Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Research Article: 2023 Vol: 26 Issue: 4

Towards Rural and National Development Planning in Nigeria Problems and Prospects

Ojo Oluwatoyin Emmanuel, Kwara State University

Citation Information: Oluwatoyin Emmanuel, O. (2023). Towards rural and national development planning in nigeria: problems and prospects. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 26 (4),1-14.


Regardless of the several agencies and projects created to develop the rural communities and eventually leading to national development through its operations and modifications, the desired transformation of the rural communities still remain questionable. The purpose of this research work is to assess the various developmental plans, projects and programmes, their problems and way forward. Different books, journals, textbooks and publications were consulted as secondary data. The developmental planning faced numerous problems and makes its objectives unachievable, problem like corruption, lack of relevant data and continuity, slightly defunct public sector among others. The major limitations to the research are time constraint, access to literature and the age of data since the research is based on secondary data. This research through its findings and recommendation can help contribute in solving the problems associated with developmental planning at all level, it can also help understand what is needed to be done when carrying out projects and programmes.


Development, Programmes, Rural Development, National Development, Planning.


Rural and national development complement each other. Rural development should be an unceasing and endless in total increase, transforming and modernizing of socio – economic environment or rural areas and eventually contributing to national development. Considering all factors that surrounds rural development, the plans involved and the implementation, it should revolve widely in a participatory processes that can bring about change in the society, focusing on social and material advancement for the majority of the people and positive changes in the environment itself. Since the period after the colonial master and Nigeria became an independent nation, so many development plans have been introduced in the rural areas of the country as a strategy to national development, most of it all have not met the desired objectives (Aboyade, 1976). The government have excluded the rural communities from the formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluation of government policies and program which have direct relevance on their lives. Numerous spending from the government have been initiated towards rural development policies and programmes but through concrete and clear evidence, those plans and programmes have not achieved their objectives in terms of improving the standards of rural dwellers and the whole citizens at large. National development is very comprehensive and essential, it covers all aspects of life of every individual and the nation, without effective and coordinated rural development, there won’t be a national development. Towards rural development implies the overall development of rural communities, it is a multi-dimensional and a comprehensive concept, that involves some aspects like promoting general agricultural activities, improving rural and indigenous industries, introducing modernized farming practices, implementing a good system of education and vocational or skills acquisition training centers, well improved health care and medical facilities, environmental conditions, good housing for the citizen, infrastructural advancement, introduction of new technologies, good governance, creation of employment opportunities and human resource training and development, all these can contribute to national development (Adewale, 1990).

Looking backwards at the government failed implemented plans and programmes which has led to meaningless achievement, it has necessitate different policy makers and implementers and the citizens to have a reconsideration on those polices, plans, programmes and even projects as the case maybe. Regardless of the several agencies and projects created to develop the rural communities and eventually leading to national development through its operations and modifications, the desired transformation of the rural communities still remain questionable. The rural communities of the country continues to dwell in poverty and underdeveloped with numerous and previous government policies, programmes and projects designed to bring about the development and integrations in rural development. The study is generally set to look into and identify the major problems and factors that surrounds rural and national development plans and programmes from achieving their objectives. Some attributes this problem to the higher level of government while some to the grass root government which fails to effectively carry out rural development activities but notwithstanding, so many problems affect the rural and national development from achieving their goals and objectives in Nigeria (Bawa, 2016).

Looking backwards at the government failed implemented plans and programmes which has led to meaningless achievement, it has necessitate different policy makers and implementers and the citizens to have a reconsideration on those polices, plans, programmes and even projects as the case maybe. Regardless of the several agencies and projects created to develop the rural communities and eventually leading to national development through its operations and modifications, the desired transformation of the rural communities still remain questionable. The rural communities of the country continues to dwell in poverty and underdeveloped with numerous and previous government policies, programmes and projects designed to bring about the development and integrations in rural development. The study is generally set to look into and identify the major problems and factors that surrounds rural and national development plans and programmes from achieving their objectives. Some attributes this problem to the higher level of government while some to the grass root government which fails to effectively carry out rural development activities but notwithstanding, so many problems affect the rural and national development from achieving their goals and objectives in Nigeria (Bawa, 2016).

