Infrastructure and Rural – Urban Development.
Introduction Infrastructures are basic essential services that should be put in place to enable development to occur. Socio-economic development can be facilitated and accelerated by the presence of social and economic infrastructures. If these facilities and services are not in place, development will be very difficult and in fact can be likened to a very scarce commodity that can only be secured at a very high price and cost.
Nigeria Public spending have been geared towards the provision of infrastructures and social services such as schools, hospitals, electricity, water supply etc, while economic activities such as deliberately establishing manufacturing and processing industries and introducing or expanding rural industries have either been neglected or de-emphasized. Generally, while governments have tried to provide some social services they have left the provision of economic activities almost entirely to the private sector.
Furthermore, the pattern of distribution of socio-economic infrastructure exhibits an urban rather than a rural location bias which further helps to increase rural poverty. The absence of these amenities constitute push factors facilitating the migration of rural dwellers into urban centers, resulting to population explosion in most urban cities in Nigeria. Consequently the existing urban services are overstrained which often times lead to total collapse. A large proportion of the population does not have reasonable access to safe and ample water supply, and neither do they have the means for hygienic waste disposal, etc.
Kalbermatten (1982) has shown that these two services are essential for a healthy and productive life. According to Olotuah (2002), The demand for Urban services in Nigeria has grown over the years but the overall quality and coverage of public services have deteriorated. It is now widely recognized that there exists an economic, social and environmental Inter-dependence between urban and rural areas and a need for balanced and mutually supportive approach to development of the two areas. The discrete consideration of rural development as completely distinct from urban development is no longer valid. In recognition of the mportant roles socio-economic infrastructures play in the overall development of any society, this paper shall evaluate the effects of social and economic infrastructure on urban-rural development in Nigeria. Explanation of key words: Development The concept of development is a multifaceted phenomenon which compasses a number of spheres within its fold, this is why we have things like economic development, political development, and social dimensions of development. Development is concerned with change, transformation, forward movement, and whatever that has to do with general betterment of the populace.
Development as a concept has been subjected to various theoretical interpretations and empirical operationalization. Consequently, it eludes any precise definition. Nonetheless, most students of change would agree with the notion that development is a process by which a continuous increase in a system’s efficiency produces the conditions which result in general up-liftment. Up-liftment in this context could be material and quantitative while it could also be psychological and qualitative in which case it is hardly quantifiable. In essence, development is that process, which is concerned with the general improvement of man’s living condition.
Rural Development is a determined and conscious attempt to focus on the general upliftment of man’s living condition in the rural areas. Rural Areas This refers to a backward and sometimes stagnated settlements that do not respond to natural and social advancement achieved by other area simply due to a number of factors such as negligence by authorities and local inhabitants, which brings about miserable life situation aggressive to political, socio-economic and cultural transformation. Rural areas are also characterized by remoteness from the centres, lack of newer things and absence of basic and social amenities.
The majority of Nigerians still live in rural areas. Farming is the major activity of rural Nigerians with arable and perennial crops being the main farm produce. Livestock and fishery production is also significant. Secondary rural activities are trading, food processing, weaving (basket and cloth), tool fabrication, carving, carpentry and poultry. These secondary activities provide supplementary incomes and could constitute a major source of diversification of the rural economy in terms of small scale industries. The rural areas lack basic amenities as potable drinking water, access roads, electricity supply, and good housing.
Infrastructures for economic development are in most cases inadequate or completely nonexistent. Urban centre Just as the name imply refers to human settlement where economic, political and social activities occur. In this centre the inhabitants are drawn from various occupational, cultural, and ethnic groups. There for urban centres are heterogeneous and complex in nature. It has basic and social amenities that are not available in rural areas. Evaluating of the effects of social and economic infrastructure on Urban and rural development in Nigeria
In management science, we can hardly discuss and analyze any concept meaningfully without linking them to theoretical point or orientation. Justifying the functional superiority of theories as guide post in all field of human endeavour, Onah(2003) argued that rather than base actions on judgment derived from guesswork or speculations, theories enables a chosen line of action to be anchored in and guided by evidence derived from specific scientific research which makes the consequences of such action fall in line with the intended direction as possible.
