This research work attempts to assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government areas, Kaduna State. Local Governments were primarily designed to meet the basic needs and aspirations of the rural communities. Fundamentally, government needs to place rural development at the top of the agenda of National Development in realization of the fact that enhanced rural development is a prerequisite for meaningful and sustainable overall national development policies and programmes through the local government. However, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government are still facing numerous difficulties in terms of infrastructural deficiency, poor human development, which has made rural development imperative. This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. With this, the study tries to examine the level of capital funding and community mobilization and participation in effort of rural development. The research work covered the period of 2006 and 2011. Data for the study were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary source comprises the used of questionnaire, interview and observation, while the secondary source consists of text books, journals, thesis, manuals and other unpublished papers. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used for data presentation and analysis. The Spear man rank coefficient correlation of non parametric tool was used for the analysis of data that leads to the testing of the two hypotheses. It was discovered that inadequate funding has been the bane of rural development in study areas. This is attributable to a lot of draw – backs arising from untold interruptions and control by the higher tiers of governments. It was recommended that, to bring about a more realistic rural development in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local governments, the local government should minimize their total dependence on the federal allocation, and increase their effort towards generating more revenue through the diversification of their internal revenue sources.
1.1 Background to the Study
The desire for creating local government anywhere in the world stems from the need to facilitate development at the grassroots level. The issue of rural development has been creating a lot of concern in most third world countries. There has been growing recognition of the importance of rural development as an instrument in the overall development of the contemporary developing world. This is because of the glaring gap between the rural and urban areas in terms of infrastructural, resources distribution, human resources development and employment, which has made rural development imperative (Ogbazi, 1982:2). This imbalance has subjected the rural areas to more disadvantaged economic position. It has induced rural – urban migration, thereby, increasing unemployment situation in the urban areas, while, simultaneously depriving the rural areas of their agricultural workforce.
In Nigeria for instance, the recognition of the above problems, instigated the Federal Military Government in 1976, to take a bold initiative to reform the local government system in Nigeria. The essence of the reform was to bring about stable increase in rural productivity and income, diversification of rural economy and general enhancement of the quality of life in the areas (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1980:12). In the same vein, the Nigerian Constitution (1999:6) provides that every local government in the country shall participate in the economic planning and development of its own area of jurisdiction. To strengthen this great task bestowed on the local governments, General Ibrahim Babangida, reminded Nigeria‟s that local government were not created to pay salaries only, but to ensure collective participation in governance, motivate physical and economic development, creat the condition for development opportunities and provide social services which can improve the well-being of the rural people (Oyorbaire and Olagunju, 1998:49).
It is pertinent to believe that, the ability of any local government to accomplish such expected tasks will depend on the availability of funds. That is to say that the survival and effectives of this grassroot tier, depend on its financial viability. Hence, Adedeji (1969:96) assertion that the success or failure of any local government will depend on the financial resources available to it. Furthermore, Adedeji (1972:110), opined that local governments in Nigeria are enmeshed in a vicious circle of poverty. The elements of that viciousness include inadequate functions and power, inadequate finance, low caliber and poorly paid staff, poor performance, and transfer of functions to state and federal governments and cumbersome structure. Adedeji stated that finance represents the points at which the vicious cycle may be broken or possibly reversed. In other words Soba and Zaria local governments should not retain in their pursuit for financial buoyancy so as to break the vicious cycle of poverty of the rural populace.
However, it is believe also in some local governments, that inadequate funding of local governments has been the bane of rural development in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government areas. For instance, Rowland (1979:138) believed that complete absence of funds for capital development is the major problem of financing local government in Nigeria today, and has been so for some years past.