The Concept of Development

According to the Oxford English dictionary, development means a gradual unfolding, a bringing into fuller views, fuller disclosure or working out of the details of anything, as plan, a scheme, the plot of a novel. Also that in which the fuller unfolding is embodied or realized. Development means improvement in the country’s economic and social conditions. The way of improving, managing or maintaining the county’s natural and human resources in order to create wealth and improve the citizen’s lives. Development can also mean the general improvement in economic, social and political conditions of the whole society in terms of reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality, injustice, insecurity, ecological imbalance and unemployment within the context of a growing economy (Filani, 1981). Development can also be referred to as the convinced but positive changes in a country which result is as an improvement in the country’s political, social and economic, cultural prerequisite. Development should a continuous process that contributes to the well-being and comfort of the citizen, increase in the quality of the citizen’s lives.

Dudly Seers poised the following questions when explaining the meaning of development of a country.

i. What has been happening to poverty?
ii. What has been happening to unemployment?
iii. What has been happening to inequality?

The above listed questions is very important and that which must be addressed. If a country has successfully tackled all the question posed by this, there is no reasonable doubt, this has been a stage of development for that country but if one or two of the listed question posed have not been successfully tackled or even the three, the country cannot be called a developed country even when the money earned per person (per capita income) is on the increase. From Dudly Seers definition, development is when a country successfully tackle poverty at least to a minimal point, when a country successfully provide a good job opportunities for her citizens, keeping them engage and when the inequality levels in the country are insignificant (Eze, 2004).

Rostow’s Stages of Economic Growth and Development

This is a primitive, stateless and isolated societies. It is dominated by subsistence farming or agriculture, hunting and gathering. Such societies have little wealth to invest and crude tools are used for farming, it’s feudalistic in nature. Most societies generally begin from this stage before progressing to the next stage (Akwukwe, 1988).

Stage Two: The Pre – Condition to Take – Off

This is a stage of modernization where industrial revolution introduced. Technology were introduced to improve agriculture and infrastructures. Modernized system of farming to aid production of cash crops, there was increase in the spread of technology and advances in existing technologies, there was also social mobility. The investment rate is 5%.

Stage Three: The Take – Off

This is an urbanization stage, industrialization proceeds and there breakthroughs in technology. Profit are reinvested in infrastructure, entrepreneurship and exportation are well embraced. Investment rate is between 5% - 10%, there are advancement in modern technology for farming and transportation. Diversification of resources was also introduced (Filani, 1981).

Stage Four: Drive to Maturity

More diversification of the industrial base, innovation, less reliance on imports, large scale investment. Manufacturing moves from investment-driven (capital goods) towards consumer durables and domestic consumption. A stage where there is complex transportation and telecommunication system, more investment in education sector and other social infrastructure. 15% - 20% investment rate and internalization of trade.

Stage Five: Age of High Mass Consumption

It’s a stage where the society becomes highly industrialized and the income is indispensable. Consumption of high value consumer goods like the automobiles. It is a period of contemporary comfort. United State, Japan, China and some other European countries have long attained this stage. These societies already have plans for unforeseen activities by preparing for transitive, precautionary and speculative motive. Over 20% investment rate.

The Concept of Rural Development

Firstly, the rural settlement is a geographical area with small population, agricultural settlement, they lack behind in availability of social amenities (standard schools, health facilities, pipe borne water) – small scale farming system using rudimentary methods (hoes, cutlass) just for immediate consumption. there are so many definition explaining what rural development entails, it can be viewed as the development of the moral, social, political and economic potentialities of rural communities to enhance their self-reliance through the provision of appropriate infrastructure such as pipe-borne water, electricity, good roads and small scale industries, increase their political consciousness and participation, promote their moral and social well-being which will result in tolerance, good discipline, justice, fairness, kindness, love and peace. Rural development should a drive towards unceasing and endless in total increase, the act of transforming and modernizing of socio – economic environment or rural areas and eventually contributing to national development. Rural development should be geared towards modernization of the rural communities and the shift from the traditional isolation to integration with the national economy, it is concerned with increased in agricultural production for urban and international markets (export). This is important and can help generate foreign exchange, and to attract revenue to finance public and private consumption and investment.

Rural development is the improvement of the population living in the rural areas on a self- sustaining basis, through transforming the socio-spatial structures of their productive activities. Rural development deals with the overall improvement, advancement of the rural communities through provision of infrastructural facilities, like water, health care or medical facilities, ensuring good governance and transiting the rural communities to a modernized and improved societies. Rural development embraces how to improve the living standard of the citizen, how to improve the socio – economic life if the rural dwellers.

