1.1 Background of the Study
Globally, the nexus between migration and development has remained an issue under vigorous academic debate (Ukpere, 2007). Therefore, the process of people migrating to other areas in search of a better life is not a novel one. What has however gained advantage is the increasing voluntary movement in quest of better/quality life by low-skill and low-wage workers as well as high-skill and high-wage workers from less developed rural areas to more developed urban areas, especially among the poor in the developing countries (Pepple, 2013). In this regard, rural-urban migration results from the search for perceived or real opportunities as a consequence of rural urban inequality in wealth (Ebri, 2013). This inequality and/or urban bias in development according to research findings over the years results from the overwhelming concentration of wealth, assets, purchasing capacity, economic activities, and variety of services in the urban centres as well as the continued neglect and degradation of rural environments or areas (Moro, 2008).
Migration has also been identified as a survival strategy utilized by the poor, especially the rural dwellers. The assessment of the effects of migration on rural development has remained relevant since migration acts as a catalyst in the transformation process of not only the destiny of individual migrants but also the conditions of family members left behind, local communities, and the wider regions. One significant source of development for the rural populace as a result of this increasing drift towards the cities is remittances. Recently, migrants’ remittances and the income multipliers they create are becoming critical resources for the sustenance strategies of receiving households as well as agents of regional and national development (Pepple, (2013). Households that receive these remittances tend to use the proceeds primarily for current consumption (food, clothing) as well as investments in children’s education, health care, improvement in household food, security, water and sanitation. Nevertheless, the ability of remittances to compensate the labour shortage in rural areas is still a function of the amounts and value of remittances received by migrants’ households at home, especially in the developing countries (Nkorn, 2000).
Consequently, the effects of rural urban migration in the rural places of origin of migrants may manifest in two ways. First, the rural-urban migrants send remittances to their relatives in the rural areas and these remittance-receiving households use the remittances for various purposes.
Secondly, these rural urban migrants execute various rural developmental projects in their rural areas of origin. In Nigeria, most migrants coming from a particular rural community to live in an urban area usually form rural community associations in the urban area. These community associations in the urban areas articulate, from time to time, the developmental needs of their rural communities of origin and contribute resources to execute projects such as road construction and the award of educational scholarships to students in the rural areas.
In the last two decades, practical considerations have prompted a vast body of research and discussion on urban migration, as associated with the development process in the less developed world. However, the focus of this research is to examine the effect of urban migration on rural development in Ogoniland in Rivers State (2000-2018).
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Rural development is a means of bringing about enduring changes in the structure of the rural sector in a manner that productivity and output are increased, the technology and techniques of production are radically revolutionized with enhanced standard of living (Izeogu, 1987; Nkorn, 2000).In recent times there are more problems associated with rural urban migration; the impacts of these problems have apparently outweighed the associated benefits. The governments are not aware of the internal migration trend, neither most of them know the factors responsible for the movement of rural people into their urban area or cities. At the same time, most governments have little or no knowledge about the problems encountered by the various households in the depressed communities of their cities. This situation has made it very difficult or rather impossible for Rivers state government to plan and deliver the most needed social amenities that enhances development for their subjects, especially those living in the rural areas to dissuade them from migrating into the city. More so, because of the movement of people from these rural areas, its consequent reduction in population has attracted less attention from the government as some already existing infrastructural facilities may be left dysfunctional and new ones may not be brought to replace the old ones. Nevertheless, Ogoniland is a symbol of deliberate neglect as the communities lack infrastructural facilities that can be used to depict development and make life meaningful (Ihonvbere, 2000).
According to Baskerville (1994), some rural communities in Ogoniland have been experiencing drift of its population into neighbouring cities and towns particularly Eleme, Port Harcourt, and Bonny etc. This migrating population comprises of people between the ages of 18 and 45 years. These people make up the largest proportion of the required manpower of these areas. This movement obviously led to the reduction of the workforce and consequently decreases in the agricultural output of the area, because farming was left in the hands of aged men and women. Furthermore, the reduction in output has brought about less income and gradual increase in poverty level.
Although, these problems are of larger dimension, pervasive and are continuing unabated, few governments have launched any regular research programme to monitor the trend of the movement of their subjects on the sustainable basis. Findings from Myanmar (World Bank, 2016) highlight that households migrate for many reasons, including insecure rural livelihoods, shocks that make subsistence difficult, and the desire for upward mobility. However, an influx of migrants strains the ability of cities to cope, meaning migrants may be unable to access social support or afford adequate housing. This makes them more vulnerable to deprivation, disease and violence and often exposes them to forced eviction (de Boer, 2015).
