Implications of Rural-Urban Migration on Rural Development in Nigeria

Implications of Rural-Urban Migration on Rural Development in Nigeria (A Case Study of Umuahia North Local Government Area)

Literature Review


Rural development as essentially a human process and has being concerned with the improvement of the living standards of the low income population living in the rural area on a self-sustaining basis through transforming the socio-partial structures of the productive activities.

There seems to be lack of precise concepts of rural development and this partly explains the different approaches to rural development in many countries of the world.

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World Bank (1975) sees rural development issue raising the low levels of rural income through agricultural modernization. To others, rural development is a matter of welfare.

According to Okafor (1981). Rural development means more operational concept.

Var Asseldonk (1979) defines it as a complex of activities and process leading to the fulfillment of the basic needs of the rural people.

Anker (1973) on the other hand perceives the rural folk as the subject of the development process. According to Osa-Bonsa, (1993), rural development entails the exploitation of the human and physical potentialities with which the rural area endorsed for the benefit of raising the living standards of the rural people.

Mobongunje (1980) views rural development as “essentially a human process” and defines it as being concerned with the improvement of the living standards of the low income population living the rural areas on a self-sustaining basis through transforming the socio-spatial structures of their productive activities”. He further distinguishes it from agricultural development which entails a broad-based reorganization and mobilization of the rural masses and resources so as to enhance the capacity of the rural population to cope effectively with dully tasks of their lives and with the changes consequent upon these. In line with Mabogunze’a reasoning, spatial reorganization, rooted in strong institutional land reform is central to the process of rural development. It is in the contest of providing for spatial reorganization that we understand the Tanzanian. Ujaman village approach adopted by Nyerere in 1967, the British enclosure movement of 1960-1821, the Wolkhoz evolution in the Soviet Union (Mabongunje, 1980), the cluneze community Azis, (1974) the settlement Amalagamation in Ekiti land (Akoredi 1977) and village integration in Abakaliki area of Ebonyi State.

Rural development is therefore conceived here as being concerned with the improvement as well as the transformation of the social-mental, economic, institutional and environmental conditions of the low income rural dwellers though the mobilization and rational utilization of their human, national institutional resources, so as to enhance their capacities to cope with their daily tasks of life and linkages. It also involves a host of multi-sectional activities such as the improvement in agriculture promotion of rural industrial activities, as well as establishment of appropriate decentralized structures (political, economic and social in order to allow economic and social in order to allow for mass participation in the development process).


The movement of man from one place to another has a long history. The rate and volume of thus movement has increased remarkable since the 18th century when improved, socio-development and technological innovation facilitate the process. As a result of the above, migration has an impact on the receiving and the source. Migration therefore, is the movement in space on a temporal or permanent basis Owerri a short or long period of time and distance, Olisa (1992). As the fundamental purpose of migration is the search of greener pasture, eminent scholars have expressed their views on the migration pattern. According to Almu, the duration of migration constitute other criterion of classification, if is a question of migrants of rural origin for the most past the criterion of whether or not there is a participation in the seasonal agricultural work is important. The peasant who leave thus village for a period of not less than six or eight months should only be characterized as a temporary migrant since be continues to take part in agricultural production in his village and his absence will not have any important effect on the demography but if on the demography. Mabogunje (1920) analyzed that Nigeria has a recorded population of 30.4m with the reference to 25 provinces and 9 principal ethnic groups. He further refereed to 1,378,00 non-original inhabitants composing 4.5 percent of population ever between 1957 and 1972, the movement of urbanization was accelerated.

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Onyejeoso, in Nigeria statesman of (July 3, 1979) traced it to the growth of “urban center which made their debut during colonization as either administrative head quarters. The migrants are the individuals who migrate because they are attracted by better remuneration for their work elsewhere; migration can be of two forms, internal and internal migration. The international is when the movement of people goes across the country’s boundary while internals when the movement is within the territory of the country. Internal migrations are rural-urban, rural-rural and urban-rural migration.


Whatever type of migration, the decision to migrate is influenced by a variety of factors. As a result, explaining rural migration requires an explanation of why some people do move from one place to another just as others do not Williams (1972), in view of the fact that migration is largely a selective process affecting individual with certain economic, social, educational and demographic characteristics, the relative influence of development and non-development factors may very not only between nation and region and population. Attempts to explain migration have been form two perspective:

  1. Geographic sociologist and anthologist emphasis social, cultural spatial and psychologist factors influencing migration. This group of scholars regarded migration process as 2 phases, firstly, to migrate abs secondly, choice of destination.
  2. Economic explain migration particularly in the context of rural-urban movement. They viewed migration as rationally optimizing the costs and benefits of their decision. Emphasis is placed on development factors by thus group of scholars. They recognized other non-development consideration such as means of transport, presence of relatives, friends at destination ethnic. Compatibility and residual environmental factors at both origin and destination.