Basic Guide for Rural Development Plan

1. The nature and conditions of the target groups must be considered. The rural development programmes or projects should be based on the targeted area which it was intended for, their cultural and every other aspects must be considered. Government making a development plan must be a community based policies and programmes where their feelings, cultural values, ideologies and nature of the rural dwellers must be put into considerations. Their opinions must not be completely neglected, it’s very important and decisive.
2. A well trained, experience and professional agent should be utilized, individuals or groups of individuals that are capable of understanding the felt needs and the environment of the rural communities must be entrusted with this responsibilities.
3. There must be a need to promote collaboration and integration, need to associate, integrate and promote sense of togetherness to ensure collaboration with the rural dwellers. By practicing this, it will improve the project of the rural dweller, they will be willing to participate and see the planned objectives accomplished.
4. The local or natural resources of the rural settlement must be carefully assessed and utilized, the nature of the resources, the importance and the how to effectively use it for developmental purposes.
5. The basic needs or the people should be carefully assessed, it must identified, what they want when interacting with them, it must not be something we just assume, it must be the need of the communities and it must be evaluated, why they need those basic demands. So many plans, projects and programmes failed because the demands of the public was not considered, the government just assume without proper consultations and the projects and programmes targeted at them hit rock bottom.
6. The goals and objectives of the programmes or projects must be carefully determined, the accessibility, the sustainability, the effectiveness of the projects must all be put into considerations. A project that is not easy to use or sustained over a period of time cannot meet the objectives attached to it.

Stages of Rural Development Plan, Project, Implementation and Appraisal

Planning to develop the rural communities are very important. It could as well contribute to the success or the failure of the projects Figure 1. Olarenwaju gave seven crucial stages of planning, they include the following:

Figure 1: Stages Of Rural Development Plan, Project, Implementation And Appraisal.

• Needs assessment
• Objective selection
• Prioritizing objectives
• Determining resources
• Programme design
• Programme implementation
• Evaluation (appraisal)

Need Assessment

This is the first stage of rural development plan which involves the process of identifying the felt needs of the target group. It is always very important to sort out the real problems and demands of the rural community. Some of those problems could be classified as tangible and intangible. The tangible problems are the very common problem rural dwellers encounter, they are the visible problems the eyes can witness, and they can easily be seen by the government and the rural dwellers. They include the following; the bad roads, poor health care and medical facilities, lack of pipe borne water, poor housing facilities etc. The intangible problems on the other hand are not the visible ones for the eyes to see, they come inform of disagreements between the rural dwellers. The use of survey methods like questionnaire, interview, and observation and through focus group discussion can help effectively assess and identify the problems confronting the rural dwellers (Ejumudo, 2013).

Objective Selection

After the need assessment stage and the problems the rural communities are facing have been identified, the personnel involved can carefully draw out the objectives to be accomplished based on the needs and demands of the people. When setting the objectives, the priorities and the available resources both human and material to implement those programmes and projects must be put into considerations. The objectives and goals for implementing the propose projects and programmes must be communicated and all processes involves must planned out accordingly. A projects or programmes without any objective will not accomplish anything. The projects or programmes will not be result oriented if objectives are not properly set.

Prioritizing Objectives

After setting and arranging the objectives carefully with professional personnel giving various ideas, creative opinions and the nature of the rural communities and the problem been faced. The planner involved needs to arrange or design the objectives in a logical order and according to how relevant and urgent they are. Which objectives to be accomplished first and which to be later in an orderly manner. All these must be determined at this stage (Isiaka et al., 2019).

Determining Resources

This stage is very important to the project or programmes and having set and prioritize the objectives, to determine the right, suitable resources needed to achieve the set objectives is very important here. The 5Ms comes into play at this moment, the men, material, money, machinery and methods needed must be determined with considerations given to the quantity and quality of the resources available.

Programme Design

When the human and material resources are completely at hand, the professional in charge sketches out the programmes of action. Designs are made on how the resources would be effectively put to use and when. Dates of particular activities to be achieved are set aside, the duties and functions of all involved professionals are clearly explained. The expected date of completion of the entire programme is also indicated. Those that will design the programme must fully well understand the previous four stages and their designs must also be understood by those that will implement them.

