could attend to our questions.
The third and last problem is the problem of time. The limited time for the study could not give the opportunity to cover more communities than would have done. In effort to ameliorate the adverse effect of the research limitations, the researcher went extra miles to the State Ministry for Community and Rural development to get meaningful data on this regard. The researcher also visited the local government secretariat and even officials houses to get primary data for the research work and personal observation of checklist of issues.
1.7 Definition of Key Terms
People are capable of organizing themselves to bring social and physical benefits to their community.
Self or collective community effort for achieving progress and development.
Mobilizing local initiative in the interest of the community.
Proper channeling of external assistance to provide more incentives and motivation for development projects and programmes in the community.
Selfless service, volunteerism and participation of community people in developmental activities and self-help programmes.
An improvement or increase in the living standard of the people.