In this paper, we anchor the effects of infrastructure on urban/rural development in the work of John Maynard Keynes, etc, before taking a look on selected sectors. One of the first systematic attempts to link infrastructure indirectly to poverty reduction was made by John Maynard Keynes in 1936. In The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, Keynes argues that in an economy characterized by depression and market failure, high public expenditure is necessary to adjust the economy back to high levels of employment.
This implies that high public investment in social and economic infrastructure would increase national income, employment and the welfare of people. This theory could be of practical importance in developing countries where the bulk of investment in infrastructure is owned and financed by government, and market mechanisms do not function properly. In these countries almost 70 per cent of infrastructure investments are financed by governments or public utilities from their own resources or from non-concessional borrowing, 3 per cent from aid, and the balance from the private sector (DFID 2002).
Microeconomic and Macroeconomic effect Anderson, Renzio and Levy (2006) maintain that public infrastructure produces two main effects which are microeconomic and macroeconomic in nature. According to these authors, the microeconomic effects of public investment produce two main impacts, quantity effect and price effect. A public infrastructure investment increases the quantity and/or quality of public goods and services. Since public goods are exclusively produced by the government, the quantity of these goods is initially rationed by firms and households.
However, with additional public infrastructure investment, there is an increase in the quantity and/or quality of this rationed good, therefore benefiting both firms and households in the process. In this case, much public infrastructure provides direct welfare benefits in the form of increased quantity and/or quality of final goods and services. The price effect, being a crucial component of the microeconomic impacts of infrastructural investment, changes the prices of various market goods and services produced or used by firms and households.
This situation occurs when the public good produced is either a substitute for or complement to other market goods and services used by households or by firms. Price change can also occur when the good or service produced by the government is not a pure public good but merely contributes to existing private sector production. The macroeconomic effects of public investment focus on the impact of public infrastructure on macroeconomic aggregates and its ultimate effect on economic growth. Anderson, Renzio and Levy (2006) argue that the acroeconomic effects of public infrastructure investment transmit through five basic channels to affect economic growth. These authors maintain that public investment complements private capital, crowds-in private investment, increases market integration, and raises aggregate demand and national savings. Given the increase in aggregate demand, and assuming that national savings translate into investment, economic growth occurs. Jahan and Mcleery (2005) emphasize that infrastructure development can lead to poverty reduction through direct or indirect channel.
Through the direct channel it reduces poverty as people’s access to health and educational services improves, and the government provides for protection against national disasters. The indirect effect of infrastructure provision on poverty occurs when the productivity of workers increase, transport costs are reduced and more employment is generated, thereby leading to economic growth. This implies that infrastructure provision can have economic and social impacts on the lives of people.
Jahan and Mcleery (2005) also argue that the impact of infrastructure on economic growth and poverty reduction takes the form of first-round effects, followed by subsequent impacts. In the first round, infrastructure development produces two initial effects that could lead to poverty reduction through economic growth. These two initial impacts are the supply side and demand side impacts. The development of infrastructure improves the supply side of the economy by reducing cost, enhances the business climate, makes room for better access to market opportunities and opens up new opportunities.
These supply side effects attract domestic and foreign investment, Increase employment and national output. The demand side effect of infrastructural development occurs when projects are implemented. In this case, the new project, say road construction, creates new jobs through which incomes are generated The social dimension of better infrastructure is that it increases access to basic social services, thus improving the living conditions of the poor.
The subsequent effect of infrastructure development arises from fiscal revenue generated from it. As fiscal revenue increases through growth, additional budget can be generated for programmes that improve the living conditions of the poor Economic infrastructure has played a very significantly positive role in the growth performance of countries in recent times. Where development of economic infrastructure has followed a rational, well-coordinated and harmonised path, growth and development has received a big boost.
