Social and Community Development: Problems and Challenges

Social and Community Development: Problems and Challenges

Chapter one: Introduction

1.1     Background of Study

Community development policies in Nigeria over the years have shown that our policy makers have either not really understood the problems of community, ray. Community developments are deliberately ignoring the problems of community development in Nigeria. Even the nongovernmental organizations (Ngos) that are community focused have somehow fallen into the same trap of government act of insensitivity; misplace priority and outright ignorance about the plight of the community poor and community development. Both the government and some of these voluntary agencies often underestimate the quantum of the problems, which comfort the community people in Nigeria. They are attracted to and trapped in urban “cores” which generate and communicate their own sort of knowledge which community “peripheries” are isolated and neglected (chambers 1983). They try to visualize community development according to their own experience, which is urban-based, and therefore lacking in content and form, what constitutes the real kernel of community development.

Consequently, the apparent failure of successive community development policies in Nigeria is to be expected in the light of the foregoing analysis more worrisome, however, is that while this act of government neglect an often selfishness to tackle headline, the problem of community development poor is being multiple, with no end in sight and this is the midst of plenty makes his case miserable as succinctly put by the English proverb which says what the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve about (chamber-1983).

indeed the case of the community poor in Nigeria is the case of poverty in Nigeria is the case of poverty in the midst of plenty and that is why it is more painful and call for serious concern especially the government and the non-governmental organization involved in community development effort.

there are plethora definitions as to what constitute community development.

professor v. Diejomoh (Udo 1984) sees community development as a process of not only increasing the level of per capital income in community areas, but also the standard of living on such factors as food and nutrition, health, education, housing, recreation and security knowing this is important step towards addressing the problems of community development genuinely.

Robert n. Mcnamarah (1976) in his forward to 1978 world development report, is “trapped” in what he terms as absolute poverty, a condition of life so characterized by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surrounding, high infant mortality and low life expectancy is to be beneath any reasonable definition of human decency inspite of the remarkable changes recorded in the countries of the south in recent years.

community development policies in Nigeria over the years have not succeeded in achieving the desired goals by way of uplifting and improving the material living conditions of the community poor inspite of the resources that have been put into the sector and attempt to point the way out. This research study does focus on Nasarawa state.

1.2 statement of the problem:

the worrisome living condition which people live in communities in Nigeria have found themselves today in spite of a government they can call their own has naturally compelled the need to looking into why this is so, especially that the world, particularly in the countries of the south, in the test century has witnessed monumental progress in all spheres of life. Questions likes: is the community man actually lazy and therefore brought upon himself (human being) the present predicament or that deprivation is normal and therefore not two bad as believed by some people agitate the mind and continue to beg for answers. It is the plight of the community dwellers are not only suspect, but they constitute a smokescreen, perhaps from imperialist to confuse the people and subject them to further misery and perpetual state under-development in Nigeria. That is the question we shall attempt to answer in this work.

it is instructive to note that beginning with the colonial times many development plans have been evolved in the country. With varying interest and attention on community development yet without significant changes.

details of these shall come in the later part of this work, but suffice it to say that the excruciating community problems which an average Nigeria is going through today leading to a multicity of other problems such as available deprivation, suffering and death make this research a compelling starting point to find out why we are, were we are today and perhaps where we may go from here.

1.3 Research Questions:

The following are the research statement.

  • To what extent has government effort toward the development of the community areas in Nigeria over the years succeeded in improving the living condition of the community people?
  • What is the level of involvement of the community people in project initiation and implementation?
  • Are there any impediments on the way of government on its determined effort to develop the community areas? what are the impediments.
  • What positive roles has Nasarawa local government played as an agent of community transformation to develop its community since its creation?
  • Are there any development targets the local government? What are they and how does the local government intend to achieve them?
  • Are there problem militating against

1.4     Objectives of the Study.

The study is an attempt to identify the various impediments on the way of government to development and transform the community areas in Nigeria and to try to re-engineer the process by way of offering/ suggestion/possible solutions

The research study will focus on the development plan in the problem of community development in the country which have attempted to tackle the problem of community development in the country and to what degree of success, on the basis of which we shall point the way forward.

1.6     Significance of the Study.

The significance of the research work is on community development and administration right from the colonial time till date in their various attempted to develop community areas. Have failed to achieve the desired goals. Thus it is imperative for researchers and scholars interested in the study of Nigeria politics and administration to venture into this area to find out what has gone wrong with government effort in this direction and how to possibly correct it. The studies will after a good starting point of discussion as to why there is into liable level of community problem in Nigeria and interestingly how this co-exist with affluence. What this means is either that the government is not doing enough to improve the living condition of the community areas and render them more vulnerable to deprivation and available deaths.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study.

the research study centered on community development and the problem envisaged or encounter in the course of this research work include difficulty involved in reaching some of the sample village due to poor road, network.

consequently in a attempted to solve this problem the researcher had to make do with what was really available in travelling to such areas namely boardly of open vans knows in some places as “Akworekura” while in extreme situation motorcycles population called “Achaba, Okada or going” depending on which part of the country (Nigeria) are come from.

