Industrialization as a catalyst for rural development in Nigeria

industrialization as a catalyst for rural development in Nigeria




The need for rural development has received more comments by Nigerian academicians politicians and popular press in the country. Various approaches have been put forward by all and sundry, which identified themselves with the rural development programs

Ironically, these concerned efforts for rural development program have not been matched by concrete actions. Indeed, the programs that is, the rural developments programs are probably the greatest victims of lip service by the people and government of this country. Akinbode (1991).

Nigeria however, in the course of this rural development programs. It has been estimated that various successive government had spent billions of naira Abasiekong (1994). This sis not to say that the amount spent on rural development is too much as regards the populations of the people living in the rural areas. However, it is a fact that the rural population in Nigeria is estimated to be over 68% of the total population. Mabogubje (1992).

The poor performance of the past policies and programs of successive governments caused the establishment of the Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) in 1986 perhaps the directorate is yet to complete its programs or could not complete it’s programs during its years of existence, since the few report and comments on the programs does not include much improvement in rural development

In the course of the new programs, about 8.3% of the national budget was se aside for it’s take off and many more has been spent thereafter. For the proper integration of rural area, the industrialization of the rural areas is the best strategy for rural development and also it is the balancing force between the urban and rural areas. (Fourth National Development plan). This approach will balance and co-ordinate the rural development approach  or program which does provide employment opportunities in multi-dimensional sectors is bound to fail. So also is any economy which does all its income on only a single economic sectors may fail as soon as there is a depression in that sector of the economy

In view of all these factors, the rural development of Agbara Ogun state which was brought by the industrialization of the village and its environs is an experience to show an adroit integration on rural development. This strategy, that is, industrialization, simultaneously improved both the economic life and physical environment of the area. The approach at Agbara is a unique one because this programs cut across many sectors and people including the government and private sector.

Industries at Agbara set the pace in the provision of infrastructural facilities to the Agbara community and its environments. For instance, during the reconnaissance survey. It was gathered that a company, “Associated Breweries and Company Limited” now “Vatamalt Nigeria Plc” provided pipe-borne water for the village purely on humanitarian grounds. Another company is Nestle food Plc which chonated vehicles for the Nigeria police force at Agbara

The influence of the industrial location has accelerated the provision of electricity, police station, good road network, Banks and it also caused the establishment of other industries. The industrialization also set the pace for Agbara housing scheme and the Ogun state Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC) other facilities present include, petrol stations nursery, primary and secondary schools. Private clinics and telephone network, with these improvement the companies also provides employment opportunity for the people. The establishment of Agbara and Igbesa/Lusada markets also boosts the economic activities of the area. The industrial location brought about the establishment of these markets because of good prospects of the areas as a conducive place for business/markets. In the past the companies also embarked on farming in large scale for instance “Glaxo Nigeria Plc” now “Evans pharmaceuticals Nigeria Plc” cultivated hectares of land within the local government the product of these farms were maize and cassava. In view of all these development at Agbara which was brought about by industrialization, it can be concluded that any development without job opportunities for the people will not be viable. In this case industrialization can be said to be the only viable solution to any development and as such, it should be used in the development of more rural areas.

  • Aim and Objectives

The aim of the study is to appraise the industrialization strategy in the development of rural areas. The objective of achieving this aim is:

  1. To analyses the site plan with a view to understand the rural consideration
  2. Appraise the resultant effect of location of the Estate on the rural areas.
  3. Justify the production process taking place in the estate.
  4. Highlight the emanating problems from the sitting of the industries in the rural areas.
  5. Proffer solutions to the emerging problems

1.3     Statement of the study

Rural development programs have been one of the most controversial issues in recent time. Most of the programs and the policies were not properly designed and the implementations were faulty. Looking at the problems of rural areas which are poverty and unemployment which affect the condition of living and provision of infrastructural facilities, the need for better improvement in rural economy is very necessary. That is, it is necessary to utilize the raw material in the rural areas for the betterment of that rural area. In this case, the industrialization of the rural area will make use of the raw materials, the abundant land and labour force in the rural area of the improvement in the economic, social and physical conditions, of the rural areas. The industrial location will co-ordinate and develop other economic sectors into a more viable economy; the standard of the people will improve both socially and economically

The provision of infrastructural facilities will also be accelerated because of the pressing need for them. It is however believed that if about 63% of the population of the country is properly developed, which is the percentage of the rural population, then the development of the country is imminent.

1.4     Scope and Limitations

The study “INDUSTRIALIZATION AS A CATALYST FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT” will only establish or appraise the contribution of industrialization to the development of the rural area using Agbara as a case study. The development of Agbara as an example of the effect of industrial location has an encouraging out look on rural development strategy

These types of study will not but have limitations. The limitations encountered during this study include lack if adequate and up-to-date information about the study area. The problem of co-operation on the part of the respondents and the problems of logistics were encountered during the study.



Agbara Township and Agbara Estate lies on a latrine outcrop, 31km West of Lagos on the Badagry motor way in an area of lowland swamps forest of the Ologe lagoon. By this, Agbara estate is strategically located along the Badagry express way thus forgoing a major link or connection between Western parts of the country and ECOWAS countries as seen in fig. 1.1 and 1.2. It lies approximately on the latitude 4022N and 4052N respectively and between longitude 30 42E and 4035N. Thus, the location advantage has boosted their commercial and trading superiority in the area. There are numerous neighboring towns and villages that have forged great linkage and connections with Agbara town. Many of such towns and villages that have customary, cultural historical and traditional lies with the town include Igbesa, Eto village, Morogbo, Korogboji and Atan. See figure 1.3.