In a paper on ‘Evaluating Investment on Basic Infrastructure in Nigeria’, B. E. Aigbokhan gives examples of economic infrastructure as public utilities such as power, telecommunications, piped water supply, sanitation and sewage, solid waste collection and disposal and piped gas as well as public works which include roads, major dam and canal works for irrigation and drainage, and other transport projects like urban and interurban railways, urban transport, seaports and waterways and airports.
Aigbokan further writes that “public infrastructure does three things: (1) it provides services that are part of the consumption bundle of residents; (2) large-scale expenditures for public works increase aggregate demand and provide short-run stimulus to the economy; and (3) it serves as an input into private sector production, thus augmenting output and productivity. The provision of economic infrastructure can expand the productive capacity of the economy by increasing the quantity and quality of such infrastructure.
The transformation curve or the production possibility frontier or curve would shift with the expansion of the economic infrastructural base, thereby accelerating the rate of economic growth and enhancing the pace of socio-economic development Social Infrastructure Social infrastructures support sustained economic growth and improved Quality of health and living conditions. It is the core element of urban and rural welfare. Thus efforts to raise rural welfare must necessarily go beyond the raditional and limited approved of raising per capita income through agricultural development projects to the provision of rural basic needs in term of health and medical facilities, electricity, potable water and schools. Rural Nigerians must be appreciated beyond their roles as mere producers of food and fibre for the needs of the urban economy, to their roles as consumers and citizens equally entitled like their urban counter parts to the good things of life.
For the rural economy, infrastructural facilities are essential for providing the nation’s marketed surpluses of food and fibre, to earnings as well as diversifying income generating capacities and gainful employment opportunity in the rural sector. The main components of rural physical infrastructures are transportation facilities (such as roads, rail roads, bridges, ports and footpaths). Others are storage warehouses, cribs, open air facilities) (machinery, equipment, building, etc).
We shall focus Specifically on the provision of road infrastructure, medical and health facilities, education, and power (electricity) to show the tremendous effects of social and economic infrastructure on urban rural development in Nigeria. Effects of road infrastructure on urban/ rural development Transportation plays an important role in the political, economic and social development of any society and whether in rural or urban societies, transportation constitutes the main avenue through which different parts of the society are linked together.
As a society grows in terms of population and function, the need for interaction among its different components also grows thereby requiring quality and effective transport systems. However, one readily noticeable shortcoming of rural communities in Nigeria is either the inadequate provision of physical infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, marketing facilities and so on, or their outright neglect. Over the years, government has placed emphasis on the construction and reconstruction and rehabilitation of Federal and State roads and some intra-urban and inter-urban roads to utter neglect of the rural roads.
Hence during wet season the roads become almost impassable. The poor state of the roads, apart from having undesirable effects on passengers, goods and traffic flow, also results in substantial lost of perishable agricultural produce, and high cost of moving agricultural products etc. All these culminate in high cost of transport, marketing inefficiency and high cost of food stuffs and other products derived from rural areas. This unpleasant situation, no doubt adversely affects rural economy and productivity because it can slow down or stall rural development and transformation.
Rural road network must be seen as an integral part the entire road transport framework since they constitute a major factor in rural growth and development. Rural Roads constitute perhaps the most important infrastructure in the structural transformation of the rural areas. Contribution of rural roads to agriculture and rural transformation include: (a) Accelerated delivery of Farm inputs (b) Reduction in transportation costs especially with regard to human energy costs of head porter age and the opportunity cost of farmers on time spent trekking long distances.
