Background of the Study

 Every government strives through investment to achieve social development for the wellbeing of her citizens. Social development according to Nyerere (2006) is the expansion of man’s own consciousness and therefore of his own power over himself, his environment and his society.  Ofuebe (1992) defined it as a phenomenon in which individual and society interact with their physical, biological and inter-human environment, transforming them for their own betterment and in the process, lesson that are learnt are passed on to future generation to enable them improve their capacity to make further valuable changes. Social development must be dedicated to the improvement of all round well being of people but it can only make meaning when the people for whom the social development is meant for appreciate and understand the value of the services rendered. Hence, Sesay (1997) notes that social development can be energy-sapping, time consuming and a waste of effort and resources, if the people for whom the social development services are being provided are kept underdeveloped to the extent that they lack understanding of the value of the services provided and hence do not care to maintain and sustain them. 

 It is evident from the above that social development is meaningful only when it is sustained. Hence World Commission on Environment and Social development (WCED) defined sustainable social development as the social development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.  Sustainable social development must involve an all round social development of the individual and the society. International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), (2006:89) notes that the essence of sustained and integrated balanced social development is to achieve social, economic and political justice that leads to the liberation of mankind and in so doing eradicates such scourges as mass poverty and mass illiteracy.  It is therefore evident that every nation has the preoccupation of providing sustainable social development for her citizens.

 Nigeria is one of the developing nations of the world with communities that are still highly underdeveloped.  Eboh, Okoye and Ayichi (1995) report that about twothirds of 85.5 million citizens of Nigeria still live in an estimated 97,000 rural communities. UNICEF (1990) then states that the lives of these people living in these communities are characterized by poverty, misery, morbidity and undersocial development. Their income remains low and agriculture which is their major preoccupation has been on the decline because of lack of mechanization. Despite these handicaps, these communities still occupy strategic position in the social development of the nation. UNICEF (1990) further notes that the rural sector of the economy provides employment for about 70 per cent of the nation‟s labour force and the inhabitants produce 90 per cent of the food marketed and consumed in Nigeria.

 Despite all the social development policies and plans rolled out by the colonial government and the Nigerian government to develop the rural sectors of the economy, the communities are still underdeveloped in most cases. Koinyan (1991) states that the poor state of social development reflects cumulative policy neglect and faulty planning from colonial period because there was no systematic programme for social development, rather the social development policy was an extraction of surplus from the communities to meet imperial priorities. Nwosu (1990) also opined that people living in rural areas are poor and still experience undersocial development. The poverty he further notes is not because they are deficient in natural endowments but rather, as a result of the fact that they lack the potentialities to effectively and efficiently tap fully their valuable gifts of nature. One of the major ways by which the potentialities can be developed is through broad based education.  

 People‟s intellect must be brought to bear on social development, as such there is need to empower people for social development through education. Without intellectual social development, all efforts towards social development will be a waste. This is the idea behind human capital as a social development strategy. People must be encouraged to help themselves to develop, using their intellect. Education at this point becomes a prerequisite for social development. Education is an instrument with which to change structures and ideologies that keep people subordinate.  Through education people can gain access to resources, contribute to decision making, gain control over their lives, gain self respect and improve on their societal values and image. These are conditions for social development.  Nyerere (2006:78) in support of human capital social development notes that

“people cannot be developed; they can only develop themselves. Man develops himself by what he does, by making his own decisions, by increasing his own knowledge and ability, and by his full participation as an equal in the life of the community he lives”. Wolfensohn (2000) also reports that South Korea, Malaysia and Mexico have given us ample evidence to demonstrate that broad-based education is associated with a wide range of indicators of well being, including a nation‟s increased productivity and competitiveness as well as social and political progress. Education is a basic human right and frees the human mind from ignorance and slavery for social developmental purpose.