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 This study is designed to investigate the impact of local government in rural development. The primary and secondary sources of data collection were used in the research and the researcher found out during the research that local government was established to provide the services which the federal and state governments cannot easily undertake due to their remoteness from the rural areas and in providing these services, the local governments have to be adequately funded. In carrying out the research, six research questions were formulated. Questionnaires were used to collect data from a total of 30 respondents from Uhunmwode local government council; interview was also conducted where necessary. In case of carrying out this research simple percentage method was used in analyzing the data collected from the respondents based on the responses from the question areas. Finally, a summary of the findings, conclusion and recommendation were presented at the end of the study.




The word Rural Development was first used internationally at the 1948 Cambridge Conference on Africa Administration which was propounded by Bryant G in his book “Managing Development in the Third World” (1982).However, rural development actually began as a union of economic development within the rural areas in the society.

By economic development we mean a multi-dimensional process symbolized by advancement in output, enhancement in technology, and change in institutional arrangement of a country towards ensuring overall well-being of their citizenry. Also the various input level and contribution to the general standard of living.

Today, rural development is recognized as an important and visible instrument for national cum rural transformation of the society. However, the role or impact of local government in rural development could be performed through various ways. For instance, the provision of public transport, buildings cottage industries, tour halls, construction of feeder roads, maintenance of market, numbering of houses, death and birth registration and also non-social services like making people have education or acquire skills and knowledge towards self help.

Rural development is also seen as one of the most important aspect of social development. In this regards the potentialities or economic and social development of various areas were harnessed.

Most often, the question remains in people’s minds whether local government and their policies are directed towards helping to improve rural living standard socially, economically, politically and culturally. It is because of this fact we have taken time to critically examine the role of local government in rural development in Nigeria using Uhunmwode local government area of Edo State as a case study.

This topic is specially designed to enable us examine critically the role of local government in rural development and also to actually pinpoint those problems that hinders the local government from functioning efficiently in carrying out its task of development. There has been much emphasis on the roles of local government in rural development in recent times.

This is due to the sudden awareness of the critical role local government plays in stimulating rural development, its believed that since the government is now brought closer to the people, their role in the development process can be made and that development will be facilitated at this level by the local government. In the entire attempt at rural transformation in Nigeria, there has been emphasis on working in Nigeria through existing local authorities.

The 1979, 1989 as well as the 1999 (FRN,) empowered local government to provide roads, health care facilities and certain basic primary services. Given the statutory role of local government, this chapter asks what are the factors militating against effective rural development). An implicit assumption here is that existing development strategies has not levied up to expectations. It’s in view of this that emphasis was laid on local government as an agent of development.

Moreover, attempt was also made at meaningfully suggesting ways that can help to improve rural development for a productive rural living standard.



The principal justification of local government was the superior capacity of the local people to understand and conduct their own affairs, the local government that is described as the government at the grass root is expected to move into remote, interior villages to help develop and foster economic growth and develop them. Government policies are expected to be directed towards militating and supervising the local people in their efforts of self-help, project.

All these were supposed to be the functions of the local government so as to bring about timely development and transformation of the rural areas, but what is often predominant in the rural areas in Nigeria today are lack of infrastructures like good feeder roads, primary health facilities, primary schools, pipe borne water, electricity and where these are provided they are left in poor conditions, it’s in view of these that this study is deem to critically examine the role of local government in development of rural areas using Uhunmwode local government area of Edo State as a case study.


In the process of the research, the questions were raised towards the development of the rural areas.

  1. What are the things hindering local government in rural development programs?
  2. Since the existence of the local government council what are their contribution towards the development of the rural areas?
  • How far have they been able to improve on rural development?
  1. How many rural areas have they been able to develop through the previous government policies?
  2. How many projects have been executed within the rural areas by the local government?

In other to attain the goals of this study, the following hypothesis was formulated for accurate empirical validation of this study:

  1. Ho: Fund does not hinder the carrying out of Rural Development Programs in the local government Area.

HI: Funds hinders the Local Government from carrying out Rural Development Programs.

  1. Ho: The Local Government has not contributed towards development of the remote area of the local government

HI: The local government has contributed towards development of the remote areas of the local government

  1. Ho: The local government has not been able to improve on facilities of the rural area of Uhunmwode Local Government Areas

HI: The local government has been able to improve on facilities of the rural areas of Uhunmwode Local Government Area.