Rural roads also remain the most important single element in the development of an integrated food production system in which farm produce within different Agro-climatologically zones are co-ordinate, where there are no accessible rural roads. However, poor transportation in the rural areas poses a great challenge to rural development efforts in Nigeria as it has continued to make most of the rural areas isolated from the main stream of the modern societies. Adesanya et al. 2000) had observed that , rural travel and transport in most rural areas in Nigeria still take place with great difficulties thereby compounding and worsening the problem of rural productivity and rural poverty. The need for road infrastructure and its resultant effects on the rural communities’ economy cannot be overstressed. This is because an extensive, adequate and efficient feeder road network serves as one of the channels for the collection and movement of goods and services, movement of people and dissemination of information. It also helps in the exchange of rural roductivity as well as strengthening the socio- economic, cultural and political fabrics and processes of the rural communities. There are also negative consequences of rural roads provision which may, among others, manifest inform of out migration of able bodied people to more economically buoyant areas, disruption of ecological balance of some ecosystems through road construction and over exploitation of some primary resources such as forest products and mineral resource. However, the advantages of road provision more often than not outweigh its non-provision.
In other words, rural roads provision forms an intrinsic part of rural development strategies, serving as a mechanism and catalyst for rural transformation through the reinforcement of rural development efforts (UNCHS 1985, UNEP, 1986). Education and Health facilities Education and health are social goods in which social marginal productivity (SMP) exceeds private marginal productivity (PMP). Therefore, private investment capital in such social infrastructure is likely to fall far short of what is needed.
In that case, it is imperative for the state to provide the finance and other complementary resources for the take-off of such social infrastructural projects. The state does not necessarily have to operate or manage a social infrastructure, but it is necessary for the state to provide guidelines for and monitor its operation. Education: Education is a very important source of economic growth. Even though education may be a social investment, it is also an economic investment since it enhances the stock of human capital.
Despite the controversies surrounding the contribution of human resource development to economic growth, it is clear that “programs of human resource development must be designed to provide the knowledge, the skills, and the incentives required by a productive economy”…… Human resource development may be a more realistic and reliable indicator of modernization or development than any other single measure. It is one of the necessary conditions for all kinds of growth- social, political, cultural or economic”. Thus, economic development s not possible without education and investment in human capital which is highly productive. Jhinghan quotes Galbraith as concluding that “that something is both a consumer service and a source of productive capital for the society does not detract at all from its importance as an investment. Rather it enhances that importance” Therefore says Jhinghan, “it devolves on the state to initiate a long-term programme of educational expansion and reform on a broad front stretching from a literacy drive to the university level, so that in all branches of national life education becomes the focal point of a country’s development”.
The deregulation of the educational sector to allow for private sector participation is the trend in Nigeria. It has long been so in the developed economies of Europe and North America. It has the potential of augmenting the number of educational institutions thus enhancing the capacity of the system to meet the adequacy and accessibility requirements of the society. However, affordability of privately – provided education is elusive to the vast majority of citizens and, as such, public education at all levels is an imperative need.
While public education cannot be free if it is to be qualitative, reasonable user-charges can be imposed in public educational institutions with governments at all levels, local, state and federal standing ready to award full or partial scholarships to the needy. The role of education as a social infrastructure and as a stimulant of growth and development can be enhanced only if it is qualitatively provided. Qualitative education is a major determinant of the stock of human capital. A less developing economy needs professionals in all sectors to accelerate the growth and development of such sectors.
In fact, UNESCO recommends a minimum of fifteen percent of national expenditures on education. Some advanced countries spend more than 5% of their GDP on education and yet, education still remains in the front burner of national debate on their development priorities. Formal and informal education imparts the ability to read and write and thereby enhances productivity in two ways. First, farmers are better able to understand and apply new economic information such as fertilizer, plant diseases and seed quality. Others are pest control instructions, machinery peration and maintenance. Secondly education enhances farmer lucrative ability in the use of resources in different enterprises to maximize profits. Education also enhances the knowledge that the rural dwellers have of the nutrient values of good thereby maximizing their nutritional and social welfare. Finally, education gives rural people dignity, self- respect and sense of belonging. Medical and health Facilities Health, like education, is a very important argument in the socio-economic production function. A popular adage says that a sound mind usually resides in a healthy body.
