Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 7, No. 1, 2009
Pages 68-83

DOI: 10.36108/ijss/9002.70.0160

Infrastructure and Development: Catalysis or Cataclysms in Africa? The case of fadama farming in Nigeria

Akinpelu Olanrewaju Olutayo

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria



Perhaps the greatest achievement ever attained by Hunan beings is how they ‘captured’ nature through science. Nonetheless, it seems the greatest obstacle yet to be conquered is the human being itself. This obstacle is, perhaps, informed by the former preceding the laxer since it is still the understanding of science that is being applied to the understanding of human beings! What is often concocted is the direct application of scientific theories and methodologies which, in its initial historical emergence, was never a completely worked schema. In its development garb, science is applied to human welfare inform of infrastructural projects which are assumed to be condition for the attainment of ‘human comfort’ and ‘desire’. It has always been a ‘working to the answer’ leading, in the main, to cataclysms rather than catalysing development. The paper brings this out clearly in the assessment of a World Bank sponsored project in Nigeria. It found that even though the development community no longer claims a unilineal development paradigm, couched in terms of development cooperation recognizing indigenous peculiarities, the reality on ground proves otherwise. Furthermore, rather than catalysing development, more problems are in the offing than those proposed to have been solved.

Keywords: infrastructure, development, fadama, Nigeria


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