  1. Ho: the local government has not helped in developing any remote area in the rural area of Uhunmwode local Government Area.

HI: the local government has helped in developing remote area in the rural area of Uhunmwode Local Government Area


It’s said that an undertaking without purpose is an attempt to pave way for unproductive venture. It is in this regard that the researcher has tried to design four (4) objectives that is strictly to be adhered to and they are as follows.

  1. To evaluate the role of contribution of Uhunmwode Local Government Area in rural development
  2. To identify area where the local government has neglected rural development
  • To determine the constraints of the local government
  1. To offer suggestion on how to eliminate the problems identified in the course of the study

The significance of the study is that it will enable individuals, government and other bodies know the functions and roles of the local government area in development of rural areas.

This study will also make the government to create awareness on the grassroots people. It will assist their self help projects that could be available to their utilization in the local Government area

Finally, the role of local government in rural development in the course of this study has been based on the need to bring development to the rural people and establish a base where the people feel the impact of the local government and participate in the process of rural development.


The research is designed to cover the activities of Uhunmwode Local Government Area in the area of rural development: the research work will be base on evaluating the problems (if any) encountered by this local government area in their attempt to meet their needs in the self-help projects and to suggest possible ways through which such problems could be solved.

The research will also try to cover the extent to which Uhunmwode local government area has contributed to the development of the rural areas.


One of the steps in research is to determine the obstacle of the research. A research is the process of discovering the unknown through the known and in achieving this inputs such as Time, Energy and cost were used.

However, the limiting factor in the course of this project work is time and financial constraint based on the present economic situation of the country.

Then again, not all files were given to the research due to the official secrecy or confidentiality of such files in the Local Government Area.


The following terms are uses in this research for clear understanding and the following definition have been given to explain them.

Impact: It’s a bundle of effect contributed or played by individual; group and organization in order to attain or achieve its objectives. This is seen as the part which local government are supposed to play and the function to be carried out towards the achievement of the rural development.

Local Government: To Egonwan (1984) in his book “ Principles and practices of Local Government in Nigeria “ Local Government is “The government at the local level which exercise power through representatives council established by law to exercise such power within defined areas”

The United Nations Office for Public Administration gave the definition of local government as “A political sub-division of a state or nation (in a federal system which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs, including the power to impose taxes, or exert labor for prescribed purpose). The governing body of such entity is selected locally, otherwise elected cited in Awofeso (2005)

Rural Area: Rural Area, are less densely populated with simple political Economic and social Institution and lacking in basic infrastructure. Rural Area can also be seen as a group of people who have lived together, sharing common values and general interest, long enough to be considered by others and by themselves as a unit.

Development: According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (5th Ed) Development is “The action or process of developing or being develop”

George Great (1976) sees development as “Relative to the expectations of the people” cited in Ezeali and Edeh (2007).

According to Todaro and Smith (2003), development refers to the capacity of a national economy whose initial economic situation has been more or less static for a long time to generate and sustain an annual increase in its Gross National Product (GNP) at rates of perhaps 5 – 7 percent or more cited in Ezeh and Edeh (2007).

To Ainabor and Otti (2011), development is an incident that causes a situation to change or progress, it’s the process of changing and becoming larger stronger or more impressive, successful or advanced, or causing somebody or something to change in this way.

To Ainabor and Otti (2011), development can also be seen as a deliberate and continuous process of transformation and accelerated socio-political change in a desired direction, it’s a process that involves the improvement of the social, cultural, economic and political condition of the people.

 Rural Development

 To Ainabor and Otti (2011), rural development is a process of enhancing the social well-being of all residents in a particular commodity.

Umebua (2008) sees rural development as the process whereby efforts are made in order to facilitate significant increase in rural resources, productivity with the central objective of enhancing rural income and increasing employment opportunity in rural communities for rural dwellers to remain in the area.

Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of the people living in a relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas, this traditionally centers on the exploitation of lands, intensive rural resource such as land, agriculture and forestry. However, change in global production networks and increase urbanization have changed the character of rural areas, increasingly, tourism, Niche manufacturers and in creation have replaced resource extraction and agriculture and dominant economic drivers (Ademolekun, 1979).


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