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THE IMPACT OF RURAL INDUSTRIALIZATION ON DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (A STUDY OF NNEWI TOWN, IN ANAMBRA STATE)

CHAPTER  ONE

 1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

Nnewi, one of the three (3) urban towns of Anambra State is located thirty-seven (37) kilometers South of Awka the Anambra State Capital and 98 kilometers East of Enugu the old regional headquarters of Eastern Nigeria.  It is the headquarters of Nnewi North Local Government Area.  Nnewi landness is of about 298o  80sq and has an estimated population of about 300,000 people presently.  (The 1991 population census figure was 201,203 people).

Nnewi shares a common boundary with Ozubulu in the West and is also bounded in the East by Ichi and Orikife in the South while Ufu and Ukpor bounded it at North.

Nnewi town is made up of four (4) administrative interdependent autonomous communities.  Namely – Ofolo, Usuagu, Umadi and Nnenuch.  All of which incorporates many kliegs, more than anything also, the origin of Nnewi is perhaps the most controversial in Nnewi history.  Opinions on this differ widely and range from possibilities, hence my decision to side live the controversy and resume my study from the pre-industrial era of Nnewi.

 PRE-INDUSTRIAL ERA IN NNEWI

From very early ties, the inhabitants of Nnewi were farmers.  They cultivated yam, cassava cocoyam, reaton etc.  They also engaged in other activities like animal husbandry, poultry, fishing, forestry and food processing.  Nearly all were farmers or his hands while even three doctors, teachers, store-sceages and blacksmiths were display of life.  All faced common haplessness before the awesome natural forces, which lied beyond human control.

Nnewi people tried to produce nearly everything they consumed since in a rapidly expending economic was a socially useful adaptation.  Status was measured in terms of land barns and livestock.

Trading is the second basis of the Nnewi economy and the size and importance of Nnewi impress the visitor today as they did the early explorers.  Retail in the markets was primarily in the hands of women, who tended to specialize in yam, corn, chickens and other commodities, are they become successful.  Under the British rule, the Nnewi traders also proofed their trade in European made goods was as tremendous as that in local produce, this was as a result of the development of new occupations such as those of clerks, carpentry and mechanics.

The point here is that Nnewi as a city existed even before advert of colonial ruler and industrialization, even though its existence then was based on farming through human labour but the rise of Nnewi in contemporary times is dependent on modern power driven machine technology and mass production.

Nnewi therefore could said to be a city based on the pre industrial era criteria because they were economically independent socially stratified political unified.  (Hulton 1984) Nevertheless, if Nnewi is judged on a modern criteria of a city, then it qualifies as a rural area for it is based on partrivinage which are composed of segments which in turn are politically organized into permanent, clearly words, the individuals counts for little expect as a member of the lineage.

Furthermore, in Wirths words “interest are made effective through representation” (Wirth 1990).

 THE INDUSTRIAL ERA IN NNEWI

The genesis of the industrial era in Nnewi may be traced back to the transportation industry brought into prominence by the late Sir Louis Odumiegwu Ojukwu who in the fifties owed a fleet of transport vehicles.  Apparently, the success of Ojukwu in transport business inspired a new generation of Nnewi business into transportation business today.  The likes of Augustine Ilodibe (Aka) Ekenedilichukwu, Dan Ubajiaku (Izuchukwu).  Lawrence Amazu (Chidiebere) Eugene Ojukwu (Ekeson) Emefor P. N. (Ijeoma) etc. have raised the transport business into amicable height with their large fleet of luxurious buses that ply almost all State of the Federation.

This early romance with the transport industry, to a large extent shaped the direction of the Nnewi community into automobile industrial cluster of today.  Hence, what is today known as commercial and industrial town ofNnewibegan to take shape in the 1980’s.

Almost overnight the sleeping rural environment whose town folks take the lend in other Nigeria towns, selling imported automobile spare parts, shot into the top league in terms of invisible funds as well as manufacturing capabilities coinciding with this experience was the division of Nnewi into two separate local government council for administrative conveniences, the birth of Nnewi Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (N.C.C.I.M.A.) to co-ordinate private sector initiatives, the birth also of a news Media “The National Vision” Newspapers to pioneer the effort of shaping the opinion of the town as well as foreigners in both industrial and commercial in the town.