1.2 Statement to the Problem
Local government in modern day life is responsible for delivering basic goods and services to its local communities in faster, easier and more efficient manner. Local government is the level of government in Nigeria at which the momentum to sustain national development is created. The rural development initiated by local government is expected in terms of specific projects such as kilometers of rural roads constructed and
maintained; borehole and deep wells sink or rehabilitated and maintained by the local government; rural electrification; and rural people empowerment programmes. This could be expressed in terms of the improved quality of life the citizenry enjoy as optimized in the primary health care programme provided, procurement and distribution of fertilizer to farmers at subsidized rate; effective and efficient management of primary education as well as the regularity and quality of public enlightment programmes provided and enjoyed by the rural populace. The effectiveness and efficient provision of these services qualifies local government as viable, instrument of rural development. These problem need to be addressed in order to redress the severity of the problem on the Nigerian rural people (Fourth National Development plan 1980 – 85).
The merit in involving the local communities inhabitants as a focal point of good governance in the local government administration is that they serve as a point of contact between the local government and the grassroots (Okafor, 1982). Community in Nigeria in the past has maintained a strong tradition in the area of self-help projects (Okafor 1984). Basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, bridges, markets, health institutions, primary and post-primary institutions have been provided in different parts of the country through self-help development programmes. According to Okafor, community have the capacity to respond to specific local development plans, mobilize their resources in a collective way, adjust their organizations to the required needs and devise their own appropriate management rules to cope with the situation (Okafor 1984).
Unfortunately, rural communities in Nigeria, specifically Soba and Zaria local government areas are still facing numerous difficulties regarding availability and accessibility to basic necessities of life, such as inadequate programme design, poor management implementation, corruption, lack of commitment by government, and
inadequate development support institutions for this segment of the society, specifically Soba and Zaria Local Government.
However, beyond these reasons, the dismal failure of past regimes in Nigeria to tackle the problem of poverty and living conditions of the rural populace is traceable to the inability of the government to explore the democratic approach to governance in local government. Much attention and thought served not have been given to the fact that beyond government‟s efforts, the rural populace themselves can meaningfully contribute to the development of their welfare (Alila, 1998). Also, most rural projects are financed from external source (i.e. statutory allocation) and with emphasis on items of capital expenditures that are not masses oriented.
Therefore, the following research questions are pertinent to be answered; thus:
(a) To what extent have the Soba and Zaria local governments ensured rural development?
(b) To what extent does poor capital funding affect Soba and Zaria local government in effort for rural development?
(c) Do the Soba and Zaria local government have the capacity for community mobilization and participation for rural development?
(d) What are the programmes and project put in place by Soba and Zaria local government for rural development?
(e) What are the factors hindering soba and Zaria local government towards rural development?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Generally, the study seeks to examine the extent to which local governments have impacted on rural development in Soba and Zaria local government areas Kaduna State. The studies also attempt to achieve the following specific objectives:
i. To assess the impact of Local Government on rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government areas.
ii. To determine the extent to which poor capital funding affect Soba and Zaria Local Governments.
iii. To find out the extent to which community mobilization and participation affect rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government.
iv. To find out the number of programmes and project implemented towards rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government.
v. To recommend solutions to the problems facing Soba and Zaria local governments towards rural development.
1.4 Hypotheses of the Study
Ho There is no significant relationship between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
H1: There is significant relation between the level of capital funding and the rate of rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
Ho; There is no significant relation between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
H1: There is significant relationship between the level of community mobilization and participation and rural development in Soba and Zaria Local Government Areas.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Existing literature in this field of research such as Idode (1989) and Olatunbosun (1975) only restricted themselves to the study of bureaucracy in rural development, rural neglect. This study provides a link between the local governments and their impact on rural development. The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, because it is also unique and distinct from other studies on the ground that it assess and evaluate the impact of the programmes and projects on rural communities, it also get the views of rural dwellers and assess their level of participation and the constraining factors impeding proper policy implementation of the programmes and projects in Soba and Zaria local government areas of Kaduna State.
This study was embarked upon with the hope that, it will contribute to the body of knowledge on rural development and to help to proffer ways through which rural development can be enhanced in the local governments.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
It is difficult to study what challenges are faced by all the local governments in terms of rural development because of different resources constraints. Hence to make the research easy, the study focused on the Zaria being the urban local government and Soba being the developing rural local government areas of Kaduna state between the period of 2006 – 2011. This is done with the emphasis on the social, economic and infrastructural facilities.
