Effects and Precaution

 Community development is the working together of people and government authorities in the community to improve their economic, socio-cultural and environmental conditions. A community consists of a group of people with a shared identity. It involves humans and their immediate environment.

Community development gathers people in a community from different cultural backgrounds to fight towards a common goal that will improve their quality of life. These improvements include provision of basic infrastructures like shelter, social justice, employment, labour, education and health facilities. Development is a conscious measure towards change in a community that fosters economic, social and cultural growth.     

It is true that the concept of development and community had been an ongoing phenomenon in all of Africa as old as time but development seemed to have been accelerated all over West Africa by the activities of Western civilization. It brought various developments to Nigeria. Christianity was introduced to Nigeria by the end of 18th century after the first attempt that failed in 16th and 17th century.

Many people were converted and various Churches were built. It stopped the use of human beings as sacrifice and the killing of twins. Education was introduced and schools built from primary to university level. Children were able to go to school and learn. This brought different Nigerian tribes together and made remarkable impacts on literacy training.

It also led to the promotion of agriculture, health, communication, transportation channels like roads, railway, telegraphs and other social services. The emergence of Islamic Religion in Nigeria also played a major role in developing Nigeria. It came to Hausa speaking part of the country in the 14th century and spread all through the North by 16th century.  

Before the coming of Islam to Northern Nigeria, the social life of the people was governed by traditional beliefs. Islamic civilisation introduced literacy. As a means of spreading the teachings of Islam, centers were built to teach people how to read and write the Arabic letters.

Standard of living, justice system, equity and morality also improved by the entrenchment of the teachings of Islam and the Religious monarchial set up. There was a Caliphate in Sokoto with a lot of emirs forming an empire. The Quran served as a standard-a constitution if you like and people were well organized and disciplined. 

 Nigeria got her independence in 1960. This meant Nigerian had come of age to manage her own polity as well as to utilise her natural resources to better the lives of her citizens. But that assumption proved erroneous. Nigeria was then still grappling with the terms of civilization and development which was soon evident by the carnage and barbarism that followed during the civil war.

Even now many decades after, Nigeria is still not developing as rapidly as it should.  Nigeria is on paper the richest country in Africa, yet our resources are not channeled to the right places.  The wealth never gets to the masses, a majority of whom live in abject poverty. This has led to poor health facilities, unemployment, unstable power supply, bad roads etc.

Most communities have leaders that from time to time propose or suggest new ideas on how community can be improved. A good and visionary leader needs to acquire new skills and ideas which have the potential of enhancing rapid development of the community. He or she listens to the views of the people and they are allowed to participate in the decision making process that would address their challenging issues.

Community development therefore, can only be achieved if people in the community come together as one body to identify their problems and come up with suggestions on how such problems can be solved to improve the quality of life. 

Youth involvement is necessary in developing a Nation. Youths are actually the life wire and the future of every community. They have the strength and stamina to drive ideas and visions even motivating others into action. They are always the rallying point for reforms. Often they constitute the larger percentage of the population.

Physiologically, youths are young adults who are relatively maturing in thoughts and ideas and are capable of setting in order, strategies for growth and development. The whole implication of this is that no nation can grow or move forward without the active involvement and unreserved commitment of her youths.    

Community development places demands on members of the community as it seeks skills and commitment against threatening challenges. It gives the people an opportunity to express themselves and participate in shaping their collective destiny. 

Development assumes various forms, for instance, socio-cultural interactions, politics, economic integration etc. All these will be discussed in greater details in our next edition.



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