A Critical Analysis of Communication Strategies of Selected Development Projects in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Abuja

Filed in Articles by on November 28, 2022


This study focuses on a  ―Critical  Analysis of the Communication  Strategies of Selected Development Projects in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Abuja‖. The study is basically qualitative, descriptive research and has Desk Review and Fieldwork as its Primary and Secondary sources of its Data collection.

The fieldwork which anchored on the Participatory Learning and Action underpinning methodological theory used the tools that encouraged Participatory Communication such as Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, Transect Walks, Community Mapping, Pair-wise Ranking in order to arrive at the findings of the research.

The Research used Paulo Freire‘s (1997) theory of Dialogical Pedagogy, complemented by Fierlbeck‘s (1989), theory of Social Interaction, where both Teacher and Student work together to solve problems on an equal footing through co-operation,

that sterns from communication and social interaction for the achievement of a desired revolution or change. The theories stressed the need for the dialogue collaborative process to make, remake and transform reality.

The research therefore critically analyzed the communication strategies that were used in carrying out selected Development projects in the Federal Capital Territory and found out that while the Fadama III, Integrated Agricultural project at Kekeshi Community in Abaji Area Council,

used communication strategies that were bottom-up and participatory, and therefore achieved a level of success and sustainability, the Millennium Development Goals Water Scheme and that of the Resettlement of Garki Village Indigenes to Apo projects,

recorded failures which the researcher attributed to the use of communication strategies that were top-down, one-way, gated, trickle-down and protectionist in nature.

The researcher, therefore, drew inferences and concluded that participatory communication in development is only not necessary, but compulsory if sustainable development is to be guaranteed. 


Title Page_______________________________________________________________i
Table of Contents_______________________________________________________viii

1.0 Introduction _______________________________________________________1
1.1 Background to the Study _____________________________________________1
1.1.2 Rural Development in Nigeria_________________________________________2
1.1.3 Concept of Rural Development _______________________________________4
1.1.4 Rural Development Approaches ______________________________________7
1.1.5 Government‘s Experiences in Rural Development _______________________ 10
1.1.6 Problems Affecting Rural Development in Nigeria _______________________22
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem ____________________________________25
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study______________________________________ 26
1.4 Significance of the Study____________________________________________ 28
1.5 Scope and Delimitation of the Study____________________________________29

2.0 Introduction ______________________________________________________ 31
2.1 The Concept of Development ________________________________________31
2.1.1 Main Theoretical Approaches_________________________________________42
2.1.2 Modernisation Theory ______________________________________________42
2.1.3 Dependency and World System Theories _______________________________45
2.1.4 Towards an Alternative Theory _______________________________________49
2.2 Communication: An Overview _______________________________________65
2.2.1 The Systems Theory in Communication ________________________________68
2.3 Development Communication ________________________________________73
2.3.1 Communication for Development: Theory and Practice ____________________92
2.3.2 Empowerment and Participatory Communication ________________________101
2.4 The Role of Communication in Development ___________________________110

3.0 Introduction _____________________________________________________122
3.1 Framing Participation, Communication and Development _________________122
4.0 Introduction _____________________________________________________128
4.1 Research Approach _______________________________________________130
4.1.2 Approach to Data Collection ________________________________________131
4.2 Participatory Learning and Action____________________________________132
4.2.1 Justification for Choice of Location for the Study _______________________139
4.2.2 Method of Data Analysis __________________________________________141

5.0 Introduction_____________________________________________________ 143
5.1.0 Presentation of Cases and Analysis ___________________________________143
5.1.1 Fadama III Integrated Agricultural Project at Kekeshi Community in Abaji Area
5.2.0 Resettlement Project of Garki Village Indigenes to Apo Resettlement Site in the
Abuja Municipal Area Council_______________________________________149
5.3.0 Introduction: MDG Water Project at Gaba in Bwari Area Council ___________157
5.4.0 Research Findings_________________________________________________167
5.5 Discussions______________________________________________________184

6.1 Summary________________________________________________________189
6.2 Recommendations ________________________________________________202
6.3 Conclusion ______________________________________________________208
References ______________________________________________________214
Appendixes _____________________________________________________223


This chapter introduces the research and provides the structure of the research. The critical focus of the development is  ―Rural  Development‖  and therefore,  a  historical review of rural development in Nigeria between 1960-1993 is being made,

showing the concept of Rural Development, the approaches, Nigerian government experiences, and the problems affecting rural development in Nigeria.

This culminates into a statement of the Problem,  Aim, and Objectives of the study, Significance of the study, and the Scope and Delimitation of the study.

Background to the Study

It is now increasingly recognized that people‘s active participation is an essential component of sustainable development.

Any intervention with the intent of achieving a real sustainable improvement in the living conditions of people is doomed to failure unless the intended beneficiaries are actively involved in the process. Unless people participate in all phases of an intervention,

from problem identification to research and implementation of solutions, the likelihood that sustainable change will occur is slim.

Development Communication is at the very heart of this challenge. It is the process by which people become leading actors in their own development. Development Communication enables people to go from being recipients of external development interventions to generators of their own development.

The rural communities of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Abuja, have suffered a long period of neglect and underdevelopment. This could be attributed to the absence of participation of the intended beneficiaries in the development programs of the FCT.

As it were, policies and programs were formulated and implemented without inputs from the communities that are the beneficiaries. This often results in faulty implementation with the attendant consequences of steady deterioration in the living standards of the rural communities.

