THE RURAL MANAGEMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR REDUCING RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF AUCHI)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Aniker (1973), rural management is the strategies, policies and programs for the development of rural areas and the promotion and empowering of activities carried out in such areas as rural crafts, fishing, buildings and social infrastructures with the ultimate aim of achieving a fuller utilization of available physical and human resources and yield higher incomes and better living conditions for the rural people and effective participation of the later in the development process.
Nigeria, a country in West African sub-region is blessed with abundant natural and material resources. With an estimated current population of over nine hundred and twenty four thousand (924, 000) square kilometers, Nigeria is unarguably the most populous country in African and one of the largest in terms of geographical area. About seventy percent (70%) of the population depend on agricultural activities for their livelihood and live in rural communities. Currently, over forty million (40,000,000) out of the total population of over one hundred million (100,000,000) people live in urban area. Therefore, the rural area within the geographic entity of the country is whereby majority of the population is found.
The country is passing through a social economic and technological revolution which is separating rural development from merely agricultural development. Rural development and agricultural development have been considered synonymous but agriculture is by no means the only possible occupation for the rural dwellers and therefore there is the need to distinguish between rural management and agricultural development. New and broader views have emerged which distinguished rural lands development and management from merely agricultural development.
Rural land management is not merely agriculture and economic growth alone but also a strategy, policy and program designed to improve the economic and social life of the people in the rural areas. In this vain, it implies a modernization which would not only increases the productive capacity but also change attitude and need to replace the sense of dependence on the natural environment by the desire and a broody to manipulate it.
The above assertion reveals that the ambit of rural management is very wide indeed. It therefore includes generation of new employment, more equitable access to arable lands, equitable distribution of income, wide spread and improvement in health, housing, maintenance of law and order, creation of incentives and opportunities for individuals to realizes their full potentials through education and sharing in the decisions and actions which affect their general lives.
Rural management has been pursued by rural people themselves, government, different institutions and organizations. Though, in rural management we are primarily concerned with people who are engaged in agricultural pursuits, the peoples’ immediate and pressing problems are not all concerned with food. The most pressing need of the rural people were for more roads, schools, community halls, also good drinking water, rural electrification and industrialization amongst others.
Hence, rural development has been approached by the government and people in one or more of the following ways:
1. Provision of incentives and means of raising agricultural productivities.
2. Providing suitable opportunities for widening the base of gainful employment in the rural areas through such schemes as rural industrialization and other non – farm activities oriented towards local needs.
3. Providing rural areas with means and facilities (schools, recreation centres, hospitals, pipe borne water, electricity, etcetera) for realizing with an urban standard of living in their places of residence.
Thus, in discussing the objectives of a sound rural management, (Rural Management Authority) RMA noted the following three important features:
a. Improving the standards of living of the rural population which involves mobilization and allocation of resources so as to reach a desirable balance in relation to the welfare and productive services available to the rural sectors.
b. Mass participation requires that resources be allocated to low income regions and classes and that the productive and social services actually reach them.
c. Creation of employment opportunities.
In addition to, some rural management proponents suggest that the major objectives of rural management should be a non–economic goal that is “rural as quality of life” which gives primacy to environmental quality. Other proponents suggest that the “empowerment” of local citizens is the most appropriate goal for rural management activities that require that local people and institutions develop the capacity to manage rural development.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to examine rural management as a strategy for reducing rural–urban migration in Nigerian having Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State as a case study.
The objectives of this study are as follow:
i. To identify the needs why the rural areas should be developed in Nigeria.
ii. To identify rural development programmes /projects available in the study area.
iii. To find out why people in the rural areas migrate to urban areas.
iv. To examine the extent of rural urban – migration.
v. To identify the general problem faced by the rural population.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The statement of the problem is to study rural management as a strategy for reducing rural-urban migration in Nigeria, a case study of Auchi.
Generally in Nigeria, there have been uneven development and glaring inequalities of opportunities between the rural and urban areas. In spite of the fact that the majority of Nigerians are rural dwellers rural areas still have little or no opportunities for education and employment. No doubt rural areas in Nigeria are characterized by poverty, malnutrition, poor communication, illiteracy unproductive agriculture with the use of traditional implements, general low per capital income. Also includes lack of health facilities, public electricity, borehole water and motorable roads which hinder them from evacuating foods and industrial raw materials.