Generally, unlike many Nigerians towns “Agbara town’s growth or spatial expansion is rather uniform in all directions.


Topography: Agbara town lies about 100 meters away from the coast of western and is fairly flat, varying from about 8 to 20 meters above sea level. A few valleys are presents in the area. An impressive embankment, 4 to 6 meters high has been formed on the northern entrance to the estate and Agbara town. Apart from this features, the area is mostly covered with forest. The expanse of Ologe lagoon is visible from the motorway bridge.

CLIMATE: Agbara town his within equatorial maritime climate zone with prevailing winds in the rainy season (April to October) and the (harmattan) winds in the drys season, (November to March)

Annual rainfall varies between 1500 and 2000mm with 1000 to 1500mm falling in the wet season and 200 to 250mm in the dry season. Monthly mean temperature is between 300c and 320C and fairly constant throughout the year and there is little decimal variation. Mean relative humidity is 70% rising to almost 100% in the wet season

There is also strong daily variation humidity highest at 6.00am and lowest at about 12 noon.


Agbara consist of three main divisions. It was the Ilase which first came to settle in Agbara land from Lagos. The Ilete later followed, they originated from Ile-Ife. The Ilete were brave hunters who hunts wild animals and games for a living while some of them are fisherman.

As it is customary to go a long hunting expedition, the Iletes hunt from place to place which brought them to Ologe the popular Lagoon which flows through Oto and Ilase where the Ilase and Oto built their dwelling in which they stay for sometime and return home to their base. Soon a very strong bond of friendship developed between the Oto, Ilete and the Ilase. The Ilete’s always return home, but noticed that the Ilase do not go home, but stay long days unending, they huts day and night and sleep in their tents and hunts without remembering home. Thus, the place became a permanent settlement for Ilase.

The Ilase have a tradition of worship the “AGEMORA” deity which is a yearly festival but they were usually attached by some raiders whenever they were having these yearly festivals. These raiders were the Egun people known as “WOHEMEN”. Due to these regular raids on the Ilase, they solicited for the assistance of the Iletes in ending the sporadic attack of the Eguns. The Iletes pledge their assistance, so on the fateful day, the Ilases where having their festival, the lletes lay ambush against any attack. The attack by the Eguns was fully contained by the Ilete warriors who capture them. The llase has a successful celebration of their festival. After the festival the Ilete warriors were set to return home but the Ilase people begged to stay but the Ilete warrior insisted on going since the enemy has been captured saying (A ti gba won la-gba-ra) meaning “we have liberated them forever).

It is from the above statement that the name “AGBARA” emerged. The Ilases still insisted that the Iletes stay, so the warrior went back home to inform their families of their intention of setting abroad. So their families returned with them to settle at Ilase.

The Ilase worship “ AGEMORA” and “ORO” and the Ilete worship “OGUN”. The Ilete were the royal people in their place of origin. For this reason the Ilete and Ilase did not build houses closes to each other. The reason for this was because of the crown of the king of Ilete and the crown of the chief priest of the Agemora deity. They said two kings cannot reign in the place. The Ilete settles at Oke-Agbara and the Ilase, at Ilase it was both Oke and Ilase that now became Agbara, more people started trooping into the area, because the people were successful powerful and mighty men.

Later, the third set of people migrated from Oyo and they were asked to settle in another area known as Jida. Today township is known for its industrial spread over a vast area and housing estate which is a beauty to watch. Agbara is the leasing town in Ogun state, where the state earns revenues for developments (figure 1.1,1.2 and 1.3).


Although census results, especially those of the 1962 and 1973 were very controversial, available record indicate that the population of Agbara Township grew from 4,882 in 1952 t o 9,392 in 1963. The increase in population is perhaps as a result of demographic changes and spatial expansion of the town which now incorporate neighboring village. Formerly regarded as different communities by the 1952 census and the establishment of more commercial activities in 1988, the population was put at about 18, 230. Agbara has continued to grow in leaps and abounds, presently the towns populations is put at about 52,000 (2000 population census)




The urban economy of Agbara centers around merchandising (whole sale and retail manufacturing activities, but before then, farming was the major activity engaged by the people residing, there until chief Adeyemi Lawson introduced the industrial residential estates. Agbara township market (oja Agbara)  serve as a major outlet for the agricultural produce (that is five days markets) . cassava, yam, maize, rice, plantain, fruits, vegetable, fresh fish are brought from the agricultural hinterland of the rest of the Awori townships and villages serving activities are also prominent in the town. Outstanding among the manufacturing concerns are those producing Gin, Drinks, Rubber, Plastics furniture and Poultry. Apart from these numerous services industries like auto-mobile repairs and wielding shops are located within the town, other industrial establishment that contribute to the growth of Agbara economy includes metal fabrication, tailoring, timber processing, block making and print works.

There are some government offices in the town which include NITEL, NEPA, Vehicle Licensing Office, Tax Office, Customs and Ministry of works and Housing. The large influx of the public worker into the town and their resultant effect on economic structure of the Agbara Township has continued to generate a lot of physical development and deficiencies in housing stock, water supply, electricity, recreation and other public utilities. On the provision of educational facilities, Agbara Township has one government primary school, four private nursery/primary schools while the secondary schools are located outside Agbara because of the unavailability of land. Health facilities are also available at Agbara Township; there are several private clinics and numerous chemists’ shops. All these have continued to generate a high demand for land and a lot of development.



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