Information as a Major Criterion for Success in Women's Group Activities in Borno State, Nigeria

By Saleh, Adam Gambo | Library Philosophy and Practice, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Information as a Major Criterion for Success in Women's Group Activities in Borno State, Nigeria


Saleh, Adam Gambo, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

The 2006 National Census puts Nigeria's population close to 150 million. Fifty two (52) percent of which are Women and about 45% of them live in the rural areas, the highest percentage of which are in the Northern part of the Country. As a Third World Nation, the features that characterized the population in Nigeria include illiteracy, poverty, hunger, disease, and general absence of basic infrastructure such as roads, schools, electricity, etc.

Despite this myriad of problems, the Women population is very resourceful and contributes to the sustainability of the family and the society. About 10% of the Women are educated and contribute their quota to national development working either in public or private sector, many occupying top executive and managerial positions. Majority of them however, uneducated live in the rural areas engaged in domestic choirs such as cooking, fetching water and firewood, raising children; and are involved in petty trades's such as weaving, sawing, farming, animal husbandry etc. To supplement the families' income. In order to achieve her goals, the Nigerian Woman has since the 1930s realized the importance of collective effort by forming Groups and Associations. The Aba Market Women Association; Matan Arewa; The Amazon; are notable women's groups and associations that have contributed greatly towards uplifting the living standard of the Nigerian woman through their activities before and after independence in 1960. Presently, there are several women's groups, associations, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) directed towards women activities in the Country. In Borno State alone, there are two hundred and fifty-six (256) women clubs, groups, associations, and NGOs operating in both rural and urban areas which are registered with the Ministry for Women Affairs.

This is an indication that the Women population in Nigeria has realized the importance of collective efforts, a potential if properly harnessed can provide the impetus needed for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the plans of the Federal Government to becoming among the 20 Great Economies of the World in the year 2020. Perhaps it is in realization of the enormous potential of Women and the role they can play in nation building that since independence in 1960, governments in Nigeria has rolled-out various development programs some specifically directed towards the women folk. Notable ones include Better Life Program for Rural Women (BLP), Family Economic Advancement Program (FEAP), and National Program on Eradication of Poverty (NAPEP). At the international level Nigeria is also committed to the achievement of the objectives of the Beijing Conference, and the current United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGS).

However, despite the careful articulation of the various programs, and the huge amount of money spent towards the implementation of these programs through both Government agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS), the desired objective is still not achieved. The question that arises at this stage is why? Momodu (2002) probably has an answer when she lamented that "the missing link has been the absence of an effective mechanism for mobilization and stimulating them into action with a view to addressing their problems. That missing link is the lack of information in the right quantity and format."

The role of information in national development can not be overemphasized. Scholars have variously identified the indispensability of information in the developmental efforts of Third World Countries. Aboyode (1987) looked at the provision of effective information mechanism as necessary for rural development. He pointed out that rural development programs can only succeed where effective information delivery mechanism is sustained. Mchombu (1992) on the other hand identified the information requirements for rural development. Camble (1992 and 1994), and Pisagih (1999) emphasized on quality information and its utilization by development workers and women's groups in both rural and urban areas. …

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