Rural development, as part of higher national development, has remained a challenge for both industrialised and developing countries. Over the years, there has been a profusion of rural development techniques in developing nations, including Nigeria, to accomplish the desired rural development. The study’s goal was to look at the impact of infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state. The geographical scope of the research was three local governments, while the topic scope included schools, energy, market roads, and healthcare facilities. A total of 120 questionnaires were returned from both the rural population and staff respondents, and data was gathered mostly from primary sources, with qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods used. According to the study’s findings, there is a positive and substantial association between infrastructure availability and rural growth. According to the report, the government should invest in additional infrastructure to help rural regions thrive.
1.1 Background to the Study
The quest for rural development globally, calls for critical assessment of the relation between infrastructure and rural development. Infrastructures such as road, power, education, healthcare service, communication, water, and market are very essential for rural development and job creation which in turn, improve the standards of living of the rural people and reduces the incidence of rural poverty. According to Egunjobi (1987), the importance of infrastructure to rural socio-economic life can be seen from three perspectives. First, they stimulate economic activities. Second, they promote societal welfare and thirdly, they prevent rural depopulation.
The United Nations (2013) report indicates that, over much of the globe, rural poverty is on the increase. About 1.2 billion people of the world live on less than a dollar, and this is attributed to insufficient, or lack of infrastructure that would stimulate and facilitate socio-economic activities which in turn, empowers the rural people and subsequently, improve their well-being.
The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have been identified as the building blocks for improving the well-being of the rural people, and infrastructure is perceived as the key catalyst to transforming Africa. Numerous studies, analysis and forums, conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and others, have brought out the fact that one of the biggest constraints to Africa‘s growth and competitiveness has been inadequate and underperforming infrastructural facilities such as schools, market, electricity, road, and healthcare.
The key to unlocking Africa‘s growth potential was investment in its infrastructure, particularly in education which is central to the development of individual, community as well as the overall development of a nation. Despite these potentialities of education in rural as well as national development little priority is given to the education sector. For instance, previous federal budgets have depicted this negligence where from 2007 to 2014 the budget for education has been insignificant compared to other sectors as in 2007 what was allocated to education was 12%, in 2008, 10%, in 2009, 11%, in 2010, 9%, in 2011 9.5%, in 2012, 8.43%, in 2013, 10.7%, in 2014, 8.4% respectively (Federal Ministry of Education, 2014). This has indicated that education has not been accorded the desired priority in the national budgets as this is far below the United Nations‘ benchmark of 26% minimum for education.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG), with input from African countries, recently completed formulating the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). This continental initiative, based on regional infrastructure projects and programmes, which will help to address the infrastructure deficits that severely hampers Africa‘s competitiveness within itself and in the world market. Continuing growth and prosperity would swell the demand for infrastructure, already one of the continent‘s greatest impediments to sustainable development. Successive Nigerian Governments at various periods had launched different programmes aimed at development the rural areas some of which include, Agricultural Development Project (ADP), River Basin Development Authority (RBDA), and Directorate for Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI).
Ariyo (1991), concludes that, in most scholarly attempt to evaluate the performance of ADP, RBDA, and DFRRI, in terms of real extent, effectiveness and impact, the size and target population reached, level of production attained, and the quantity and quality of the infrastructure developed, these institution‘s achievement are un-impressive. According to him, rural development institutions such as those mentioned have produced limited result consequently leading to the past deficiencies which include proliferation of institutions, lack of capacity building, institutional duplication, in-adequate funding, unjustified public intervention and wrong policy.
The federal Government has in 2013, initiated a new policy on infrastructural development in order to correct the past mistakes. The National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIMP)which is 30-year national integrated plan was developed by stakeholders to tackle the problem of inadequate infrastructure for the medium and long term period and has been has been dully approved by the Good luck Jonathan‘s administration. The NIMP required a total investment of $3 trillion over a period of 30 years from 2013 to 2043. The sectors for investment includes: energy, about $1 billion; transportation $775 billion, agriculture, water and mining
$400 billion, housing and regional development $350 billion, ICT $325 million, social infrastructures $150 billion and vital registration and security $50 billion.
