Infrastructure Provision and Classification of Rural Settlements in Niger State, Nigeria
This study classifies the selected rural settlements on the basis of available infrastructure .To achieve this aim, 22 rural settlements were randomly selected. The cluster analysis was applied on the data in order to group the rural settlements on the basis of their infrastructure profiles. Thus the hierarchical method of cluster analysis was applied using version 16.0 of SPSS package. The study revealed that three groups of settlements labelled A, B and C was produced by the hierarchical clustering technique based on availability of infrastructure. It was observed that although the quantity of infrastructure varied among the settlements, group B settlements consisting of Doko, Enagi, Kuta, Maikunkele, Paiko, Sabon Wuse, Sarkin Pawa and Wawa seem to have more infrastructure than group A and C settlements. Group A settlements consisting of Agwara, Gawu Babangida, Gulu, Lemu, Nasko, Tegina and Tunga Magajiya appear to have more provision of infrastructure compared to group C settlements. On the other hand, group C settlements consisting of Baddegi, Bangi, Gbajibo, Kutiriko, Mashegu, Rafin Gora and Wushishi appear to be the least in terms of provision of infrastructure. There is the need to sustain the Ward Development Projects which was introduced in 2008 by the Niger State government. It is suggested that the monthly allocation to the wards be increased, while more community participation in project initiation, identification, monitoring, implementation and evaluation should be encouraged.
Key words: Infrastructure, Rural Settlements, Classification, Cluster Analysis, Hierarchical Method, Rural Transformation