Enhancing state-community relations through the ward development projects in Niger state
The primary responsibility of the government is to develop communities under its jurisdiction through community development projects. The development of the rural areas creates conditions conducive for community living, enhances the legitimacy of government and promotes state-community relations. But the political profligacy of government has led to the over-emphasis on urban development at the expense of rural development. The thrust for urban development created social challenges for rural community dwellers in terms of neglect, alienation, rural poverty and underdevelopment. Under the neo-liberal theory of development, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy and the Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals integrated rural development into the national development agenda. This paper examined the developmental strategies adopted by President Obasanjo and Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu administrations with a view to ascertaining the propriety of the ward development programme (WDP) on rural development in Niger State. It concluded that the lukewarm approach adopted by the Muazu administration in the implementation of the WDP accounts for the ‘no-success syndrome’ associated with the policy and hence, advocated for adequate funding of the programmes due to its attributes as vendor for good governance in Niger State, Nigeria, Africa at large.
Key Word: Ward Development, Corruption, Investment, Rural Poverty