Rural development proper should module all and sundry, unfortunately lack of sufficient fund for programme execution, high cost of building materials and labour, failure to incorporate people affected in planning and in a more serious note, the rural dwellers’ level of understanding is too low that instead of attracting government attention by initiating a project, they expect the government to do everything for them which is impossible. All these factors problems act as a push against the rural dwellers in the study area to the urban areas, where they can enjoy social amenities and infrastructures such as considerable water supply, electricity, health facilities, tarred roads, and abundant job opportunities etcetera. At the end of this study, we shall know how the rural development can be effective means (strategy) for reducing rural – urban migration in Nigeria generally and Auchi Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State in particular. The preceding sentences, therefore, from the focus of this research give rise to the following research questions;
i. Why should rural areas be developed in Nigeria?
ii. Why do people in the rural areas migrate to the urban areas?
iii. What are the problems faced by the rural populations?
iv. What are the likely solutions to the problems posed by migration of people from Auchi community?
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
(i) What kind of rural development programmes / projects are being / have been executed in Auchi?
(ii) Does lack of integrated rural development responsible for rural – urban migration in the study area?
(iii) In what way(s) did the absence of integrated rural development and management affect the standard of living in the study area?
(iv) In your own opinion what are the factors militating against rural development in Auchi?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance or needs of this research are as follows:
The study will give relevant advice to the government as well as the people of Auchi on the necessary steps to be taken to solve the problems of rural development and as well minimized rural – urban migration in the study area.
It will also be helpful for future writers who might choose to write on similar topics.
It will also be of help to town planning authorities in the study area concerned for use in connection with making decision bordering on the problems identified in Auchi community.
This study will stand a chance of literature review for further studies and an eye opener on the problems of rural areas and possible way out.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study concentrates on the rural management as a strategy for reducing rural–urban migration in Nigeria with a particular reference to Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo state. Such rural developmental ideas that the study covers are; rural electrification, housing development, water supply, interconnected road networks, job creation through industrialization, to mention but a few. Though these are common problems with all our rural areas, but this study only covers Auchi. Hence, any other location mentioned in the course of this study is for emphasis.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Certain difficulties were encountered in the course of this study. High up among them is the inability to get enough pre-study data in time and financial constraints. So many costs were incurred in the aspect of transformation of data into information, labour and sources of materials.
The inability of current data and where they are available sometimes incomplete and unorganized to the researcher’s given guidelines. Again is the reluctance with which some of these information were made available to the researcher. In most cases (Iyekhe hamlet), the respondents will refuse to make the data available claiming that they are secrets and not meant for the public.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.8.1 Rural Area: - This is an area or land that is found outside the local, state and federal government headquarters (Murtala, 2014).
1.8.2 Management:-Management is the direction and supervision, organizing and controlling of human efforts to achieve set objectives and goals. (Thorncroft, 1965).
1.8.3 Strategy: - A carefully devised plan of action to achieve a goal, or the art of developing or carrying out such a plan. (Ugochukwu, 2011).
1.8.4 Urban Area: - This is an area or land found within the headquarters of a local government, state government and federal capital territory. (Murtala 2014).
1.8.5 Migration:-This is the act of moving from one place or residence or geographical location to another either on a temporal or permanent basis. (Isah, 2000).
1.8.6 Migrant: - A person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work. (Isah, 2000).
1.8.7 Urbanization: - Urbanization is defined as the shift of population from rural areas to cities, and the resulting growth of urban areas. (Ugochukwu, 2011).
1.8.9 Development: - The Town and Country Planning Act, Cap 240, 1990, defines development as the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under any land, the making of any material change in the use of any buildings, or other land or the sub-division of land.
1.8.10 Rural Development: - This is a strategy, policy and programme designed to improve the economic and social life of the people in the rural area. (Abbas, 1993).
1.8.11 Rural Management: - Rural management is the organizing and controlling of human efforts to achieve set targets in the rural area. (Ugochukwu, 2011).
1.8.12 Rural-Urban Migration: - This is the movement from rural area to urban area in search for greener pasture or as a result of inadequacy of social amenities and services in the rural area. (Abbas, 1993)..