Programme Implementation

A critical stage where action takes place, a stage that involves putting all the plans to work. All the human and material resources are put to use after numerous planning, it is the actual take off stage. What has been designed in the stage five is carried out, the actual commencement of the activities directed to address or solve the problems of the rural communities.

Evaluation/ Appraisal

The programme needs to be evaluated and re – evaluated. Evaluating the programme or projects helps to determine the extent to which the stated objectives have need accomplished or not. It is also a critical stage and the sole aim of the projects or programmes. The planner pauses and assess how much they have accomplished relating or comparing it with the stated objectives. Evaluation could be formative and summative, the formative evaluation is the process of asssessing the projects while it’s still ongoing, as planned activities are being implemented, routine checks equally go on. Summative evaluation is the end-of-programme assessment. It is a final evaluation carried out at the end of the project. If the evaluation shows that the planned objectives have not been achieved, the planner of the programme revisits the stages of the programme plan. The planner may decides to start from stage one or any other stage depending on the nature of the outcome of the evaluation. This planning process is cyclic in nature that revolves.

Overview of Some of the Rural and National Development Programmes in Nigeria

The under listed are some of the many developmental plan in Nigeria

1. National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP) – 1972
2. Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) – 1976
3. Green Revolution (GR) – 1980
4. Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) – 1986
5. Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and National Directorate for Employment (NDE) – 1986
6. Family Economic Advancement Programme (FAEP) – 1997
7. National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS)- 1999
8. National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) – 2002
9. Seven Point Agenda – 2007
10. Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) – 2015
11. Economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) – 2017

National Development Planing in Nigeria and its Objectives

The term national development is very comprehensive. It includes all aspects of the life of an individual and the nation. National development includes the advancement and expansion in industries, agriculture, education, social, religious and cultural institutions of a country. Generally, it is the overall progression of the nation either politically, economically, socially and every other aspect. National development is the total effect of all citizen forces and addition to the stock of physical, human resources, knowledge and skill. National development implies advancement in national economy, transformation of agricultural and industrial activities, overall development of human resources, provision of quality education and provision of various facilities to meet the needs of the citizens.

Most countries plan to achieve development and Nigeria inclusive, there are various suitable strategies that has been implemented to address developmental challenges in Nigeria. Implementation of the plans has always been difficult because of ineffective coordination of all the level of government and agencies concerned, lack of technical and skilled manpower, corruption among others couple with misinterpretation of the plans have hindered the development plan. Nigeria as a country has gone through four stages of national planning. The pre independence planning or planning in colonial era (1945 – 1956), the post-independence planning or era of fixed term planning (1962 – 1986), the rolling plan era (1990 – 1998) and the era of current democratic dispensation (1999 – 2007). All these are channel towards national development, the pre independence planning was a ten years plan by the British government to meet the perceived needs of the colonial government rather than the Nigeria economy. It focuses on transportation, communication and cash cropping, it was no attempt to satisfy the interest and welfare of Nigerians. It was more exploitative in nature.

Post-Independence Planning or Era of Fixed Term Planning (1962 – 1986)

It was after the independence and the national planning by the Nigerian government towards national development, it is divided into five major national plans. It was a plan that focuses on both the public and private sector of the country. They have fixed term and number of years and also have specific aims and objectives to perform.

The First National Plan (1962 – 1968)

It was launched in 1962 by the civilian government of Tafawa Balewa, it focuses on increasing investments and repairing the extensive damages caused by colonialism. Although the 30 months civil war interrupted some of the aims and objectives. The plan was aimed at ensuring smooth distribution of incomes, speeding up the economic growth rate, getting enough capital for the development of manpower, increasing standard of living of the citizen particularly food, housing, health and clothing. It was also aimed at promoting infrastructural development and reducing dependency on external credit. To achieve this, highest priorities were placed on industrial sector, agricultural activities and improving technical education. It was successful to some point through the establishment of Nigerian securities and minting plans, Jebba paper mill, sugar mill, Niger dam, Niger bridge, Onitsha and Kainji dam and Port – Harcourt refinery. In its own way, it failed half way without realizing its core objectives (Lionberger, 1960).

