We live in a world shaped by human migration. Everyday people make decisions to leave their hometown, or even their own country and move elsewhere to work, study, retire or reunite with their families. Migration has changed the demographic composition of towns, cities and nations. Consider this for instance: in 1960 there were only 30 countries in the world that had at least a half million international migrants each, but by 2005, the number of such countries doubled, bringing the total number of such foreign-born residents globally to 191million people. The majority (641 of 123 million people) of these international migrants moved from less developed countries (PRB 2008). Millions of others known as internal migrants, migrated from one place to another within a single country.
Migration is broadly defined as a relocation of residence for a specified duration and for various reasons (Hossain, 2001). Migration incorporates all kinds of movement of people for one place to another. It may take place within a particular geographical boundary of a country and then beyond its boundaries. Rural – urban migration is the movement of people from the country side to the urban centre. Migration may be permanent in nature or temporary. People may choose to migrate voluntarily or they may be forced into it. Both at the urban destination and at the rural origin there are demographic, economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of migration which is diverse and deep. The migration of hundreds of millions of rural people to cities is as a result of both institutional and structural changes caused by economic growth and social modernization. It usually denotes movement of people from one area to another in search of certain benefits that will fulfill recurrent dreams of “better things to come.” In many cases, mobility in terms of migration to new pastures with the hope that conditions would be better turns out unfruitful.
Migration is not a new feature, neither is it limited to particularly parts of the world. It is as old as the world itself. It has been one of the enduring themes of human history. It has contributed to the evolution of separate cultures and their components by interchanging communications with the frequent complexities that mix people and cultures in different areas of the world. In this case, rural – urban migration or labour migration is defined as the movement of able bodied individuals from rural villages of origin to cities to earn labour wage (Hunnas, 2012). Migrants are people who have left their homes to a new location, either temporary or permanently in order to reap the benefits of private social or economic gains (Adepoju, 2003).
Rural-urban migration was formerly regarded as favourable in Economic development. Today it has become one of the most embarrassing problems in Nigeria’s development experience. It is the movement of people from rural areas into cities. However, experiences in developing and developed countries has shown that the rate of rural-urban migration has ceaselessly outweighed the rate of job creation; and having an overweight also, the social and infrastructural amenities available in the urban areas.
Rural-urban migration occurs at varying rates in every country. Many developing countries have a recent colonial past, which has tremendously altered their structure and governance. The populations of countries around the world are becoming increasingly urbanized. The process of urbanization continues to be more rapid and massive, thereby challenging and affecting a greater part of the world than ever before. The move from mainly rural society to an urbanized world has also impacted on all aspects of human lives. In the 1950s less than one third of the human race were living in cities, but by 2020, it is expected that two-thirds will live in cities and 90 percent of this will be living in the cities of developing countries, (Kante, 2004).
In spite of the above noted situations, there is lack of sound knowledge and understanding of rural-urban migration with respect to its effect on public utilities in Uyo local government area. Therefore, the aim of the study is to analyze the effects of rural-urban migration on public utilities in Uyo local government area.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS
Nigeria’s urban population has been growing at an alarming rate. Nigerian towns and cities are explosively growing in leaps and bounds. A little more than 50 years ago, fewer than 7% of Nigerians lived in urban centres (that is settlements with populations of 20,000 or more). This proportion rose to 10% in 1952 and 19.2% in 1963. It is now estimated at about 55%. In fact Nigeria cities are among the fastest growing in the world (Adepoju, 2003).
The growing concentration of population in urban centers is generally attributed to a number of socio-economic and lifestyle conditions, such as the higher capacity of the urban institutions to absorb more workers, avenues for a non-agricultural means of livelihood and higher income generation opportunities. Such rural–urban migration and population concentration within a limited urban area exerts strains on the various public services and have apparent negative social ramifications that impairs the living conditions of the residents. It is accompanied by multiple problems and issues associated with the movement of people and materials in larger scale. It also results in rural depopulation and agricultural inefficiency because of the fact that the aged ones that are left behind cannot produce enough food for rural consumption.
This constant drift of thousands of people from rural areas have become a striking problem to urban areas. Such problems can be seen from housing problems, pollution, overcrowding and overstretched of available public utilities. It is these spatial characteristics that are of importance to geographers and hence forms the basics of this research.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What are the reasons as to why people migrate to Uyo local government area?
ii. What has been the results of such migration on public utilities in the study area?
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The overall aim of this study is to examine the effects of rural-urban migration on public utilities in Uyo Local Government Area, with the following objectives:
1. To determine the effects of rural urban migration on public utilities in Uyo Local Government Area.
2. To identify the dominant migratory groups of migrants in the study area.
3. To examine the major determinant factors of rural-urban migration in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
For the purpose of this study, the hypothesis below is put forward to ascertain these effects:
Ho: There is no significant effect of rural urban migration on public utilities in Uyo Local Government Area.
Hi: There is a significant effect of rural urban migration on public utilities in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study covers ten (10) villages in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State as the study area. It is about rural–urban migration of people. The research is on the effect of rural–urban migration on public utilities in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is significant in that it will provide fresh and much needed inputs on the possible effects of rural-urban migration on public utilities to policy makers, planners and institutions of learning it will serve as a reference material on issues that:
Tackles the problems that force people to leave their rural origin, by bridging the development gap between urban and rural areas through the introduction of sound rural development strategies and effective urban management.
It will also help to provide information for planners and policy makers to formulate and implement population redistribution or migration policy.
1.8 STUDY AREA
1.8.1 Location: Uyo Local Government Area is the capital city of Akwa Ibom State. It is located on the South-Southern of the State. It lies between latitude 7º30’ and 8º03’ E and between longitude 4º52’ to 5º10’ N. It covers an area of about 985.96 square kilometers and comprises a total (see figure 1) 75 villages (Akwa Ibom State edict No.12, 1988).
1.8.2 Drainage, relief and vegetation
The topography of Uyo local government area is basically an undulating one, except in the northern part where the Ikpa River is.
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