URBAN BIAS, URBAN CRISES, AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA:Controversies and contending Issues
Nigerian urban crises have, in recent time, assumed very critical dimensions. The battle line between survival and extinction among urban dwellers appears to be clearly drawn. There is little attempt at attacking the forces that breed rural decay and urban migration. The cosmetic approach to tackling Nigeria’s rural development problem has, as can be expected, complicated the crises facing the urban area. Hopes that the democratic reawakening which swept through Nigeria in the last 15 years would bring positive changes to the rural areas in Nigeria has fizzled out as a combination of intrigues and display of ignorance and ineptitude by politicians, stagnate popular drive for change that will stem the tide of rural urban migration. Why should a state that has twenty seven local government areas establish almost all its economic activity in one local government? There seems to be a tendency inherent in the system of state management of funds that supports allocation of funds to the urban areas at the expense of the rural areas. It is this “urban bias” in development that is the bane of urban crises in Nigeria. Drawing inference from Imo State capital where virtually all economic activity of the state is hoisted at the state capital, we demonstrate how urban bias could distort economic progress and increase and reinforce the urban crises.
KEY WORDS: Urban bias, urbanization and Development.