The Second National Plan (1970 – 1974)

At the end of the 1970 and after the 30 months civil war, the General Yakubu Gowon led regime made plans to integrate Nigeria and to uphold her unity. The regime launched the 3Rs (reconstruction, rehabilitation, reconciliation). The general overview of the plan was aimed at reconstruction of the war battered Nigeria economy and promoting economic and social development in the country, it was also to ensure equitable distribution of national income, to promote a unified, strong and self – reliant nation, a just and egalitarian society full of opportunities for the citizen. As a result of this plan, the indigenization policy of 1972 was formulated, some factories and vehicle assembly plant were established, establishment of national youth service corps scheme, establishment of colleges of technology and trade center, reconstruction of roads and bridges. Success and failure were both recorded at the end of the plan, the government was still battling with the challenges of income distribution, inflation, unemployment, hunger, diseases and inequalities in the country (Körner, 1991).

The Third National Plan (1975 – 1980)

It was an extension of the second national development plan, it was prepared by professional planning body central planning office of the Ministry of Economic Development And Reconstruction. It was huge investment that focuses on socio – economy aspect of Nigeria. It was aimed at increasing per capital income, reduction in the level of unemployment among the citizen, more even distribution of income, diversification of the economy, increasing in the supply of high level manpower, balanced development and indigenization of economic activities. The oil sector helped a lot in developing the poor section of the economy, the electrification projects, water supplies, health services, urban housing and education. There was establishment of more universities in the country that saw the number rose from one to thirteen in 1980, the public services was also rehabilitated, improvement in road construction and progress in commercial activities in the country (Davi & Chaudliri, 1983).

The Fourth National Plan (1981 – 1985)

It was prepared by the civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, it was regarded as the most ambitious national planning then, pumping over 82.2 billion naira. Because of the new constitution which is based on the presidential system if government, it saw the local government participated as a distinct level of government with specific responsibilities allocated to them. The plan centered on improving the economic and social development of the country. The objectives includes increase in the real income of the average citizen, more even distribution of income, reduction in the level of unemployment, reduction of the dependence of the economy on a narrow range of activities (diversifying the economy), increase in the supply of skilled manpower, increase in productivity. Sectors like education, agricultural, housing, health among others were focus on. Although there were construction of low cost housing for the citizen but the plan saw Nigeria economy marred with debt crisis, unemployment and inequalities rate increases, and most projects were underfunded and abandon halfway.

The Fifth National Plan (1986)

Due to the failure of the fourth developmental plan and the world economic outlook, the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida initiated the fifth national plan. The development plan was to revive the agricultural sector with a view of attaining self-sufficiency in food production, diversifying the nation’s economy and placing priorities on other sectors other than oil sector, domestic production of raw materials for local industries in order to reduce importation of similar products and reduction of high level of unemployment in the country (Okonkwo & Onyeze, 2021).

The Perspectives and Rolling Plan Era (1990 – 1998)

The General Ibrahim Babangida regime abandon the previous national development planning, the administration initiated the perspective plan (15 – 20 years) and the rolling plan (subject to review after 3 years). The perspective plan was to establish a solid base for the long term development of the economy especially some vital sectors like the agricultural, manufacturing, mining, education, transport and utilities and energy. On the other hand, the rolling plan was also introduced, structural adjustment programme was initiated, and it serves as a loan by the World Bank for developing nations in order to promote their economy as a result of debt crisis of the previous plan. The projects was aimed at diversion from the public to private sector, reducing dependency on oil, import substitution (decrease) and export promotion (increase).

The New Democratic Dispensation 1999

The new civilian administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo launched the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). The key components of this development strategy is to eradicate poverty among the citizen, employment generation, wealth creation and value reorientation. The projects or programme provided help to agriculture, industry, small and medium scale enterprises and oil and gas. Other programmes like National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) which embraces Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Rural Infrastructural Development Scheme (RIDS), Special Welfare Services Scheme (SOWESS), Natural Resources Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS) were also initiated by the administration (Ojo, 2021).

The administration of late Usman Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan’s also introduced the seven point agenda in order to make transport sector more efficiently and capable, it also focuses on power and energy sector and develop the country’s ability to have sufficient and adequate power supply, the third is to ensure food security, this is to reform the agricultural sector. Wealth creation through diversification of resources and promoting other sectors was also part of the plan, providing quality education standards for all and also strategic educational development plan for the citizen, they also look into the security of the country both internal and external and the last which is land reform is to commercialize government unused land for farming, it was initiated in order to improve and boost the local production through agriculture and wealth creation. Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) was also introduced in 2015 following the Millennium Summit of United Nation in 2000 in order to reduce poverty and hunger, to achieve universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and give more responsibilities to women, to reducing child abuse, to improve maternal health, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development (Rostow & Rostow, 1990).

