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Over the years, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo state has been experiencing a
slow rate of development in the area. Based on this therefore, this work was designed
toinvestigate the socio-economic and cultural factors militating against rural development in
Ideato North Local Government Area. Two hundred respondents were randomly selected and
used. Questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The data collected were
analysed using SPSS and chi-square, tables, charts and percentages were used to present the
results. Several findings were made as regards socio-economic and cultural factors militating
against rural development in Ideato North LGA. One major factor is that Ideato people are
facing total neglect from the government which goes a long way in affecting their
development negatively. Secondly, cultural belief system of the people also affects their
development. Thirdly, inadequate planning of developmental projects caused by lack of
collaborative efforts of the government and the youths also hinder development in Ideato
North LGA. Finally it was recommended that government should focus more attention in the
development of rural areas in order not to allow them fell neglected and rejected. Rural
people should learn to welcome and harness development despite their cultural belief system
and there should be a collaborative effort of the government and the people, more especially
the youths in planning and implementation of rural development projects.


Title page —————————————————————————————- I
Approval page ———————————————————————————– II
Dedication —————————————————————————————- III
Acknowledgement —————————————————————————— IV
Table of contents ——————————————————————————– V
List of tables ————————————————————————————- VII
List of figures ———————————————————————————— IX
Abstract ——————————————————————————————XI
1.1 Background of the study ————————————————————— 1
1.2 Statement of the problem ————————————————————– 4
1.3 Research Questions ——————————————————————— 6
1.4 Objectives of the study —————————————————————– 6
1.5 Significance of the study ————————————————————— 7
1.6 Definition of Terms ——————————————————————— 8
2.1 Conceptual Issues ——————————————————————— 10
2.2 Review of empirical literature —————————————————— 15
2.3 Review of Theories ——————————————————————– 17
2.4 Theoretical Framework —————————————————————- 19
2.5 Study Hypothesis ———————————————————————– 20
3.1 Study Design —————————————————————————- 21
3.2 Area of Study ————————————————————————— 21
3.3 Population of the Study —————————————————————– 21

3.4 Sample Size ——————————————————————————- 21
3.5 Sample Techniques ——————————————————————— 22
3.6 Instrument for Data Collection ——————————————————– 22
3.7 Administration of Instruments ——————————————————— 22
3.8 Methods of Data Analysis ————————————————————– 23
4.1 Introduction ——————————————————————————– 24
4.2 Major issues of the research ————————————————————- 36
4.3 Test of Hypotheses ———————————————————————– 55
4.4 Discussion of Findings ——————————————————————- 58
5.1 Summary of findings ———————————————————————– 62
5.2 Conclusion ———————————————————————————– 63
5.3 Recommendation —————————————————————————- 64
References ——————————————————————————————— 66
Appendix ————————————————————————————————-



1.1 Background to the Study
In Nigeria, the rural areas are not progressing in line with urban areas or metropolitan
states in term having sustainable development like good road, electricity, good
telecommunication, transportation, good water supply, standard market and health centres,
improved housing as well as improved agricultural and storage facilities that would help in
sustaining the rural masses. McKnight (1995) defined the term rural development as the
overall development of rural areas to improve the quality of life of the rural people.
According to Ihumodu (2003), rural development is the process of economic and
social progress aimed at eradicating poverty among rural populace through provision of life
and satisfying the basic needs of the people. Eradicating poverty among rural people demands
appropriate skill. Rural people are endowed with quantum of knowledge and traditional
skills, but at their primitive levels, that needs development to fit in properly with the modern
trends of thing (Stall & Stoecker, 1998). This can be achieved through capacity building
programmes. Capacity building is the process of developing skill, ability and faculties
individually and collectively, that is vital in comprehending rural development and its roles in
ameliorating rural poverty, ignorance, low human skill and literacy (Castelloe, 2002). All
these are done to sustain the development of rural setting. Sustainable development vector
(i.e. elements of desirable social objectives or attributes which societies seek to achieve
through conserving natural resources (Pearce & Barbier, 1999).
Most rural societies are not able to achieve development because they lack the basic
resources that would bring development or they are not able to harness and utilize the