Health is one of the major determinants of labour productivity and efficiency. Again, since health as a social good provides externalities, large-scale health facilities can only be provided with public resources. Urban and rural dwellers want to be rescued from the savages of disease malnutrition and ignorance. The health status of the rural dwellers is seriously impaired by such factors as their source of drinking water, house types, environmental sanitation, personal, hygiene, nutritional status and literacy level. Public health deals with the environment in which economic activities take place.
If that environment were conducive, it would be permissive of accelerated growth and development. “Public health measures include the improvement of environmental Sanitation both in rural and urban areas, removal of stagnant and polluted water, slum Clearance, better housing, clean water supply, better sewage facilities, control of Communicable diseases, provision of medical and health services especially in maternal and child welfare, health education, family planning and above all, for the training of health and medical personnel. The Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was devised in the early 1990s to measure the level of human deprivation and development. The HDI ranges between 0 and 1. An HDI of less than 0. 5 implies a low level of human development while 0. 5 < HDI < 0. 8 implies medium level of development. An HDI >0. 8 implies a high level of development. According to the 1996 World Development Report, Nigeria’s HDI was 0. 4, for example. Out of the 174 member countries, Nigeria ranked 137 on the HDI scale.
This implies that life expectancy was low, with about a third of the population not enjoying health services, two-thirds of the population not having access to safe water and sanitation and 47. 5% of the population being educational illiterates. Power (Electricity) in Urban/Rural Development Adequate power supply is a prerequisite to both economic and socio-political development of any country. Electric power energy plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the rural sector as all the activities are linked in one way or the other with the supply of power.
Electric power assumes great importance in that its availability or otherwise is a positive demonstration of whether the community has evolved from the traditional way of living to the so-called modern living or not. The magnetic effect of electricity on the rural population particularly the younger generation is tremendous and is one of the inevitable causes of the perennial rural-urban drift of the productive sector of the population with the attendant undesirable social consequences.
No country can in fact be regarded as developed or prosperous until the power needs of both its rural and urban areas have been met. The overall effect of the rural electrification scheme which include increased agricultural productivity, promotion of cottage and agro-based industries, and stemming the perennial rural-urban drift particularly by the rural youths have the goal of enhancing structural change in the rural sector where not less than 70% of Nigerians live. Other effects of adequate supply of electricity shall among other things include: 1.
It promotes the establishment of small businesses like barbing and hair dressing saloons, etc in both urban and rural communities, and 2. It promotes rapid industrialization because it has the potential of attracting foreign investments. It is used in factories and industries to power heavy machineries and equipments. Thus its availability will invariably help in price reduction of finished goods and services. On the other hand, the concomitant effect of non availability or epileptic upply of electricity in urban and rural areas in Nigeria is the aggravation of poverty situation of the citizenry at various levels of economic activities; from the petty craftsman and artisans who engage in power dependant activities such as wielding, repairs of electronic/electrical appliances, battery charging to barbing and beauty saloon who had to procure generating sets for a lower order service like theirs thereby putting the survival of their businesses on the line and leading ultimately to inevitable liquidation and job loss, to the medium and large scale industrial enterprise whose dependence on uneconomical power generating sets forced the prices of their products out of market thus resulting in production losses, massive lay-off of workers and in most cases closure. The epileptic supply also impacted negatively on the leisure and tourism sector and had negative effect on potential foreign investors thereby contributing to the stagnation of economic activities in the country. This weighed heavily on the health and psychosocial status of the citizenry resulting in low morale and diminished productivity. Power is central in production process hence the saying that, “a nation without electricity will be perpetually under-developed; a city without electricity is like a ghost-city, while a home without electricity looks like a deserted house or grave’’. Analysis/Discussion of findings
This paper has shown that there is inadequate socio-economic infrastructure in both urban and rural localities in Nigeria which retard economic growth of these areas. Looking at the power sector which is the engine for industrial development, the supply of power or electricity is grossly inadequate or epileptic in nature. Equally, most of the Nigerian cities are generally underserved with social infrastructures like; schools, hospitals, pipe borne water, refuge management and sewage system, etc. Example, in Zaria town inadequate good township road networks has been generating heavy traffic congestion. Schools both primary and tertiary Institutions are congested due to in sufficient facilities which hamper sound educational development. Is it in the health sector, most urban health centres are congested.