The present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari also came with different strategies to try and improve the living conditions of the citizens. A total sum of 500 billion Naira was allocated from the budget of 2016 to poverty alleviation scheme in Nigeria. One of the objectives of the programme is to provide material aids for poor citizens due to rapid inflation of prices of commodities, the federal government also took the obligation to provide 60 billion Naira to support entrepreneurs, market women and artisans through the Government Enterprise Empowerment Program, the aim was to help them develop their businesses and reduce the level of unemployment in the society. The N – power programmes that embraces N Teach, N Tech, N Agro, N Health, N Build, N Creative were introduced to engage unemployed youth and help them make a living for a period. Other programmes like Marketmoni and Tradermoni were also aimed at improving the lives of the citizen and achieving national development through these numerous projects, plans and programmes. To say the fact, some of these programmes failed to achieve its primary aims and objectives and leading to waste of resources and fund (Ugboh & Tibi, 2007).

Problems Associated With Development Plans in Nigeria

The problems associated with development plans either towards rural development and national development in Nigeria has failed to produce the presumed and much anticipated sustainable development aims and objectives. Huge sum of money has been spent on the numerous development planning without yielding positive result or effectively contributing to national development. In addressing the hindrances to the development plans in Nigeria, the following problems are associated with it.

1. We have institutionalized corruption in Nigeria, we see it as a norm in very situation. The officials in power and those responsible for developmental plans either at the rural or national level have indulged themselves in corrupt practices which has seriously hindered the progress of the developmental plan in Nigeria. From the period after the independence from the British colonial administration, we have consciously and unconsciously created a niche or system for corruption, the required funds and other resources meant for developmental plans, projects and programmes are been siphon off, this act has greatly affected the various plans and their beneficiaries. With numerous facts and happenings, corruption has settled well in Nigeria.
2. With many military regime, civilian administration of government from October 1st 1960, they have all failed one way or the other without continuing the programmes their administration inherited from the previous administration. Lack of continuity of the past administration projects and programmes as hindered so many developmental plans aims and objectives. This makes development plan difficult to address the issues it was designed to solve, the time frame and duration for those projects might be short but instead of the new administration to pick up and complete the project from the previous administration, they abandon it and leading to waste of resources. So, different administration with different plans and programmes with same ideas towards national development leading to waste of funds and resources.
3. The developmental plans can also be hindered or ascribing the problem to the inadequacy or inefficiency of the country’s public service. The public service is the government institution that helps implement the numerous plans towards national development. So many problems surrounds the public service that need to be addresses over the years, we have witnessed the inadequacy and inefficiency of the public sector, majority of them are affected by the problem of mismanagement, misplacement of priorities, corrupt practices, inadequate data and skilled personnel to carry out those programmes to aid national development.
4. Nigeria government don’t have enough good and defendable data for effective programme formulation or designing, implementation and evaluation. We need good and reliable data through the process of need assessment, selection and prioritizing objectives, through to resources determination, programme design, implementation and evaluation. It is a major problem that need to be taken seriously when it comes to developmental planning. The data available will help them avoid errors in decision making and reviewing processes of the programmes. The authenticity of the data is very essential.
5. We fail to involve the projects and programmes beneficiaries in decision making. Those beneficiaries are the end users and government should not just assume what will benefits them, their little opinions and creative mindset matters to the success of the plans. Although, the final decision making resides with the policy makers but the opinion of the citizens matters.
6. Over ambitious of the plan, there was a general predisposition that some of the plans were over-sized or over ambitious developmental plans because of the high expectations from foreign resources. For instance the Shehu Shagari’s administration pumped over 82.2 billion naira, the plan’s resource allocation was based on the assumption that the production of oil in the country would remain at over 2 million barrels per day at a price of at least, $40 per barrel. Unfortunately in 1983, the country was producing less than 1 million barrels per day at about $30 per barrel. The national development plan would automatically suffer setbacks in its implementation, the plan was over – sized that requires a lot of funds, a national development project shouldn’t be too ambitious that would make it unrealistic to achieve.
7. Another major problem confronting development plans in Nigeria is lack of adequate qualified personnel or the process of engaging unqualified individuals. If there are no well trained personnel to carry out developmental plan, projects and programmes, the expected objectives or goals may not be realized. We need competent personnel and basic socio-economic infrastructure that includes competent hands to run the public service and allied government machinery.
8. Some perceived the numerous rural and national developmental plan, projects and programmes as just a political tools for politicians to aid their political supporters rather than an instrumental project towards a better tomorrow.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Rural and national development planning in Nigeria has suffer so many setbacks that it has become unachievable in its operations. The targeted objectives are not been realized as expected. Although, development planning is very important in any country, development cannot just be stumble upon or accidental or does it take place naturally and quickly on its own accord, it is a deliberate process with hard and effective and productive work. But the numerous developmental planning have faced so many problems, the issues of corruption, unqualified personnel or carefree personnel handling developmental projects, lack of relevant and defendable data, lack of continuity and ineffective public sector have all impede developmental plan, projects and programmes in one way or the other. The following recommendation can help address the problems that surrounds effective national development planning after numerous findings.