Despite the scale of rural urban migration, many city and local governments fail to consider it in urban development planning (IOM, 2015). In many countries, migration is seen as contributing to shortages of adequate housing, basic infrastructure and services (Tacoli et al., 2015). Thus the motivation of this research is to evaluate the programmes on social amenities and projects on educational, medical, goods, electrification and other infrastructures to bring development and quality of life to the rural Ogoni people, but still immigration of the youths are on the high side, which stands as the problem this study intend to unravel.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of urban migration on rural development in Ogoniland in Rivers State (2000-2018). The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To identify the trends of rural urban migration in Ogoniland for a period of 18 years starting from 2000 to 2018.
2. To analyze the socio economic impact of this urban migration on rural communities.
3. To evaluate the role of the government of Rivers State in monitoring, controlling and managing the urbanization rate and its impacts in the country.
4. To evaluate challenges encountered by migrants on the process of moving from rural communities to urban cities.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the trends of rural urban migration in Ogoniland for a period of 18 years starting from 2000 to 2018?
2. What is the socio economic impact of this rural-urban migration?
3. What are the roles of the government of Rivers State in monitoring, controlling and managing the urbanization rate and its impacts in the country.
4. What are the challenges encountered by migrants on the process of moving from rural communities to urban cities?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
To guide the following research hypotheses were formulated;
HO: There is no significant relationship between urban migration and rural development.
1.6 Theoretical Framework
Push-Pull Theory (Ravenstern, 1889)
This study is based on the “push-pull theory which is used as a guide for this study. The theory was postulated by Ravenstern (1889), who analyzed migration in England using data from the 1881 census of England and Wales. This theory suggests that people move out of their location because they are pushed out, while others move because of forces pulling them from their location to a new one.
Ravenstern further concluded that pull forces were more important than push factors. As he puts it, “bad or oppressive laws, heavy taxation, an unattractive climate, uncongenial social surroundings, and even compulsion (slave trade, transportation), all have produced and are still producing currents of migration, but none of these currents can compare in volume with that which arises from the desire inherent in most men to better themselves in materially (Onokerhoraye, 1985). Thus, it is the desire to move more than the desire to escape an unpleasant situation that is most responsible for the voluntary migration of people, at least in the late nineteenth century England.
Theory of Intervening Opportunity (Stouffer, 1940)
Similarly, Stouffer (1940) in is theory of Intervening opportunity” looks not at the size of settlements or the distance between them, but at perceived opportunities between them; maintaining that the amount of migration over a given distance is directly proportional to the number of opportunities at the point of destination, but inversely proportional to the number of opportunities between the point of departure and the destination.
1.7 Research methodology
Population of the Study
Population of the study area 1,276,200 (NPC 2016). It includes all males and females from 14 years and above, who are rural-urban labour migrants in River state of Nigeria. The study covers from 200 to 2018.
S/N Local Governments in Ogoni No. of Population
1 Khana 411,500
2 Gokana 328500
3 Eleme 367200
4 Tai 16900
Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics, (2016).
Sampling Technique and Procedure
Simple random sampling technique was used in selection of 150 samples for the study. In the selection process, the researchers went to Port Harcourt Metropolis where significant proportions of rural-urban labour migrants in the state are found. Through rapport with the population, the researcher was able to meet and gather people who migrated from Ogoni to Port Harcourt, River state. The purpose of the study was explained to them and asked for their permission to be part of the study. Afterwards, people who accepted to be part of the study went through a process of selection. The researcher wrote “Yes” and “No” on pieces of paper, folded and dropped in a bag. The population was asked to pick the folded papers. Those who picked “Yes” were selected for the study.
Method of Data Collection
The primary method of data collection will be adopted. Questionnaires were used to collect data for the study. The procedures for data collection involved the researcher engaging research assistants and training them on how to distribute questionnaires. After the training, researcher and their assistants began the administration of the questionnaires by moving to the locations in person and administering them, having face to face contact with the respondents. Respondents were given a minimum of one (1) and maximum of one week for completion of the questionnaires. After the expiry of the time, the questionnaires were collated for presentation and analysis.
Method of Data Analysis
Analysis of data involved the use of descriptive statistics and analytical tables. Thus, the simple percentages were used to determine frequency of opinion of the respondents.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The study was limited by the following:
The level of frankness in response to questions by the respondents is quite doubtful.
Finance: Accessing fund for the research work as difficult and this limited the quality of research activity.
Time: The time allocated to the research work was not sufficient to give room for further intensive work on the field of study.
Organization Policy: Policies of the organization limited the level of information received. The personnel of the firms were not willing to give information, stating that it was against the organization’s policy.
1.9 Significance of the study
The issue of rural urban migration and the resulting economic, social and demographic changes has been of significant focus of the literature.
Study outputs are important as they will contribute to the growing literature on rural to urban migration both in the region and the country at large. It is also going to help the government to understand why citizens are emigrating and therefore craft the necessary policies and strategies necessary to reduce this problem. Stakeholders who will benefit from this study include organizations, local government, state government other related ministries.
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