existing resources that would enable them develop their society (Robinovitch, 1994). In
Nigeria, this has been serious social issue in recent time.
Socioeconomically, infrastructure and basic amenities like good road, portable water
supply, electricity, health centres, markets, transportation, telecommunication, sports centers
etc. affect development. This is true because, when all these essential things are lacking,
development can hardly come or occur. Other important factors are illiteracy, ignorance and
poverty. On the other hand, government neglect can also affect developmental process that
will take place in the rural areas.
Culturally, belief system of the rural people bridge development, for example, they
find it difficult to release a particularland for development due to the belief that it is on that
land sacrifices are being made for the gods of their land, secondly they find it difficult to
release a particular land for development to avoid the destruction of their aesthetic values like
trees and other things that bring about the beauty of their area. Another cultural factor is on
land tenure system (ownership of land). This implies that some land owners in the rural areas
do not like releasing or letting go of their land for building of factories, schools, market,
churches, health centres etc. by the government or even private individuals who are capable
of doing so. By so doing, development is swept under the carpet. Fear of terror and labelling
are another vital cultural factor which affect development, for example, an individual who is
financially capable can withdraw his intention to develop a particular rural area due to the
fear of getting him killed by armed robber and evil men or being labelled a fraudster and also
a ritualist.
Rural development is a multidimensional and comprehensive concept; it encompasses
the development of agriculture and allied activities, village and cottage industries and crafts,
socio-economic infrastructure, community services and facilities and above all, human

resources in rural areas. As a phenomenon, rural development is the end result of interactions
between various physical, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional factors
(Isife, 1998). According to Igbokwe (2000), rural development is a strategy designed to
improve the economic and social wellbeing of a specific group of people, i.e., the rural poor.
As a discipline, it is multi- disciplinary in nature, representing an intersection of
agriculture, social, behavioural, engineering and management sciences (Kata Singh, 1999).
Problems of rural areas could come as a result of the already stated factors, most importantly,
on the area of deliberate neglect of the rural areas by the government. According to
Prelleltensky (2004), rural development problems come as a result of governmental deliberate
neglect or inability of the rural community to welcome development due to their cultural
belief system etc. According to rural development strategies 2002, through rural development
strategies, efforts of the people and that of the government are brought together to improve
the economic social and cultural conditions of the rural areas, so as to integrate them into the
life of the nation and allow them to enable their people contribute more to national growth.
Falcoya, (1984) on the other hand stated that rural development strategies created an avenue
for rural people to organize themselves for aplanning actions, define their common individual
plans to meet the needs of the community and solve their problems, execute these plans with
maximum reliance upon community resources and supplement these resources when
necessary with services and materials from government and non-governmental agencies
outside their communities.
In addition, the issues concerning rural development should be government involved
as well as rural dwellers involved so as to achieve a better solution to rural problems. That is
to say that in order to achieve a better rural development in Ideato LGA, government and the
rural people should integrate their efforts together. The study therefore tries looking into the

socio-economic and cultural factors militating against development in Ideato Local
Government Area of Imo State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue of rural development is very challenging, considering that more than 70
percent of the population live in the rural areas, where they cultivate the soil to make a living.
Looking at this poverty level it thereforebecomes a social problem thatdemands urgent
solution. One major factoraffecting rural development is government neglect or government
not showing concern towards rural development. According to Nwankpa (2001), government
should play pivotal role to making sure that development occur in the rural setting. Another
important factor is on lack of basic infrastructure and basic amenities needed for development
such as transportation, good roads, electricity, good school, portable water, health centres,
markets, telecommunication, churches, recreational centres etc. When all these infrastructures
and basic amenities are not available in a particular rural area, development finds it difficult
to occur. Illiteracy, ignorance, and poverty serve as another important factor militating
against rural development in Ideato rural community, Illiteracy, poverty and ignorance make
or flop the developmental process in the rural areas, so making them to move backward
(Edeh, 2003). Rural dispute is another factor militating against rural development. This
implies that when dispute comes between two communities due to land, government who has
planned bringing development can decide to withdraw it till the dispute or conflict is settled.
Land tenure system as well as inability of the rural people to harnessing the available
resources contributes to the backwardness of the rural areas, especially rural, Ideato.
Furthermore, cultural beliefs of the people in the rural areas affect the development
that will come therein, for example some rural areas always find it difficult to give
government land for development due to the fact that the land is where sacrifices are mad for