1. The issues of corruption needs to be addressed in Nigeria, when the leaders and political officials or individuals in charge of policy designing, formulation and implementation become dedicated and sincere, it will help actualize the objectives of the developmental plan, policies and programmes. We need to accept that the system is corrupt and be willing to root up corrupt practices among the officials at various level of government, adhering strictly to rules and laws will help keep the officials in check. The official’s needs to be accountable and responsible for their actions.
2. Projects, plans and programmes needs to be continued and new administration needs to continue where the outgoing administration stopped. Lack of continuity in government projects and programmes in Nigeria has hindered some of the objectives of the development planning. When there is no continuity in developmental plan, it makes it difficult for any projects and programmes that is supposed to remain for a period of time to make any meaningful impact and resources used become useless.
3. The public service is very important in developmental projects and programmes of any country, it is the government institution that helps in implementing the numerous plans towards national development. The public service needs to be well structured, qualified human resource that can help carry out developmental planning must be introduced, adequate needed resources must also be provided for them, they should be encouraged to have a unify ideas towards national development.
4. Having relevant data for planning processes is very essential, we need good and reliable data through the process of need assessment, selection and prioritizing objectives, through to resources determination, programme design, implementation and evaluation, we also need good data base in order to make further contributions towards development in Nigeria. We need to have statistical data for planning in the country, birth-rate, death-rate, number of those of school age, number of unemployed and the other demographic changes in the population which are essential for planning. When there are relevant and defendable data, it will help yield right results and help in developmental planning.
5. The end users or beneficiaries of the programmes need to be consulted before drafting a projects that concern them. Here, the bottom – up approach should be deployed, government shouldn’t just assume any programme for them thinking it will satisfy their needs. When the end users or beneficiaries are involve during the need assessment stage until the project implementation, the programmes will be effective and there will be united effort in seeing the project or programme achieve its sole objectives.
6. The developmental planning both at the rural and national level should be a well-structured and an achievable one, it shouldn’t be too over – sized or over ambitious, making it difficult to accomplish. The fourth national development planning (1981 – 1985) and some other national planning were too ambitious and some of these projects and programmes could not cover the expected duration and when new administration took over government, the projects and programmes were abandon and leading to waste resources. A well-structured projects and programmes will be achievable within the required planned time frame.
7. A well-structured developmental projects and programmes will required qualified human resources, the public service or sector needs qualified personnel to take up roles towards national development. From the need assessment phase to the selection and prioritizing of objectives, through to resources determination, programme design, implementation and evaluation requires qualified and well trained personnel.
8. Public private partnership can also be instrumental towards developmental projects and programmes. When the collaboration between the public sector and the private individual is strong and useful, efforts towards developmental planning won’t be wasted. Development planning needs to incorporate both the public and private sector resourcefulness because of its broad policy frameworks and time frame.


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Received: 01-May-2023, Manuscript No.JMIDS-23-13550; Editor assigned: 04-May-2023, Pre QC No. JMIDS-23-13550(PQ); Reviewed: 19-May-2023, QC No. JMIDS-23-13550; Revised: 22-May-2023, Manuscript No. JMIDS-23-13550(R); Published: 28-May-2023

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