Local Government Administration & Rural Development in Nigeria: A case study of Ogbadibo LGA in Benue state
This research examines local government administration and rural or community development in Nigeria with emphasis on the institutions, agencies, policies and strategies employed to bring about the much needed rural development in the country. It goes further to assess the impacts of the various efforts made by both the domestic and foreign governments and international organizations, institutions, agencies and non-governmental organizations to bring about real development at the grassroots level.
In the attempt to do this, clarification of concepts like development, rural areas, and rural development was carried out, which formed the theoretical basis of the analysis. It was found out that efforts made by the Nigerian government though several strategies like the nation’s development plans from colonial era to date which were x-rayed did not bring about meaningful development. Similarly international organizations and regional strategies have not lead to any significant improvement in the living conditions of the rural dwellers and rural development in general. It was also found out that a number of issues such as corruption and mismanagement, faulty planning from above rather than bottom-up approach; pursuance of the colonial and neo-colonial economic and social policies which were anti people among other factors led to failure of the rural development efforts.
The research therefore concludes among other things that for rapid and sustained rural development to take place, the lopsided and urban based development process must be reversed to rural based and bottom-up approach, government to continue to create conducive environment for rural development to thrive, change of attitudes and orientation by all and sundry, particularly the leadership class in Nigeria in order to minimize corruption and mismanagement of resources. Therefore, for rural development to be realistic and enduring, these measures should be given priority attention, especially at the implementation stages.. Consequent upon these findings, the researcher among other recommended that: local government staff should be well supervised, co-ordinated, motivated, screen occasionally and be encouraged for more performance, the inhabitants and indigenes of the community should contribute their own quota and finally, local government should be given political, financial and administrative autonomy.
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