However, a similar plan was developed in Doko, Niger state but on education, the Education Master Plan 2012-2020 for Doko, Niger state has been developed to tackle the problem of the education sectors in terms of infrastructure. Lack of comprehensive infrastructural development plan or policy, no doubt, hinder rural development and it is against this background that, this study examines the effect of infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state with a view to proffering solutions on how to improve on its provision focusing on three local governments‘ Batagarawa, Mani, and Dandume as the geographical scope and school, market, road, electricity, healthcare as the subject scope.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Switzerland was ranked first in terms of having quality infrastructure with 6.7 value which include transport, telephone and energy. In Africa, Namibia was ranked first with 5.3 value, followed by Tunisia with 5.0 value, South Africa had 4.8 value ranked 43 in the world and third in the Africa, Rwanda was fourth, with 4.6 value, Nigeria was ranked 120 and 56 in the world and Africa respectively (Pendse 1980, Abosedra, et al 2009).
The World Bank has shown that, poor infrastructure would make a country less attractive destination for investors. This explains the inability of the Nigerian governments to attract foreign investor in spite of endorsing several bilateral agreements and incessant government calls for foreign investors to come and invest in Nigeria. Nigeria is characterized with several cases of inadequate infrastructure. These include: irregular supply of electricity, shortage of pipe borne water, fuel scarcity, unreliable healthcare service, unstable education institutions, bad roads, mal- functioning ports and erratic telecommunication services.
A gloomy picture of Nigerian electricity situation was presented by Iwayemi (2008) where he lamented that for the past three decades, inadequate quantity and quality and access to electricity services has been regular feature in Nigeria. In the communication sector for instance, poor connectivity across telecommunication industries in Nigeria has led to public complain about network failure and other undesirable practices, there is a claim that each of the major telecommunication companies use over a million litters of fuel daily to power generator at their installation across the country thereby incurring additional cost which are usually shifted to the final consumers. Inadequate infrastructure has affected the cost of running business in Nigeria. The cost of a base station for telecommunication in South Africa is estimated to be 250,000 U S Dollars, while 375,000 U S Dollars is require for the same station in Nigeria (Obadare, 2006).
The poor condition of health care system in Nigeria is one of the factors responsible for low life expectancy which stands at 50 years, while other country like Malaysia has a life expectancy of 70 years. Similarly, immunization against measles of children from 1-2 years was 35% in Nigeria, while in South Africa it stands at 80%.In sanitation, While South Africa has 79%, Nigeria has less than 50 %. Nigeria has 53% of Mortality rate which implies that in every 1,000 infant 101.4 die, while in South Africa of 1,000 is 19.6 (World Bank,2012).
For electricity generation, United State of America with a population of about 316 million has 848,300 Megawatt capacity, South Africa with a population of 42.7 million has 44.650 Megawatt capacity, but Nigeria with a population of 140 million could only generate 4,000 Megawatt, This implies that about 85 million people lack access to electricity services less than 20% of rural areas have access to electricity, by 2010 only 40% of Nigeria will have access to electricity (Ibitoye, 2007; Nnaji, 2008).
The Nigerian roads exhibit numerous problems including faulty design, inadequate drainage, lack of maintenance, single lane and sharp bend, etc. The 2002 survey on the State of High-Way Roads in Nigeria indicated that, most of the Nigerian roads require complete rehabilitation due to major cracks, depression, broken down bridge and numerous potholes that makes road transport slow and unsafe .In the education sector the problem of in-adequate infrastructures manifest in obsolete laboratories, and overcrowded class rooms. Many of the laboratories and workshop were obsolete, they suffer from overcrowd, scarcity, broken furniture and in some instances kerosene stoves were being used as Bunsen burner especially in University of Jos and Uyo (Need Assessment, 2011).
Doko, Niger state, which is in the North-west of Nigeria, is not spared from the lack of infrastructure. For instance, indicators of service access in the health sector in the State is low where in 2009, less than 40% of women reporting access to antenatal for their last delivery, fewer than 3% of children receiving full immunization by the age of one, and fewer than 15% of women reporting delivery of their last child at a facility under the supervision of a skilled birth attendant (Doctor, et al. 2011). Similarly in the education sector the story of inadequate infrastructure is the same, for example the provision of classrooms in the primary, JSS and SSS stood at 45%, 72% and 85% of total requirement. Again, the supply of pupils‘ furniture in these classrooms as at 2009/2010 stood at 65% f or primary schools and 50% each for junior and senior secondary schools in the state which is below the UNESCO requirement which stipulated that a class should not be more 30 pupils (UNESCO, 2010).
Water provision is another area that has been grossly affected in the last five years only 1,000 communities are having access to potable water through the bore-hole construction in all the nooks and crannies of the state which is far too inadequate as a lot of communities are still left without safe drinking water (KMSRD, 2015). No economy and community will boast of any infrastructural growth without electricity, Doko, Niger state was only able to connect 183 communities from 2000 to 2016 to the national grid across the State, but could only connects 11 communities per year. This is grossly inadequate going by the population of the State of over 5 million people of which about 80% resides in the rural areas (KSREA, 2015).
