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IMPACT OF WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROJECTS TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOP THE RURAL COMMUNITIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE WITH FOCUS ON IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Majority of the projects and services embarked upon by the successive Nigerian governments in the past to alleviate poverty amongst the citizenry never yielded desired results because of the top-down supply-driven and non-participatory mode of delivering services to communities.The search for service delivery mechanisms that are demand-driven, covering multiple sectors and depending on specific community-determined needs, therefore, became increasingly necessary. (CSDP Final Project Implementation Manual 2011/1).
Some projects then in the portfolio of World Bank partnership with Nigeria were the outcome of this search. Specifically, these projects utilize the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach in design, implementation and evaluation. Of these projects,the three Community-based Poverty-Reduction Project (CPRP), FADAMA II, and the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP) operate largely in rural communities and were quite similar in their approaches, even though there were marked differences in both mandate and tools. Both FADAMA II and LEEMP became effective in 2004, but while the former focused on providing productive assets and building social capital through FADAMA user groups, they later were concerned with natural resource management issues and local empowerment. Like the CPRP, it operated an open menu and therefore, supported social infrastructure provisions. (CSDP Final Project Implementation Manual 2011/1)
The CPRP started in 2001 and was due to close in August 2006. However, the achievements of the project led to a supplemental credit of US $25 million which closed by the end of 2008. CPRP is rated very high in both development objectives and implementation performance. Its success may be ascribed to a number of factors; the fact that each of the 12 participating states had an autonomous agency which implemented the project, and also allowed for private sector/civil society participation in oversight functions as members of the Board; better staff motivation as staff were paid private sector salaries, and reasonable protection from political interference as the project was seen as autonomous from the State government.(CSDP Final Project Implementation Manual 2011/1)
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and the World Bank (WB) are unanimous on the desirability of the CDD approach in the overall strategy for poverty reduction in the country and would therefore want to continue to use the approach in subsequent partnerships. (CSDP Final Project Implementation Manual 2011/1)
As part of the 2005/2007 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank agreed to harmonize World Bank funded CDD projects in the country. The harmonization process is to ensure that resources are effectively and efficiently targeted in reducing poverty levels in the country. To this end, the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management project (LEEMP) and the Community Based Poverty Reduction Project (CPRP) were merged as a Social CDD approach, while the National Fadama development Project (Fadama II and III) became economic CDD. The CDD harmonization process was anchored on the need to:
(a) Empower communities by giving them more resources and the authority to use them flexibly.
(b) Use resources more efficiently and cost effectively by channeling funds directly to communities, improving targeting and achieving more results on the ground.
(c) Avoid overlap
(d) For National government to mainstream CDD approach into institutional structures at local, State and Federal levels and national budget; and
(e) Build Capacity of local governments to take on the role of facilitating community-driven development is strengthened.
It was envisioned that such harmonization would:-
a) make the operations of the individual projects more efficient and effective in avoiding duplication of efforts and adoption of good and proven practices from the three CDD projects; and
b) ensure common process at the community level.
After series of interactions and discussions by the stakeholders, the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) was conceived as a response to these desires. Therefore
(i) Both CPRP and LEEMP transited into the CSDP;
(ii) more states, apart from the 12 and 9 that participated in the CPRP and LEEMP respectfully joined;
(iii) together they form the CDD social.
The Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) is therefore a new intervention that would build on the LEEMP and CPRP structures to effectively target social and environmental infrastructure at the community level, as well as improve LGA responsibility to service delivery. One of the key highlights of the CSDP is that clear-cut supportive roles and responsibilities are provided for the key actors in the project cycle. They include: the Federal level -the Federal Project Steering Committee (FPSC) and the Federal Project Support Unit (FPSU); the State level, State Agency Board, the State Agency (SA); and the Local Government level -the Local Government Review Committee (LGRC) and the LGA Desk Office (LGDO). At the community level are the Community Project Management Committee (CPMC) and several Sub-Committees. (CSDP Project Implementation Manual)
This research work, is therefore focused on the understanding of the impact of micro projects assisted by World Bank through the Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development, towards sustainable develop Akwa Ibom State, focusing on Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area. This study is considered apt in view of the envisaged and of the World Bank scheme (CSDP), by June 2020. Acritical assessment of the success and failure of this programme is considered very useful.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government is an area with an increasing population of 137,100 thousand people, (National Planning Commission, 2006). The impact of World Bank Assisted Projects due to involuntary resettlement from development projects, if left unmitigated, often gives rise to severe economic, social and environmental risks resulting in productive systems being dismantled, people facing impoverishment when their productive skills may be less applicable and the competition of resources greater; community institutions and social networks being weakened; clan groups being dispersed; and cultural identity, traditional authority, and the potential for mutual help are diminished or lost.
The World Bank resettlement policy OP 4.12, could be triggered in instances where, micro project activities could result in loss of structures (houses, fences etc.) and possibly incomes (rents for landlords, business premises, agricultural land). Therefore, people are in most cases compensated for their loss (of land, property or access) either in kind or in cash of which, in most cases the former is preferred.
The failure to take into account potential involuntary resettlement in the micro project’s investments under the CSDP can increase the risk of hardship and negatively impact on poverty reduction objectives.
In this regard, this research work will give a detailed involvement of community-based Association, participation of community dwellers and impact of World Bank assisted projects to sustainable develop the rural communities in Akwa Ibom State with focus on Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
The following research questions are formulated for the study:
i. What are the specific projects of Akwa Ibom Agency for Community and Social Development in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area?
ii. To what extend did the benefiting Communities participate in all the stages of the project’s formulation and implementation?
iii. How did the Community-based organization (CBOs) involved in the Project initiation and implementation?
iv. How did Akwa Ibom State Agency for Community and Social Development carry out Monitoring and evaluation of Micro Projects?
v. What impact have these projects improved the living conditions of the rural people understudied?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The impacts of World Bank assisted projects on sustainable development of rural communities vary in nature and degree depending on the situation at hand of the social, economic, administrative and environmental setting. For example, if the project area is in a village with an appropriate land use plan which has been prepared and is implemented and reviewed by the Villagers themselves, the resulting impacts of micro projects will be minimal as the area for the project was well determined in the plan or donated by the community, set aside and known to all stakeholders (including the villagers). On the other hand, if the project area is in an area which does not have a land use plan, the project will most likely cause both positive and negative impacts as in most cases the land in question will be under use of some sort, communally or individually. The communal land uses that might be taking place on such area include foot paths, livestock grazing, firewood collecting, recreation etc.; and the individual land uses include homesteads, crop cultivation etc.
This study is undertaken with a view to ascertaining the resulting impacts of sustainable micro projects, of World bank in development of rural communities in a specific rural setting in Akwa Ibom State (Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area)