THE CONTRIBUTION OF SELF HELP GROUP IN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KATSINA STATE
This research was carried out to study the contribution of self help group in social and economic development with special focus on selected communities in Bakori LGA, Katsina State. A combination of primary and secondary sources of information was used to elicit the data required for the study. A total of 200 questionnaires was administered, out of which 183 were found to be valid and suitable for the study. Data was also gathered from relevant literature reviewed, which included journals, textbooks, gazettes and other print and electronic materials. Two hypotheses were formulated and tested to give verifiable answers to the problems and objectives of the research. The result indicated a significant relationship between self-help groups and socio-economic development; between people‘s willingness to participate in self-help efforts and level of development. This study therefore recommended more involvement of the self help groups in projects design, execution, monitoring and evaluation in various communities in Nigeria. The study concludes that the adoption of the self-help philosophy will bridge the gap in economic and social development between urban and areas in Nigeria, and consequently improve the economic and social conditions of the inhabitants.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Historically, African societies, and human societies in general, have sought to improve their lot through self-help efforts. Even before the advent of the colonial era, people had at different times in history organized themselves into groups and had employed combined resources to provide working facilities and bring about improvement in their respective localities (Bhattacharya 2013). This has been a common experience particularly at times of great need, such as during catastrophe situations or emergency. Neighbours, relatives and friends help each other in times of need. At other times, the whole community comes together to work on common needs or problems which they may face. For instance, they may build local roads and bridges, clear farmlands, or form a neighbourhood watch group to defend against intruders, or even construct some public utility buildings, such as town halls, market stalls, schools and churches (Akinsorotan and Olujide, 2007).
The idea of SHG is bringing perceptible change in different dimension of the societies’ life in most countries of the world (Swamy & Tulasimala, 2013). The concept of SHG is first introduced by Laureate Mohamed Yunus in Bangladesh and nowadays it touched the greatest part of the world (Narang, 2012). The purpose of the groups is enabling the group members to come together and combine their resource in order to access lowcost financial service with a process of self-management and development. Self-help groups (SHGs) are a group of ten to twenty members organized to help each other financially, socially and emotionally. Self – help groups are voluntary gatherings of persons who share needs or problems that are not being addressed by existing organizations, institutions, or other types of groups (Akpomuvie 2010). The broad goals of a self help group are to bring about personal and socio-economic change for its members and society (Karmakar 1999). Every person can contribute for the development of his or her country if there are some amenities or opportunities which guide the individual to develop his or her capability.
Self-help projects are very important intervention strategies for social empowerment, alleviation of poverty, income generation and provision of employment. They act as a catalyst for social development in the areas. Self-help projects in areas may consist of infrastructure projects such as water, sewer and solid waste, community facilities to housing, essential services such as health care, public safety and education, as well as affordable housing projects. In cities, these types of projects are typically planned ahead of need, and services are often provided by a single governmental body. In areas, however, services and infrastructure may be provided by a number of different entities, including non-profit corporations. Thus, the main idea of self-help projects and development is that a community should help itself by providing its felt needs (Okwakpam, 2010). It is against this background that this study intends to examine the contribution of self help group in social and economic development in Katsina state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been observed that in spite of abundant natural, physical and human resources Nigeria is endowed with, there is still high incidence of poverty in Nigeria especially in the areas. n many towns, lack of critical infrastructure limits other forms of community and economic development. Poor performance of government in meeting the socioeconomic quests of citizens has been identified as one of the reasons behind the proliferation of self-help projects. It is in this regard that the community jointly complements or fills the shortcoming of government efforts in the development of the community. It is the belief, therefore, that through self-help projects our various communities can develop better.
This study is therefore focused on assessing the contribution of self help group in social and economic development in Katina state.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim of this study is to identify he contribution of self help group in social and economic development in Bakori LGA, Katsina State. The following are the objectives of this study:
- To know how self help groups in the various communities in Bakori LGA, Kastina State have participated in development programmes.
- To know if the self-help groups have boosted development efforts in communities in Bakori LGA, Katsina State.
- To evaluate to what extent self-help groups can positively affect the communities in Bakori LGA, Katsina State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study seeks to provide answers to these questions:
- How can self help groups in the various communities participate in development programmes?
- Have self-help groups boosted development efforts in Bakori LGA, Katsina State?
- To what extent have self-help groups positively affect communities in Bakori LGA, Katsina State?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Theoretically, it will add to existing research works and literatures to be used for educational purposes. Hence, it will serve as a databank for any student (or researcher) carrying out a study related to the subject matter. Also, the research findings could lead to further research.
The study will also provide important information about the impacts of self-help groups in different dimensions of the community particularly towards social and economic development . It also explained the challenges of self-help groups in order to find solutions.