the gods of their land. Another fear they have is the destruction of theiraesthetic values by the
government while the development projects are going on. Some individuals due to their
selfish interest, find it difficult to dispose their land to the government for them to build
structures like hospitals, schools, churches, recreational centres etc. According to Iyiogwe
(2005), in his work on economic theory says land is free gift of nature, such as land surface,
soil, rivers, mountains, forest, mineral deposits etc. Okorji (2005) restated that land is
therefore nature’s aid to production. Another cultural factor is the fear of terror and labelling.
some private individuals avoid helping people in some developmental structures in the rural
area in order not to get them killed or labelled as criminals, fraudsters or as ritualists by the
rural people.
More so, the problem of gender segregation is another crucial factor to be considered
while discussing on the cultural factor militating against rural development. The reason is that
sometimes women in the rural areas are not allowed to contribute in the issues concerning
rural or community development. By so doing, the ideas of development becomes one sided
which in turn affects the developmental processes. Women should be allowed to contribute in
the developmental issues, whether political, economic, social and cultural. (Egbule, 2006)
Based on statistics, 65 per cent of the lands in the rural areas are undeveloped due to
total dominance by the owners. According to Ikpeama (2004), land is a free gift of nature,
and development of any kind should be done on it, in as much as it will change the living
standard of the people. 85 per cent of our rural dwellers are not living in comfortable homes,
while 95 per cent of them are poor (Hossian, 2005). According to agricultural organization of
the United Nations (2005), 95 per cent of the rural farmers cannot boast of using modern
farming implements in theiragriculture. All these hindrances have continued to put the rural
communities under a shackle of underdevelopment, in spite of the abundant human talents
there in. this unavailability of basic economic infrastructure in the rural communities, hinders

their potentials, especially being unable to generate enough for themselves and contribute to
the nation’s economic growth. Rural dwellers should be encouraged in their agricultural
endeavours, which will in turn help in the nation’s economic building (Preben Kaarshelin,
1991). When all these socio-economic and cultural factors that affect rural development are
put in place, there will be a rapid rural development, especially in Ideato Local Government
Area of Imo State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide the study
1. What are the socio-economic factors that hinder rural development in Ideato
Local Government Area?
2. What are the cultural factors that hinder rural development in Ideato LGA?
3. What are the reactions of people to development in Ideato LGA?
4. To what extent have rural dwellers helped in facilitating rural development in
Ideato LGA?
5. What are the consequences of improper rural development in Ideato LGA?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate on the socio-economic and cultural factors
militating against rural development in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State. Its
specific objectives are therefore as follows:
1. To evaluate the socio-economic factors that hinder rural development in Ideato

2. To investigates the cultural factors that hinder rural development in Ideato LGA.
3. To ascertain the reactions of people to rural development in Ideato LGA.
4. To examine the extent rural dwellers have helped in facilitating rural development in
Ideato LGA.
5. To ascertain the consequences of improper rural development in Ideato LGA.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study tends to treat both the theoretical and practical
importance. Theoretically, this study will add to the already existing knowledge of the socio
economic and cultural factors militating against rural development in Ideato LGA. The study
was written in order to know the problems of the rural people and at the same time proffer
solutions to them. More so, the study will be a guide to future researchers in their research in
knowing the socio-economic factors militating against rural development, and look for means
of tackling those problems.
Practically, this research work will enable the rural dwellers to know the importance
of harnessing the available rich natural resources in their localities in order to bring about
development in their areas. This can be done by making sure that the various natural
resources in the rural areas are well managed, through their efforts and efforts of the
government. This study will also make them to put in agenda the issues concerning rural
development, more especially on the areas of infrastructures, such as good roads, electricity,
portable water, health centres, and transportation.


1.6 Definition of Terms
For more understanding of this research work, the researcher has decided to define some of
the terms which would be frequently used for easy understanding.
Community : Okoh (1989), defined community in line with this study as group of people
living in one geographical area and sharing the basic condition of common life. Example,
family, a village, town or city, a tribe, among others.
Community development: Thus simply means all the strategies aimed at promoting the
socio-economic status of the rural communities. It aimed at motivating the rural dwellers to
utilize their full potentials in attempt to embark on the project that will help better their lots.
United Nations in line with this study defined community development as including the effort
of the government united with that of the people themselves. Thus, the efforts of the people
themselves are united with that of the governmental authorities to improve the economic and
social well being of people to enable them to contribute fully in national progress.
Development: The definition of development by Walter Rodney (1972) was used in order to
explain this term. Development according to him implies increased skill and capacity, greater
freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and increase in material wellbeing.
Rural: Rural areas are characterized by their depleted workforce, their rudimentary and
inefficient mode of production, their general lack of basic infrastructure and social amenities,
such as portable water, all season access road, electricity, schools, medical facilities, market,
low level of health care delivery, nutrition, hygiene, education and social awareness.
Rural development: According to Ihumodu (2003), rural development is the process of
economic and social progress aimed at eradicating poverty through the provision of
employment, improvement in the quality of life and satisfying the basic needs of the people.

Rural dwellers: These are group of individual or persons living in the rural communities.
These group of persons are not urbanized and typically, much of their land is devoted to
Rural Geographical Area: This is a mapped out area of the earth’s physical surface, in
which rural people live.


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