Raversite (1880) proposed law of migration as follows:

  1. Most migrants travel short distance and number decreased as distance increase.
  2. Migration takes place in stages so that one’s short movement from area leaves a vacuum to the full by another short migration from beyond.
  3. Migration take place from poorer to richer require where migration occurs over a long distance, it tends to determinate in an urban area.
  4. Rural dwellers are more migrating than urban dwellers.
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Todaro migration model argued that the spatial movement of labour of over time between a rural and urban sector was primarily a function of deferential in expected income between the two sectors. Todaro’s model has four major characteristic of migration.

  • The assumption that migration is stimulated primarily by national development consideration of relative benefit and host of both fiancé and physiological nature.
  • Decision to migrate depends on expected rather than actual urban rural real wage. Differentiable where the expected deferential is determine by the interaction of two variable, the actual urban deferential and the probability of obtaining an urban job is inversely to the urban employment rate. The phenomenon of persistence high rate of employment represent between and rural areas.

Concept of development

The term is used to imply the capacity of a nation economy whose internal development condition has been more or less static for a long time to generate and sustain an annual increase of its gross national product at a state Todare (1979).


The following point can result a change for migration:

  • Loss of manpower to the economy of the areas of migrant’s origin.
  • The age-selectivity of the migrant’s population often lead to development and social problem in the source areas, it tends to lead to shortage of food production in the rural area since there is labour shortage.

This is however, not a universal indicate that despite such out migration, there is still adequate labour supply especially in areas of underemployment.

  • As a result of urban migration of the development active group, income becomes low.
  • Urban migration is known to have constituted to a weakening of tribal cohesion and undermining of the authority of chiefs in the rural areas.

It is also said that urban migration of male, has influenced the prevalence of broken marriages in the source area. However, there are those who dispute these claims, attribute and above social consequences of urban migration in the source region to the overall pattern of social change in developing countries rather than being a reflection of out-migration.



Descriptive survey was used, the descriptive method was used to obtain the primary data and discovered the most disturbing problems facing Umuahia North and ways by which these problems are tackled.


Research methodology is basically discussed in this chapter i.e. over all methodology used in this research work explains the source and method of data collection.

Research methodology is the basic plan which guides data collection. It is a deliberate and systematically process of inquiry which is aimed at finding out an answer to new areas of knowledge or an existing knowledge or problem in the universe.


The design implies the frame for controlling of data for the research. A structured questionnaire was developed by the researcher and personally administered to rual and urban dwellers.

The design of this research study is aimed at finding what rural-urban migration has impacted on rural development. Oral interview was also used in getting information from the local government and what likely problems they were facing and areas of assistance by the government and other bodies.


Data from this study derived both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include the use of questionnaire, review, and observation. Observations and interview were possible as the researcher reside in Umuahia North Local Government Area. Secondary source include already made data which were gathered from libraries and rural-urban areas, some textbooks and magazines were sources of the secondary data. The questionnaires to ascertain the impacts of rural-urban migration on the rural development of Umuahia North Local Government areas. On the filling questionnaire, the researcher collected the questionnaire and sample personal opinions of the public through personal interview conducted by the researcher.

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The population and size of the sample include rural and urban migration in the country, but due to time and financial constraint, it did not work out to include all rural and urban migration, this made the researcher to use six hundred in the whole and five hundred were returned. This means that the sample size is 100.


The random method of sampling techniques was used to select people from local government representing the rural and urban dwellers. In order to keep research to a limited time frame and resource available, a sample random sampling technique is been adopted to select 8 political wards that make up Umuahia North Local Government Area hence the study area is small and homogenous in term of whatever information granted by an individual is adopted by potential migrants among the 8 political wards been selected method is been adopted to carry out the sampling. Procedure of questionnaire based on number of buildings in each area, where by  building is been sampled.

Wards Sampled population No of building No of Questionnaires sampled
Isingwu ward 2.014
Afara-Ukwu ward 1067
Ibeku ward I 1203 30
Urban ward I 641 20
Nkwoachara ward 416 36
Umuhu ward 909
Afor-ugiri ward I 1164 42
Ndume ward 1435 46
Total 9849 1027 395


Validity of research instrument is a degree of accuracy with a research instrument measure what it purposed to measure. Since the work seeks to examine the effect of rural-urban migration in the rural development of Nigeria. A 20 questionnaire were designed by the researcher. The question centered on the main idea of

Implications of Rural-Urban Migration on Rural Development in Nigeria (A Case Study of Umuahia North Local Government Area)


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