Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Development as a concept has no universally accepted definition. It is often used by various people of different backgrounds to mean different things. In some quarters, it connotes the number of vehicles,
calories-intake, TV sets per head, industries, roads, including fly-overs, educational institutions, health institutions etc, that are made available. It has also been erroneously equated with economic development, growth, modernization or even westernization. 

While the above constitute indices of growth or what the radical school call "checklist of artifacts" they may not have contributed to development. Equally too, economic development, industrialization or westernization
is not the same thing as development. These are so, for the fact that an infrastructural transformation may not at the end contribute meaningfully to real transformation(development of the living being in that setting). Hence, it is possible to see a twelve year old child growing so tall, but has not developed intellectually to help 

the society through new discoveries.

From the above premise we want to identify ourselves with the school of thought in development studies which sees development as multi-dimensional rather than unilineal. Walter Rodney, a well acclaimed
scholar of this school sees development from three broad perspectives, the individual level(the crux of our work), the social group level, and the state level. Development at the individual level implies increased
skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well-being. Development at the social group level refers to the capacity of a social group to regulate its internal
and external relationships. At the state level it entails both quantitative and qualitative growth in the economic, political and social aspects of human and material resources from a lower to a higher stage. These are what constitute National Development. 

We may ask; "what are the universal aims and objectives of development, and that of Nigeria in particular?". The aims and objectives of development in Nigeria may be summarized from its various national development plans as: 
(1) a free and democratic society; 
(2) a just and egalitarian society; 

(3) a united, strong and self-reliant nation; 
(4) a great and dynamic economy; and 
(5) a land of full bright opportunities for all citizens. (Second National Development Plan, 1970-1974). 

A critical analysis of the aforementioned objectives no doubt centres on freedom for the individuals to attain survival goals, restriction notwithstanding. The state as an institution was created to cater for the individual by channelling state wealth into providing amenities which will aid the common goal.  According to Seers, the universal aim of development is the realization of the potentials of human personality(Seer, 1972). By
extension, development should always be people-oriented rather than economy-oriented. This must be so because a people-oriented program helps to uplift the living condition of the individual and this helps
him/her further to contribute his/her quota to further development. This makes him/her to prevent oppression from the system and its leaders. Thus, a government policy that increased housing units and a progressive
tax policy will uplift the individual and he/she will be ready to defend the nation anywhere, anytime. However, a policy that is singly geared towards fantastic industrialization may benefit the government and contractors, but may in turn affect the individual negatively. This makes the leaders to maintain their status quo. The bottomline of this is that social plagues like hunger, unemployment, criminality becomes imminent in the society.  

In other words, the development of human person is an important ingredient. National development is not complete without the moral elements. Societies must imbued of ethics and moral values. Through the inculcation of ethics and moral values, there will be development in the society. This brings into sharp focus the development of the human personality. It is, put in other words, the moral development of the citizens that constitute one aspect of national development. There are other aspects of national development, for a country is like a living organism with many parts or organs, each of which needs development. If any of its parts remain undeveloped, the whole organism suffers. Each part has its own distinctive contribution towards the growth and well-being of the whole organism.


  1. There have not been real development in Nigeria for five decades. What we have in Nigeria is mismanagement of natural and human resources

  2. It is interesting that the Nigerian government has spent untold amount of money pushing the millennium achievement goals whilst owing lecturers and teachers months, if not years, of salaries. Real development must start with providing the basic needs for society as a whole: good roads, sustainable healthcare, energy, a sound economy, and lots more.

  3. For development to come to Nigeria firstly discrimination against women must stop. There must be accountability and honesty amongst our leaders. Development cannot come through mere saying and making empty promises, but by actually developing cities, town, villages; healthcare, education, and other useful institutions.