Background of the Study
Every government strives through investment to achieve development for the well being of her citizens. Development according to Nyerere (2006) is the expansion of man‟s own consciousness and therefore of his own power over himself, his environment and his society. Ofuebe (1992) defined it as a phenomenon in which individual and society interact with their physical, biological and inter-human environment, transforming them for their own betterment and in the process, lesson that are learnt are passed on to future generation to enable them improve their capacity to make further valuable changes. Development must be dedicated to the improvement of all round well being of people but it can only make meaning when the people for whom the development is meant for appreciate and understand the value of the services rendered. Hence, Sesay (1997) notes that development can be energy-sapping, time consuming and a waste of effort and resources, if the people for whom the development services are being provided are kept underdeveloped to the extent that they lack understanding of the value of the services provided and hence do not care to maintain and sustain them.
It is evident from the above that development is meaningful only when it is sustained. Hence World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development must involve an all round development of the individual and the society. International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), (2006:89) notes that the essence of sustained and integrated balanced development is to achieve social, economic and political justice that leads to the liberation of mankind and in so doing eradicates such scourges as mass poverty and mass illiteracy. It is therefore evident that every nation has the preoccupation of providing sustainable development for her citizens.
Nigeria is one of the developing nations of the world with communities that are still highly underdeveloped. Eboh, Okoye and Ayichi (1995) report that about twothirds of 85.5 million citizens of Nigeria still live in an estimated 97,000 rural communities. UNICEF (1990) then states that the lives of these people living in these communities are characterized by poverty, misery, morbidity and underdevelopment. Their income remains low and agriculture which is their major preoccupation has been on the decline because of lack of mechanization. Despite these handicaps, these communities still occupy strategic position in the development of the nation. UNICEF (1990) further notes that the rural sector of the economy provides employment for about 70 per cent of the nation‟s labour force and the inhabitants produce 90 per cent of the food marketed and consumed in Nigeria.
Despite all the development policies and plans rolled out by the colonial government and the Nigerian government to develop the rural sectors of the economy, the communities are still underdeveloped in most cases. Koinyan (1991) states that the poor state of development reflects cumulative policy neglect and faulty planning from colonial period because there was no systematic programme for development, rather the development policy was an extraction of surplus from the communities to meet imperial priorities. Nwosu (1990) also opined that people living in rural areas are poor and still experience underdevelopment. The poverty he further notes is not because they are deficient in natural endowments but rather, as a result of the fact that they lack the potentialities to effectively and efficiently tap fully their valuable gifts of nature. One of the major ways by which the potentialities can be developed is through broad based education.