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The study is a critical assessment of the role of development communication is rural development. Notwithstanding the various variables that assist in rural development, the development communication is still the epitome for rural development. However, both primary and secondary data was used in gathering information for the study: the secondary data come as a review of documented materials, while the primary data obtained with the help of questionnaire and oral interview, be administered to the ruralities with the help of the researcher, who will help the uneducated ones to fill in the boxes by explaining the questions to them.  A total number of 394 questionnaires were distributed precisely to the residents of Ohaozara community.  The data collected was tabulated and analyzed using percentages.  The three hypothesis formulated was tested using chi-square method respectively.  The findings of the study show among others that development communication is a tool for an effective rural development from the findings. The researchers recommended that other variables should be used in conjunction with development communication which people are familiar with; this will makes participatory communication to enhance rural development and the society at large.







Title page                                                               ii

Approval Page                                                         iii

Dedication                                                              iv

Acknowledgements                                                  v

Table of Contents                                                    vi

Abstract                                                                 ix



1.1    Background of the study                                   1

1.2    Statement of the problems                                12

1.3    Objectives of the study                                     14

1.4    Research Questions                                         14

1.5   Research Hypotheses                                        15

1.6   Significance of the Study                                    16

1.7   Theoretical Framework                                      17

1.8   Scope of the study                                            19

1.9    Limitation of the study                                      20

1.10    Definition of Terms                                         21




2.1    Sources of Literature                                           25

2.2    Review of Relevant Literature                               29

2.3    Summary of Literature                                         36


3.0     Research Method                                            38

3.1     Research Design                                             38

3.2     Area of the Study                                            40

3.3     Research Population                                        40

3.4     Sample  and Sampling Techniques                     41

3.5     Instrument of Data Collection                            44

3.6     Validity of the Instrument                                44

3.7      Method of Data Collection                                45

3.8      Method of Data Analysis                                  46

3.9     Expected Results                                             48



4.1    Data Presentation and Analysis                           49

4.3    Testing of Research Hypothesis                          61

4.3   Discussion of Findings                                       69


5.1     Summary                                                      71

5.2     Conclusion                                                     72

5.3     Recommendations                                          75











Communication is a variety of behavior, processes and technologies by which meaning is transmitted or derived from information. The term is used to describe diverse activities communication is at the core of our humanness. How we communicate with each other shapes our lines and our world. Human beings rely on their communicative skills as they confront events that challenge their flexibility, integrity, expressiveness, and critical thinking skills.

Communication involves different forms which includes the intra personal, inter personal, group, public, mass communication etc, all these are different ways/means through which we interact, associate, communicate, relate, share ideas, views, opinion, information, norms and values with ourselves and others.

Communication is regarded as the life blood of human existence which rapidly enhances unity that leads to the development of rural areas in Nigeria and the entire society.

Development communication has promoted peaceful co-existence, understanding and self-awareness among human beings. Both modern and traditional means of communication have certain common elements that have been applied in the development of rural areas in Nigeria.

Development communication is an approach perfected by the developing world. It is thus able to speak into the real life situations Nigerian’s rural areas and is connected with their efforts to improve their lives for the better. This approach was first used in the agricultural sector and the first development communication agents were village level agricultural extension officers. The approach flourished from the 1950’s onwards and roughly paralleled the decolonization of Nigeria.

Development communication describes an approach to communication which provides communities with information. They can use in bettering their life’s, which aims at making public programmes and policies real, meaningful and sustainable. Such information must be applied in some ways as part of rural development but it must also address information needs which rural communities themselves identified. The outcome of this approach, in short, is to make a difference in the quality of life of the rural communities in Nigeria.

Development communication has been seen by Nora Quebral as an art and science of human, it tend to transform rural areas therefore boosts the development of rural areas therefore boosts the development of rural areas like Ohaozara Local Government in Ebonyi State. This communication has helped to maintain social equality between societies.

This discipline of communication offers the development process a number of inputs:

  • A way to survey a new environment especially by establishing consultative vehicles.
  • A way of raising consciousness and awareness amongst communities of issues pertaining to a better life for all something to aspired to
  • A way of promoting feedback – a dynamic two ways process can be set up between people and developers.
  • A way to teach new skills selling
  • A national dream and a vehicle for programmes directed at rural development.

In development communication there is key element of the approach which is its responsiveness, this means that it does not provide “useless” information that which people did not want to know, but which central planners deemed as crucial. People understand their needs better and through this approach communication becomes  a tool in the planning and development process, not a mechanism to persuade communities once unpalatable decisions have been made.

Another element is that it hinges on feedback; it is not a one-way process but involves dialogue mechanisms about the information which was transferred. It is also fundamentally about consultative processes being managed at community level.

