Decentralizing Rural Development Practice in Nigeria: The Challenges and Opportunities
Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 5, September 2015, Pages: 185-192
Received: Aug. 21, 2015; Accepted: Sep. 2, 2015; Published: Sep. 12, 2015
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Nseabasi S. Akpan, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
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The decentralization of economic and political powers has been an important tool for developing the rural and remote areas across the world. But how does decentralization work in some contexts and what are the challenges and opportunities? This paper discusses these issues in relation to Nigeria’s rural development experiences and practices. Various Nigeria’s rural development programmes have been reviewed to assess how their implementations have benefitted from decentralization practices. The results demonstrate that decentralization has not been strictly applied as a framework for the development of the rural areas. Colonial and post-colonial rural development plans have always been centrally directed. Even when constitutional reforms were effected to grant political, administrative, fiscal and financial autonomy to the rural areas through the local council authorities, actual implementation hardly reflect the ideals of decentralization. The paper argues that while the prospect of decentralization implies enormous opportunities for the development of the rural areas, such opportunity may hardly be realized due to a lack of local capacity to participate in local governance activities. Given this limitation, decentralization, in whatever form, will continue to be a tool to consolidate the State and elite powers.
Local Government Autonomy, Local Capacity, Participation, Decentralization, Nigeria, Rural Development
To cite this article
Nseabasi S. Akpan, Decentralizing Rural Development Practice in Nigeria: The Challenges and Opportunities, Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 185-192. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20150305.14
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