Rural Development in Nigeria (1960 – 1993)

Rural development according to  (Afigbo,  1991)  is the integrated approach to food production as well as physical, social, and institutional infrastructural provisions with an ultimate goal of bringing about both quantitative and qualitative changes which result in the improved living standard of the rural population”.

Embarking on rural development is very important considering the fact that more than two-thirds of Nigeria‘s population is living in rural areas, and they experience a lot of misery, poverty, morbidity, and under-development (Afigbo, 1991).

Reflections on the Nigerian Government’s experiences in rural development show that not much has been achieved even before and after independence. There exists a sharp contrast between policy formulation and its implementation. The resultant effect becomes more hardship and poor standard of living among the rural dwellers.

This segment of the study will x-ray the various approaches to rural development by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each.

It is a common assumption that the government‘s failure in the various rural development strategies emanated from a lack of national philosophical base, lack of cohesive identity, inadequate community participation, lack of grassroots planning, and the inability to optimize local resources, among other problems.


Afigbo, A. E. (1991). Women as a factor in development. In M. O. Ijere (Ed.); Women in Nigerian Economy. Enugu: ACENA Publishers.
Agar, M.H. (1996): The Professional Stranger (2nd ed.) San Diego, CA: Academic Press Anyaegbunan,   C.   Mefalopulos,   P.   and   Moetsabi   T.   (1998).   Participatory   Rural
Communication  Appraisal:  Starting  with  the  People  .Harare  Zimbabwe: FAO/SADC.
Anyaegbunam, C. Mefalopulos, P. and Moetsabi, T. (1999), Facilitating Grassroots Participation in Development: New Training Models and Techniques. In S. A. White (Ed.), The Art of Facilitating Participation (pp.207-228). New Delhi, India: SAGE Publications.
Archer, D. & Cottingham, S: The Reflect of Mother A New Approach to Adult Literacy; ACTIONAID; Somerset, UK. 1996
Ascroft, J. and S. Masilela (1994). Participatory Decision Making: A Parable Ins. White with K.
Awotunde, O.O., Ugodulunwa, C., and Ozoji, Ep (1997). Practical Steps to Research Education. Jos Deka Publication
Ayichi. D. (1995). Models of rural development in Nigeria: with special focus on the ADPs. In E. C. Eboh, C. U. Okoye and D. Ayichi (Eds.); Rural Development in Nigeria: Concepts, Processes and Prospects. Enugu: Auto-Century Publishing Company.
Babbie, E. (2010): The Practice of Social Research (12th ed); Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA q4002-3098
Baiyewu, T.O (2002): Research and Project Writing: A Practical Guide for Students in Tertiary Institutions:Jos, Wals Printing Press.
Berengere de Negri, Thomas, E Illinigumugado, A. Muvandi, I. & Lewis G: Empowering Communities Participatory Techniques for Community-based Program Development; Centre for African Family Studies/ REDSO Project of USAID; Washington DC. December 1998
Beltran Salmon, L. Ramiro (2006a). Excerpt from ―Communication: Forgotten      Tool   of National Development‖. In Communication for Social Change Anthology, (ed.). A Gumucio-Dagron and T. Tufte (PP 36-37). Communication for Social Change Consortium (Original Work Published in 1967).
Berlo, D.K. (1960). The Process of Communication: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Rinchart Press.
Berlyand, I.E. (2009). Puzzles of the number: Dialogue in the early grades of the school of the Dialogue of cultures. Journal of Russian & East European Psychology, 47(1)61- 95
Bibler, V.S. (2009). The Foundations of the School of the Dialogue of Cultures Program. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 47(1) 34-60
Bohm, D. 1994: On dialogue. London, UK: Routelegde.
Burkey, S. (1993). People First: A Guide to Self-Reliant Rural Participatory Development: London, UK: Zed Books Ltd.
Bradshow, Y. W. and Wallace, M. (1996). Global Enequalitres.  Thousand  Oaks, CA:  Pire Forge Press.
Bropty, J. (Ed) (2002). Social Constructivist Teaching: Affordances and Constraints. Oxford, Uk: Elsvier Science, Ltd.
Carden, F. (2000). Giving Evaluation Away: Challenges in a Learning-Based Approach to Institutional Assessment. In M. Estrella (Ed), Learning from   Change. London, UK: Intermediate Technology Publications.
CARE. 2002 Household Livelihood Security Assessments: A Toolkit for Practitioners. Carmen, R. (1996). Autonomous Development New York, NY: Zed Books.
Cernea, M.M. (Ed.) (1985). Putting People First (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Chambers, R. (1993). Challenging the Professions: Frontiers for Rural Development. London, UK: Intermediate Technology Publications.
Chambers, R. (1997). Whose Reality Counts: Putting the First Last. London, UK: Intermediate Technology Publications. Chambers, R. (1983). Rural Development: Putting the Last First. London, UK: Longman.
Chav-Hoy, T. (2001). An Inquiry into School Context and the Teaching of the Viruses. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 33(6). 655-682
Cornwall, A. (2000). Beneficiary, Consumer, Citizen: Perspective on Participation for Poverty Reduction. Gothenburg , Sweden: Sida Studies.
Cooke, B. and Kothari, U. (Eds.) (2001). Participation: The New Tyranny. London, UK: Zed Books.
Coldevin, G. (1987). Perspectives on Communication for Rural Development. Harare, Zimbabwe: FAO Project GCP/RAF/297/ITA – In Communication with the Extension, Education and Communication Service of FAO (2001). Participatory Communication and Adult Learning for Rural Development. Rome, Italy: FAO.

Comments are closed.

Hey Hi

Don't miss this opportunity

Enter Your Details