This communication must possess innovation and creativity meaning that the message must not be dull and boring but show clearly how the information transmitted will make a difference in the life of the recipient. It must not instill doubt or disbelief, but trust and confidence (look for rural adopters).

Element of independent validation is all about building participatory mechanism and functional networks. These can either prove or disprove the validity of the information transmitted. Other key elements include sustainability, and continuity, establishing common ground with rural communities who are to be the recipients of the information, it also about community participation, it’s about access and visibility of government where government is no longer a distance and unknown entity in rural development experiences, it’s also about the use of simple and relevant language where concepts are packaged in the experiences of communities, in their own language and where communities themselves have played a major role in the development of materials for development communication programmes.

Development communication is raw material for development for both urban and rural dwellers especially those dwelling in Ohaozara Local Government Area in Nigeria. Prosperity, progress, and development of any nation depend upon the nation’s ability to acquire, produce, access and use pertinent development communication. A report on older rural area like Ohaozara Local Government Area indicates that, access to information and advice is a key resource for local people in maintaining active and independent lives.

Moreover development communication and its access are also critical to letting people know their entitlements to welfare benefits and sources of support to overcome social exclusion. It has played an enormous role in the development of rural areas in Nigeria. The people of Ohaozara local government area has attested that development communication has played couple of roles in the development of their place in as much as other rural areas in Nigeria.

It has being of the live blood of any society and vital to the activities of both the government and private sector. Bell (1974:4) holds the view that “the dependence upon development communication to create innovation and change, places a high premium on the ability of developing countries to access and use information to create advances in society. The development of countries globally cannot be achieved without the development of the rural community. This is because 75 to 80 percent of the people in Nigeria live in the rural areas need positive, relevant and prompt attention in development communities.

However any nation that neglects the development and empowerment of the rural communities should not expect meaningful development. Alegbeloye and Aina (1985:13) state that “the third world countries have recently come to realize that unless the rural areas are well developed, hardly would any meaningful development occur in Nigeria”.  Development can only be effective if rural dwellers have access to the relevant development communication for their activities. Efforts must be made to give access to development communication by non literates who constitute the majority of rural dwellers. Okiy (2003:1) says that “Rural development is a basis for economic development and development communication is an important ingredient in the development process.

Development communication has played an enormous role in the rural development in Nigeria. People in rural areas whether literate or not should have access to any kind of information which will help them to become capable and productive in their social and political obligations, to become better informed citizens generally”. Similarly Diso (199:143) holds the view that “development communication must a matter of policy, be seen as a basis resources for development if durable structures are to be provided for effective access and utilization, which entails information capturing, coordination, processing, and dissemination”. In the Nigerian context, accessibility to information which can be development communicating by both urban and rural communities is stated in its development plans. But with emphasis to the support of government propaganda and many programmes that are not fully relevant to the development of rural communities. The development communication received by the rural dwellers is either not reliable or distorted in the process of transmission. This unhealthy situation constitutes a major impediment, which keep the rural communities in Nigeria far away from development indicators.

Nigeria undertakes rural projects to reduce the gap between the urban and rural communities in Nigeria to the barest level through the use of development communication. A report on a rural project (2007) outlined that “Access to and the ability to use information and knowledge are not equally distributed. Nigeria has been independent nation for the past 53 years with policies on the development of rural communities; most of these policies have been carried out by the use of development communication. Nigeria has the potentials to develop all sectors of human endeavors more especially if the development communication services are fully enhanced in the rural communities throughout the country. The rural communities in Nigeria are the majority in terms of population, and yet the neglect and sufferings they are encountering presently form the bases for impediment to the effective information policy implementation. Moreover this impediment is been limited by the help of development communication.

Development communication service in the rural community enhances development. Despite the conditions of the rural dwellers one may ask; is what ways can development communication contribute to the development of the rural communities in Nigeria> this paper or work examines the current environment and attempts to answer the questions.



Poverty and illiteracy are the major barriers to rural development. Who is to blame for this terrific condition? The absence of development communication should take the blame, because it is the right of every citizen to enjoy the wealth, resources, and services rendered by the government of Nigeria without discrimination of neglect through the use of development communication. For the rural populace to be able to exercise their sovereignty and assume responsibility for development, they must have necessary resources, adequate revenue allocation from federal and state sources and internal capacity to generate their own revenue locally as well as access to relevant and desirable information for development.

Development communication will assist in the development of rural areas in Nigeria. How effective will this role be carried out, how or on what fate does the Ohaozara people receive the development communication. This study is therefore to find out how development communication has played roles pertaining to the development of rural communities.


