Enhancing Rural Development Through The Proliferation Of Autonomous Communities: The Imo State Experience
This study examined the relationship between population size rank order of LGAs and the level of development (based on the number of items of infrastructure) in the LGAs of Imo State. The issue is if the proliferation of autonomous communities which by implication are smaller in geographical size and population will lead to enhanced development in the rural areas of Imo State. Secondary data for the study were obtained from journals, Imo state gazettes and internet while the primary data were gathered using oral interview technique, focus group discussion (FGD) and field observation. Multi-stage sampling technique was used in selecting the rural areas. Data were analysed using percentage ratio and Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient model. The hypothesis states that there is no significant relationship between population size rank and the development rank order of LGAs in Imo State using the number of items of infrastructure as indices for the exercise. The test of the hypothesis established that population size rank correlates significantly with development rank order among the LGAs studied. Also, findings show that the pattern and rate of fragmentation of autonomous communities in Imo State today cannot enhance the much-needed sustainable development; rather they will bring a lot of setback on the development of these LGAs. The study recommends that Imo State government should stop creating new autonomous communities from existing ones as larger communities with higher population attract more development facilities.