Today, Nnewi is the cent center – auto-spare parts industry servicing the countery as well as the West African sub-region,Zaria,Cotedivous,Mail,ChadandGhanaamong others for dealers in auto parts.   From the above countries, Nnewi has become a ‘MECCA’.  No wonder, Nnewi was referred to as the “JAPAN OF AFRICAN” by one of the Nigerian’s former dictator, General I. B. Babangida during his visit to the industrial twon way back in June 1992.

Nnewi presently, has the biggest spare-parts market in African hence, any spare part be it for motorcycle; motor or even generating set that cannot be found in Nnewi, obvious, cannot be find else where in Africa.  (Newswatch Magazine, September 11, 1989, pg. 47) Nnewi house more than thirty (30) functional industries each of which engage in the manufacturing/assembling of different products and among the thirty (30) are Cutix Plc, cento Group Ltd., Ibeto group Ltd., Uru industries Ltd., Omatha Hodings Ltd. etc.

 1.2              PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER

The forth National Development Plan 1981 – 85 recognized that “for a developing country of the size and potential ofNigeria, Industrialization is essential for rapid economic transformation and social development.  But the process of establishing these industries has shown a skewed regional inhabitance that tended to be biased disproportionately in favor of the urban centers as a result of deliberate government policies, which manifested in the concentration of government owned industries in these urban centers.  They’re upon the government stove to update already existing infrastructural facilities to meet the demand of these industries.

As a follow up subsidiary government industries and private investors joined the race.  The end result was a massive concentration of industries, which takes advantage of the big market, abundant labour and infrastructural facilities that exist in these urban centers.

1.3              PROBLEMS THAT THE STUDY WILL BE CONCERNED WITH

The urban centres attracted people from all works of life including crooks and charlatans in there thousand through the process of rural-urban migration.  This inevitably resulted in over crowding and subsequent over use and upsetting of the supply of existing urban amenities.  This created urban social ills seemingly beyond repair such as:

 (1)     Environment hazard leading to all-round discomfort.

(2)     Over population and poor housing problems as a result of industrialization.

(3)        Increase in crime rate.

(4)     Excessive pressure on the human psychic problems.

 1.4              THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING AREA

A study of this nature and background will be of immense benefit to the Federal Government of Nigeria and particularly to the Anambra State Government.   It will also be of innumerable help to the center for Rural Development and Co-operatives (CRDC),NigerianBuildingand Road Research Institute (NBRRI).  Nnewi Technology Business Incubation Centre (TBIC).  This study will also be of interest to the center for Automative Design and Development ((CADD).  National Agency for Science and Engineering in infrastructure (NASNI), Association of Local Component Manufactures of Nigeria that are genuinely committed to breaking the cycle of underdevelopment and poverty in this country.

This study will be of interest to the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) who has been making efforts to reshape the industrial sector inNigeria.  The Nnewi Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (NCCIMA) will also benefit specially from this work, as it will open up avenue through which the Chamber can achieve some of its laudable programmes.

Furthermore, rural communities will in no small way benefit from the study because it will delineate structure that affects rural industries growth and development.  Private entrepreneurs with existing and intending ones are nor left out in the gallows because the study highlights possible ways of government assistance to them.  Also the study will be of value to any person who is interested in the emancipation of the rural society from the backwardness of rural community to a developed industrialized society.

In addition, the benefit of this study to all studies of business administration and management.  Those of rural development especially students of sociology, Political Science, Agricultural Economics, social Works and Economic will not be over emphasized.

 1.5              DEFINITION OF IMPORTANT TERMS

1.       Find out the extent of environmental hazard leading to all-round discomfort in Nnewi.  This is to examine all the environmental material in Nnewi, which can be dangerous or cause damage to the town or round Nnewi.

2.       To examine the extent of over population, poor housing scheme as the result of rural industrialization in Nnewi.

3.       To find out the extent excessive pressure on human psychic as a result of industrialization in Nnewi.

 1.6            REFERENCE

 Amauchezi, E. (1980):   Issues in National Development;Enugu, Fourth Dimension.

 Asiodu P. C. (1988):      Planning for Further Development inNigeria–London Oxford Press Ltd.

 Ayida P. and Omitri S. E. (1988):  Construction and Development inNigeria,Niger Oxford Press Ltd.

 Clatutrasum D.(1985):   Nigerian Neglected Rural Majority, NISER,Oxford Press Ltd.

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