Similarly, due to the hypocritical attitude of government to the plight (community). It was not easy to get their attraction and the readiness to talk to the researcher.

there was the general problem of time frame or constraint faced in the cause of the research work, the lecture (whenever it become necessary) because like earlier stated the research work was carried out side by side with may class work needless to say that the approach, the problem of time was conveniently put to rest

1.8 Definition of Terms:

in order to enhance a better group of the subject issue the discourse study it is important for us to after some explanation and interpretation of some of the basis terminology used in the study.

Local Government

(United Nation in 1959). Sew local government as “a political sub-division of a nation which is constituted by law and has sub-stantial control of its local affairs, including the power to imposed tax

Orewa and Adewumi (1992) also sew “local government as a system of local communities and towns. Which are organized to maintain law and order provided some limited range of social services and co-operation of the inhabitants in joint endeavors towards the improvement of their conditions living “going further they asserted that the local government provides the community with a formal organization framework which enable them to conduct their members for the general public?


Rodney (1972:9-10) development is a process whereby the people of a society increase their capacity of satisfy their needs through the explanation of the resource within their environment by organizing the abilities and energies of the people to exploit such resources. What this means in essence is to portray development as a process dual and multifaceted phenomenon that involves changes in the material life of a people.


G.O.H. Cole (1920) community means “ a complex social life, a complex including a number of human being living together under conditions of social relationship bound together by a common, however constantly changing stock of convention, customs and tradition and conscious to some extend of common social objects and interests”.

Sutherland and Maxwell (1961:316) defined community as “a local area over people are using the same language, conforming to the same norms feeling more or less the same sentiments and acting upon the same professor. V. Diejomah (udo 1984) defined community development as the process of not only increasing the level of per capital income in community seas, but also the standard of living of the community population either the standard of living measured on such factors as food, nutrition, health, education, housing, recreation and security.

Tanzania model

(Doctor Nyeyere). Before Nyeyere become president of Tanzania he frequent Tanzanians that when independence comes they would need to exert themselves more than ever before. The common salutation was “Uhum” which means freedom and response was “ Nakazi meaning ( and work). Every person old or young embraced the idea upon independence the people responded enthusiastically (actively) to the plea of the president and urgency of community development workers, the politicians and the officials to take up self-help or nation building activities. Project sprang up so rapidly that the government could not cope to meet the effort of the people with material and technological assistance many projects of little use were completed and many useful ones were not completed. Most of the efforts do not contain the essential of self-help; the idea of project execution comes from outside promotions, they were motivated patriotism and political enthusiast.

at the outside of independence (1961) Tanzania leaders recognized the critical element that had to be considered for nation building and thus.

– Expansion of Agriculture

– Public Works (Effective Communication Network)

– Higher Education.

– Education for Self-Reliance

– Freedom and Development

The president stressed that development, means developing themselves so that there may be change in their own interest. He pointed out that if development is for greater freedom and well being of the people then it cannot result from force. He contended that decision making and willing action can take place only if people understand their needs know how to meet these needs and have the freedom to decided and act upon them.

  • A structure for local and national development approach was formed.
  • An operational and administration scheme was made for useful association and joint effort between people and government.
  • Village development committee was organized to promote local planning and action by people.
  • District rural development and planning committee were formed to amalgamate the plans of people and government into useful local action.
  • Regional development committee ware given the task of representing the interest of government at the level.
  • National committee of ministers and officials was formed to given overall credence and guidance to the entire effort.

The government officials and technical’s of each district council whose task was to prepare development plans based on the needs and desires of the people expressed through the village development committee.

The typical functions of district councils had been to collect taxes enforce law and carry out the general duties of government at local level. It was recognized that not all council or council members were well versed in development planning and implementation, but with the adviser delegated to work with them, they were expected to develop experience. The major improvement in principle was that planning was made to be the responsibility of those who had to carry it out.

The Ujaman Programme

Ujaman is a Swalili word for the political ideology development in Tanzania by dr. Nyerere. It is after translated as “togetherness” and is a kind of socialism which encourages economic productivity to benefit the whole nation.

In ujaman some farmers may work on their individual farms but plantation and small factory for processing the cotton people gave their labour free.


  1. A king defined project as an optimum set of investment oriented action by means of which a defined combination of human and material resources expected to cost a determined.

koleman defined project as a scheme or a part of a scheme for investing resource which can be reasonable analyzed and evaluated as independent in its.

The world bank- defined project as a proposal for capital investment to developed facilities to provide goods and services, which increase the aggregate consumption benefit to people plans.

Robert m. (years not stated) defined plans as “a comprehensive and general in its description of the development of a community or a given location” planning can be described as the general and comprehensive guide to policy for many year in to the future.

G.o olayonwa (2000) defined plan as a means of achieving the set objectives. Plan has time dimension depending on the level at which the plans are made. Top level plan use to be long range covering many years ranging 5-20 years, at middle level, the range may be between 2-3 years to a year, long term plans are usually called strategic plans, while medium range plans usually called tactical plans and short range plans operating plans.

Rural transformation.

Professor Michael Todaro (1991) defined rural transformation as the psychological, political, economical and cultural transformation from an archaic way of life to something modern that raise the quality of human life.

Integrated rural development (ird)

(Chaton 1981) defined integrated rural development as a multidimensional strategy for improving the quantity of life for rural people. It is based on the assumption that the socio-economic framework of the traditional rural system is absolute, so integrated rural development strategies are designed to change this framework and promote structural changes. A strategy, which is gaining ground in many countries, as the…

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