This study is aimed at identifying the role of development communication in the development of Ohaozara Local government Area in Ebonyi State and other rural communities in Nigeria. This study intends to discover the usefulness of the development communication in the community. The effectiveness of the development communication will be determined and will serve as a base for comprising developments in Ohaozara community


  1. Do Ohaozara people have any means of communication?
  2. Does development communication exist in Ohaozara Local Government Area?
  3. Does development communication play roles in Ohaozara Local government Area more than other communication?
  4. Is there any complementary role played by the development communication with respect to rural development?
  5. Can development communication enhance the rural development in Nigeria?
  6. Can development communication claim the propeller of the rural development?



Ho:  Ohaozara people have no official means of communication exept        interpersonal.

Hi:   Development communication seems to exist in Ohaozara Local        Government Area.

Ho:  Development communication plays vital roles in

Ohaozara Local government Area.

H2:   Development communication plays complementary role like informing        and educating the public interest.

Ho:  Development communication enhances rural

development in Nigeria.

H3:  The rural development is been propelled by various

factors including     development communication.



This study will be a humble contribution of development communication towards the development of Ohaozara community as a whole. It will also serve as source of encouragement of the use of development communication to develop most rural communities in Nigeria.

This study will also encourage other African countries of the 3rd world in the use of development communication and finally will guide others who want to know and understand the development communication in perspective of rural development.



This research work will be grossly incomplete without a befitting theoretical framework which will form the foundation on which the various literature gathered and analyzed in this work would rest on.  After careful examination, we arrived at two (2) theories that are considered to be conditionally powerful.  We recognized that development communication worked with other variables to bring abut change either at the individual level of at the group or social level.  The theory is the socio cultural norms theory.

Scio-cultural Norma theory

This theory portends that through selective presentations and tendentious emphasis on certain themes; the development communication created the impression among their targeted audience that such theme were part of the structure or clearly defined cultural norms or the society.

In relation to the rural development the development communication are expected to meet the felt needs of the teaming communication who in this case are rural based.  The felt needs of the people are those functions of the development communication which includes social, economic development etc.

However, thorough the use of mass media they enforce attention to the adherence of norms of the land.


As stated in the introduction, the study is in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The study gives a brief background history of the community. The study also identifies the development communication tools mostly used by people of Nigeria in the past and this present day to develop rural areas. The usefulness and limitations of these artifacts in serving the development of rural communities in Nigeria is as a result of the short period of time.

Due to possible lack of maximum co-operation, this study might be limited to information collected from population figure of the community under study, the low literacy rate, the non – availability of previous study on the topic and scarcity of previous study on the topic and scarcity of the text books are all part of the limitations.



In the course of accomplishing this study, the researcher was faced with the following problems:

  • Difficulties in Collection of Data: The researcher had limited access to official records and statistical data relevant to this work.


  • Finance: There was no fund to facilitate on the issue of traveling around for further research to the agricultural co-operative banks.  Besides, there was high cost of transportation.  This resulted to a barrier in research movement.
  • Time: The researcher found it difficult to combine the research work with academic work such as assignments, exams, etc due to their constraints.





  1. Conceptual – Assessment – According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, it is a consideration of someone or something and a judgment about them
  2. Operational – Assessment – This means the classification of someone or something with respect to its worth

iii.    Conceptual Role – According to Examate Dictionary, tie means the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group

  1. Operational – Role – This refers to the objective and function of somebody or group of persons in a situation or in a society.
  2. Conceptual – Development – Accounting to Longman Learners Dictionary, it is referred to the process or result of making a basic design gradually better and more advance. It is also the gradual growth or formation of something.
  3. vi. Operational – Development – This can be an act of improving by expanding, enlarging or refining. It is also a process in which something passes by degree to a different stage.

vii.   Conceptual – Communication – According to introduction to mass communication, Okoro (1998:48) it means the act of sharing beliefs, ideas, values from one person to another.

viii.  Operational – Communication – This is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing or using some other medium like development communication.

Ix:   Conceptual – Rural – According to the use census Bureau, rural means or refers to a state of locality, relating to village that does not qualify as an urban community. A community that is underdeveloped.

  1. Operational – Rural – This is the state of being poor and less development in a given geographical area.








Ebo, Stella .J. (2006), Mass Media and Society. Enugu:

Aciene Publishers.


Ugboajah, F.O (2007), “Development Indigenous

Communication in Nigeria “Journal of communication (autumn) Vol. 27, 4, 40-45.


Macbridge, Sean et al (1980), many voices, one world:

Communication and society today and Tomorrow

UNESCO Press Paris PP. 81-82


Ike .S. Ndolo (2005), “Mass Media System and Society

Enugu.  Rhyce Kerex Publishers.



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