An Evaluation of the Strategies of Rural Development Programmes in Plateau State 1999 – 2010.
This work evaluates the strategies of programmes implementation in Plateau State as they affect rural development between 1999 – 2010. Using the three selected rural development agencies in Plateau State (the Plateau State Director Labour Agency, Plateau State Agricultural and Rural Development Programme, and Plateau State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency) as a case study.
This was done through the following methodology. The purposive sampling technique was used to select the respondents who responded to the questionnaire administered. Interviews were used to collect information from the general managers of the selected rural development agencies.
Information was also collected from the files, records and mission statements of the three selected rural development agencies in Plateau State, identified for the purpose of this research. The data collected were analyzed using simple percentage tables and the chi-square statistic was used in testing the research hypotheses.
The work came out with the following findings:
(i) that the state allocations to rural development in the yearly budget is not up to 1% of the total budget.
(ii) that the beneficiaries of rural development are not involved in programmes initiation and implementation in Plateau State.
(iii) that the three selected rural development agencies have not impacted positively on rural development in Plateau State.
The research made the following recommendations based on the findings; that for the effective performance of the study agencies, the beneficiaries should be involved at every stage of the programme(s). There should be the involvement of beneficiaries of rural development programmes in the process of programmes initiation/conception and implementation.
More than 70% of Nigerians live in the rural areas, hence there is a need for the government to take the issue of rural development seriously,. Particularly issues related to the formulation and implementation of rural development policy (Nzimiro, 1985:1-3, 1990 population census).
Besides, there is a global concern on issues of poverty and rural development by state governments and theunited Nations. Any attempt to improve the rural condition is a welcome development. Nzimiro (1985:5-81) argues that: part of the reasons for interest in rural development study is because of the increase in social differentiation between the rural and urban areas.
The dwindling quality of rural life had encouraged many rural producers to escape from the suffering of rural poverty to urban misery. The level of development in Nigeria is too low considering the number of resources at Nigeria’s disposal. In the immediate post-independence years for instance, Nigerians had expected tremendous positive changes in their conditions of living. This, however, was not the case.
This condition of backwardness may be attributed to the level of development bequeathed to the nationalists at independence by the colonial masters who saw the rural areas as main sources of raw materials for export. (Rodney; 1972, Ake, 1981; Alkasum, 1986).
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