In essence, rural underdevelopment is the problem of this study in terms of inadequate provision of infrastructure such as market, electricity, school, water, and communication and this is why rural areas in the state are lagging behind in terms development. The problem of rural underdevelopment could only be tackled through adequate provision of infrastructure which constituted the problem of the study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study was to examine the effect of infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
Specifically, the objectives of this study are to examine the followings:
- To analyze the effect of school infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
- To analyze the effect of electricity infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
iii. To analyze the effect of marker infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
- To analyze the effect of road infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
- To analyze the effect of healthcare infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state.
1.4 Research Questions
- Is there significant relationship between school infrastructure and rural development?
- Is there significant relationship between electricity infrastructure and rural development?
iii. Is there significant relationship between market infrastructure and rural development?
iv Is there significant relationship between road infrastructure and rural development?
- Is there significant relationship between healthcare infrastructure and rural development?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Theoretically, this study is going to make several contributions to rural development literature. Firstly, by integrating and identifying the core infrastructure for rural development such as schools, market, road, healthcare, electricity, and healthcare. Past studies conducted by Eneh (2011), Akpan (2012), Ibok (2013), Eneflok (2013), have not extensively addressed the relationship between infrastructure and rural development empirically as most of these studies were conceptual in approach. Therefore, this study is of significance to filling this gap by conducting an empirical study on rural development.
Secondly, the present study will add to the existing literature by establishing the link between infrastructures on rural development. Thirdly, previous rural development studies were largely conducted in the western contexts, while those that were conducted in Nigeria were mostly in the southern context, this study therefore filled the contextual gaps by conducting this study in the northern context. Thus, in addition to theory and literature development, this study is significant in practical sense as its importance to public sector organizations, international development organizations, and local donor organization by providing an insight into the mechanisms for rural development. Governments both at the federal, state and local government stand to benefit immensely, from this study in practical terms by making use of it in policy and programme initiation and implementation.
From the methodological perspective, as most studies on rural development were carried on qualitative approach such as Yahaya (2010), Ale (2011), Ogunowo (2012), Adesoji (2013), and Idara (2014), this study is important as it employed triangulation approach, where data was collected through three different methods (questionnaire, interview and observation), thus, this gab was filled by carrying out a mixed approach to rural development research which is more scientific.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is an examination of the effect of infrastructure on rural development in Doko, Niger state. The selection of this Local Governments was informed first and foremost for a fair representative purpose, it was chosen because they are all rural in settings (NBS, 2010). Thirdly, the selection of these governments to serve as geographical scope was based on the fact that they could best answer the research problem and objectives.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
In undertaking this kind of study, various limitations were encountered which include: Firstly, some material that very relevant to this study could not be access from the officials of the relevant ministry as some information were classified confidential particularly those information pertaining to expenditure on rural development. Secondly, financial resources of the researcher were another constraint encountered by the researcher. Thirdly, time frame within which the programme stipulates that it be completed is another constraint to this study.
However, despite the constrains to the study, the first limitation was overcome through the use of primary data obtained through questionnaire, interview and observation, and the validity and reliability of the study has been established through the use of SPSS package which has a high degree of accuracy in data analysis.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Under definition of terms such terms as rural, rural development, infrastructure, infrastructure were defined from various scholars and operational definition was given or adopted from other scholars.
According to Atchoargrena (2003) the term rural, implies away from city, non-metropolitan areas where people live, typically, agricultural, woodland, mountainous and natural settings. It is also conceived as an area where there is absent of social amenities as compare with urban area. Operationally, rural area as used in this study refer to a settlement where most people are poor and lack means of livelihood, it is a place where most people works on farm and there was lack of infrastructural facilities.
Adewumi (1987) conceived rural development as comprehensive mode of social transformation, a progress seeking to bring about a more equitable distribution of resources within the society and a veritable acceptance of the principle of growth from below. Rural development generally refers to the process of improving the quality of life and economic well- being of people living in relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas. Operationally, rural development as used by this study refer to effort aimed at improving the living standard of rural dwellers through the provision of infrastructure such as road, electricity, healthcare services, school, and market.
Frischmann (2007) defines infrastructure as asset that accommodate social services. The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society in both social and economic activities. Infrastructures as used in this study refer to amenities such as roads, electrical grids, school, healthcare, road, and market.[email protected].
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