RURAL POVERTY AND THE CHALLENGES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA; A STUDY OF ABOH MBAISE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE.
Poverty has to do with living below whatever is defined as a minimum standard of living based on per capital income or consumption of individuals or household in a country. The local government system is set up, to help curtail the prevalence of poverty at the local level in order to engender national development in Nigeria. Despite all the efforts made by both past and present regimes to reduce poverty at the rural area and to bring government closer to rural people proves abortive. The monies and other logistics made for local or rural people are being diverted into private purse, thereby impoverishing the rural people the more and having a spillover effect on the national development. The theory of Relative Deprivation was adopted as the analytical frame work to demonstrate that national development is as a result of improvement at the local level. The questions try to know whether lack of good health care in rural areas contributes to rural poverty and if lack of family planning by rural dwellers can lead to rural poverty. Our method of data collection and analysis are qualitative and quantitative descriptive methods respectively. In our hypotheses, it is clear that there is link between lack of family planning and increasing poverty and unavailability of good health care service can lead to poverty. The findings of the study revealed that there is relationship between rural poverty and national development in Nigeria. The study recommends that, there should be adequate funding of local government by the federal government so that poverty at the rural areas will be alleviated.