Rural Development in Nigeria: A Review of Pre- and Post-independence Practice

Nseabasi S. Akpan


Rural development practice in Nigeria has spanned over 10 decades from pre-independence to the current decade. This paper attempts a time-series review on rural development practice in Nigeria to see what has changed over a fairly long period of time. Various development plan periods have been examined in relation to rural development practice. The review shows that the greater part of public efforts on rural development was subsumed under agricultural development which was more exploitative to the rural resources and residents than improve their quality of life. Although relatively improved understanding of rural development manifested among policy makers beginning in the late 1980s, the paper argues that such understanding surprisingly did not translate into corresponding improvement in rural development practice because of several factors including weak institutional arrangements, corruption and absence of coordinated practice among competing agencies. A number of recommendations have been highlighted.

Keywords: Rural Development practice, pre- and post-independence, Nigeria

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