Migration & Physical Development

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physical developEuropean Scientific Journal

February edition vol. 8, No.3

ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print)

e - ISSN 1857- 7431

TRENDS OF RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION IN NIGERIA

Isah Mohammed Abbass, PhD
Department of Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Abstract

Given the tremendous explosions of urban settlements and the decadence of rural areas during the past two or three decades, the myth, reality and hope of a sustainable human settlement pattern seem to have been unraveled by the two UN Habitat Conferences of 1976 and 1996. Even though the wide range, tempting and unresolved human settlement issues have for long been grappled with by the public policies, solutions to the problems have continued to remain a mystery in Nigeria.Migration is not a recent human phenomenon. Over time however, human beings have moved and established settlements in dual albeit with stratified socio-economic and geo-political compositions called either ‘rural’ or ‘urban’. This paper attempts to examine and analyze the general problems of development of urban and rural settlements in Nigeria as well as various shifts in policies and strategies contained therein. However, it shows how and why efforts are concentrated more explicitly on urban settlements. These top-down manifestations of the growth centre strategies with a ‘trickle-down’ pattern, either in a spontaneous or induced manner, have evoked a reminiscence of other development paradigms and the futility of the approaches adopted, which are urban and industrial in nature, externally oriented and characterized by a highly advanced and capital intensive technology. Thus, artificially created Nigerian urbanized settlements are therefore not free from the intricacies of international dependency position, masterminded by MNCs, sanctioned by the Nigerian State and collaborated by the political and economic elites.

Keywords: Rural-urban migration, Nigeria Introduction The trends, challenge and impacts of rural-urban migration have continued to generate great debates since the last three decades or so. Those moving from rural to urban areas constitute certain classes, categories and strata of the society that are basically plagued with certain social and economic problems in which poverty ranks highest and most fundamental. Debates on rural-urban gap have, since the 1960s, been one of the major focus areas that continued to produce insights on the precarious condition of people in both the rural and urban settlements with attendant consequences in many forms and dimensions.

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European Scientific Journal

February edition vol. 8, No.3

ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print)

e - ISSN 1857- 7431

Thus, rural-urban inequality, resulting in the phenomenal rural-urban migration, has become the prevailing orthodoxy in the conceptualizing the problems and trends of development policy and strategy in Nigeria. However, with the eclipse of the postindependence euphoria in Nigeria whereby the laid down expectations, hopes and visions were eluded and clouded with cynicism, apathy and despair whereas much have been officially expected but with little achievements. With the evaporation of hope and enthusiasm within the socio-economic and political environment, the unfavorable economic conditions facing both the rural and urban habitats have, no doubt, completely degenerated and dilapidated to the extent of weakening the basic foundations of the economy. Even on the political angle alone, the situation is simultaneously affected by the complete breakdown of the political capacity to apply the expedient public policy measures to avert the impending political turmoil within an essentially hostile even though economic resource milieu. Given the significant disparities that have emerged and developed between and within rural and urban settlements, migration phenomenon should be strategically used for the redistributional development dynamics; designed to solve problems usually...
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