Another reason for selection is that no study has been conducted on Soba and Zaria local governments for assessment of their impact within this period. In addition to that, though local governments have number of functions and responsibilities under its ordinance, the study focuses only rural development in terms of social, economic and infrastructural facilities. Rationales of selecting these services are because local government areas are rapidly moving towards urbanization and, the main challenge faced by the urbanized society is providing these services to their populace. For that reason, these services are more appropriate to get a clear picture of what challenges faced in the local government in terms of accelerated rural growth and development and how local governments would overcome their challenges and what innovations and strategies would work to deliver the better service to the rural populace. In views of these facts, Soba and Zaria local governments have been selected as the case study in order to get a clear picture of what challenges faced by the local governments in terms of better service delivery towards rural developments. Local government as the third tier of government is expected to be the grassroots developers and mobilizes of the local communities, but unfortunately, over the years, local government in Nigeria have not lived up to their expectations, as they have become conduit pipes for the wastage of public funds. Local communities‟ probably possess the strongest capabilities and promises for mobilizing and managing local resources. This is because they are organic units for the formation of self-managing organization which ensure collective and co-operative action in the execution of rural development projects.
The inability of the researchers to access adequate funds to undertake the study. Inadequate record keeping by local governments councils limited the amount of information that would have been of immense help to the research. The confidentiality of some information at the Kaduna State Ministry for Local Government also limited access to information.
1.7 Methodology of the Study
The research design for this study is survey research. The purpose is to enable the researcher generalize from a sample population so that inferences can be made. The use of survey design can be justified on the basis of level of capital funding and community mobilization, participation. The data collected centers on the assessment of the impact of local government on rural development of Soba and Zaria local government. The responses of the respondents are measured on the five-point Likert scale.
The survey also adopted the combination of the survey design of the descriptive and inferential statistical tools. In this vein, the research will observe what is happening to the sample subjects or variables without attempt to manipulate them as well as ensure that such observation is done one time. However, a selective description of the aspects of the case study areas is considered to be critical to this research due to its exceptional influence on the output of the local governments.
1.7.1 Method of Data Collection
The instruments of primary data used were the questionnaire administered to the people of the local governments: rural populace, community development associations, traditional rulers; local governments‟ staff and top management. The questionnaires were designed in simple language using close-ended and open-ended patterns and in the responses of the respondents are measured on the five (5) points Lickert Scale. Similarly, an unstructured interview and observation schedule was designed and contributed to the selected local government staff, management, traditional leaders and community development associations Executive. On the other hand, the secondary source of data was generated from the stock or available relevant materials on the topic under study. Published and unpublished materials have been consulted and were duly acknowledged in like manners.
1.7.2 Sources of Data
Data for this research was generated from two main sources; the primary and the secondary sources. Several primary and secondary of the data are generated in this research from divergent sources directly or indirectly and within the sources provided the framework of the presentations in this research work.
126.96.36.199 Primary Sources of Data
The primary data is that which is collected from the field. Primary sources can facilitate the ability of the researcher to generate first hand information like the use of questionnaire, interview and observation criteria.
Primary information related to this study will be also generated from the important sources i.e. the sample population, and the researcher. The sample population will be responsible for a huge chunk of the primary information through their responses to the administered close-end questions. Also a fragment of the sampled population has engaged in an unstructured discussion to generate or confirm vital primary data.
Secondly, sources has to do with the direct interaction of the researcher with the people of the local governments (i.e. Soba and Zaria) thus soliciting a part of the primary data through observation. Interaction with the Community Development associations, District heads, Village heads, wards heads, Local Government‟s staff and General top management of these local governments respectively becomes a major source of data in this research.
188.8.131.52 Secondary Source of Data
The secondary data, is that which has been generated and stored in texts, files, government publications, journals, thesis, project etc. and already exist (Refined) in published and unpublished forms. Secondary sources are useful in appreciating the previous studies for empirical studies and can also be used to broaden the base from which generalizations can be made among other usage.
The source of data conveys related views of scholars and researcher, which were consulted for a variety of secondary data in this study. However, all authors consulted are duly acknowledged and cited adequately in the references/bibliography of this research work.
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