Households in most urban centres depend absolutely on purchase of jerricans of water for domestic use. All these have serious implications on health. Although these problems of inadequacies can be attributed to population growth of the urban centres in some instance,government investment in social and economic infrastructure need to meet up with and cater for the population growth reference to the contribution of John Maynard Keynes postulation in his “General theory of employment, interest and money” earlier cited in this paper. The story is not different in rural communities where lack or inadequacies of socio- economic infrastructures has led to the exodus of able bodied youths into urban cities in search of greener pastures.
Lack of good transportation systems and road networks in the country has increased the cost of transporting raw materials, farm products, and finished goods and services which reflect in the prices these goods and services are being sold to the populace, which has equally affected the purchasing power of individuals and households. For example the recent astronomical increase in price of cement in the country among other things has been linked to transportation cost. However, the cheapest means of transport system” Railway system” is now a shadow of itself. Similarly, Public telecommunication company like NITEL, and Postal services etc are ineffective in their operations which has created room for exploitation of the masses by private firms like MTN, GLO, and Other telecom and courier services, etc. On the other this paper has equally shown that socio-economic infrastructure has the capacity of stimulating growth and development in rural and Urban Nigeria. Conclusion
Physical infrastructures are critical success factors in Urban/rural Development efforts. Poor rural physical support has accounted for the limited success in many rural development efforts. Thus for the attainment of the objectives of Rural Development which include increase rural productivity and income, diversification of rural economy and enhanced quality of rural life, attention must be paid to the provision of adequate rural physical infrastructures. The same goes with the urban centres, for what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. Economic and Social Infrastructure play a crucial role in the development of nations, whether developed or still developing.
They provide the basic foundation on which the superstructure of development and growth can be erected. Obviously if the foundation is weak and fragile, it is doubtful that any superstructure can be built on it. Such will be a pipe dream. However, if the foundation is very strong, any structure built on it, simple or super, is likely to provide continuous and stable services for the foreseeable future. Once the economic and social infrastructural foundation is strong, development is not only easily attainable but it is also continuous, stable, quantitative and qualitative. In Rostowian language, a take-off into self- sustaining growth is not only possible but it is also sure and cumulative. Recommendations 1.
The Nigerian government needs to devote a substantial proportion of its budgetary allocations and spending to the development of social infrastructure, which comprises investment in education and health. Since investment in education and health contributes greatly to the development of human capital, increasing social infrastructure improves welfare of the people. 2. Fiscal policy aimed at massive investment in infrastructure in urban/rural areas is crucial to poverty reduction. Attention has to be focused on the quantity of infrastructure in urban and rural areas (that is, how many kilometres of roads are built, and how many megawatts of electricity are generated per hour) rather than on nominal expenditure on infrastructure. 3.
Government should undertake a comprehensive study of the causes of poor implementation of developmental policies and strategies, and develop a plan of action to address poor resources management caused by endemic corruption, weak administrative and political system through instituting effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in meeting developmental challenges like the provision of public infrastructures. 4. Government should ensure consultation on such development planning include stakeholders and beneficiaries to enhance bottom-up-approach to ensure ownership by Nigerians. 5. To reduce rural-urban drift, government should ensure even and balanced approach in the provision of socio- economic infrastructure to urban and rural localities in Nigeria References Bola O. (1989) Managing rapid growth of cities in Nigeria. Oluseyi Bolaji Company, Zaria. Bola. O (1995) Community Development: Tenth edition’ Pearson educaton limited,England.
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