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1.1 Background of the Study

In recent years, Warri has experienced rapid population growth as a result of increasing population in the area. It has been observed that the main reason for this rapid increase in population is not far from unchecked and uncontrolled migration (Alemante, et al, 2006). Migration has no doubt affected the socio-economic activities of destination areas especially in Warri and its environs. The people of Warri place premium on socio-economic development. Town unions, private individuals, and associations, being part of voluntary agencies, have played active roles in the development of tourism areas through the provision of environmental, and infrastructural facilities in Delta State and Warri in particular which have in turn boast the socio-economic development of Warri and Delta State at large.

Any nation desires for its people to live in a progressive, stable and peaceful community, one that is economically, socially, materially and spiritually complete as well as able to contribute to the country’s well-being. Caveye (2006) contends that the community is both the means and end of community development. Indeed, holistic participation of the community in its development is essential to ensure that the community itself can become more vital, improved and can make better decisions in utilizing tourism resources, labour, knowledge, infrastructure, environments and financial capital. Communities are the ‘grassroots’ for a country, they are its building blocks, its foundations, they can depicts its attitudes and drive its progress and this is why creating the best environment the community development and encouraging good strategies are an integral part of a country’s agenda (Anwar, 2010).

The notion of development suggests more than just growth (Caveye, 2006). Growth means more jobs, more schools, more infrastructure and et cetera. However, the term development indicates an actual improvement in conditions, e.g., better health care, less environment damage, better living conditions and better investment for the good of the community (Anuwar, 2010). He argued that the ideal of community development means that the community engages itself in a process to improve its own economic, social and environmental status.

Within the last decade or so, several buzzwords that are often heard include; ‘globalization’, ‘knowledge-based economy’ and ‘human capital development’. A central theme amongst all these buzzwords is the needs for a country to grow, develop and compete in a world that necessitates the ability to actively participate in the global economic environment. It may be simplistic to say that any nation unprepared for his environment will be left behind, but it will also be unwise to undermine the significance of a nation’s economic participation in light of such borderless and fast-paced exchanges (Anuwar, 2010; Craig, 2013).

As asserted by Sharma (2010), socio-economic development is uniquely positioned between communities and governments-they are answerable to both. The suggestion made by the Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research (2009) also appears pertinent: individuals and private organizations in communities must work together to create, mobilize and apply knowledge that are needed in managing and creating sustainable development initiatives-clearly words that hint at both the community and national interests in towns and villages. In this drive towards community development and creating equity, countries must thus search for ways to ensure open access, encourage all members of the community to partake in socio-economic activities as well address any discrimination in the field of geography itself (Anuwar, 2010).

Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as Gross domestic Product (GDP), life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment. Changes in less-tangible factors are also considered, such as personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from four fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society. Causes of socio-economic impacts are, for example, new technologies, changes in laws, changes in the physical environment and ecological changes (Craig, 2013).

Socio-economic development is defined as a process that brings about changes in locations where people live, work and share things in common while factoring in economic, social, cultural and political want and needs. The quote identifies location as a place of community as well as a geography occupied by a socio-economic group (Rahman and Hossain, 2006). The socio prefix (socio-economic) stands for social. Despite the improvement in the infrastructural development of Warri, socio-economic activities have no doubt contributed immensely to the rapid growth, urbanization and socio-economic development of the region. This rapid development in both infrastructural and basic amenities is not far from the rapid population increase of the region which migration have been the major push pull factor for the increase in population through migration of the people in and out of Warri. This is true to say because socio-economic activities have improved the socio-economic life and source of livelihood of the inhabitants through the provision of electricity, road networks, communication system, improved educational facilities, environmental facilities, housing etc (Kanwar and Daniel, 2009).

The establishment of various recreational centres in Warri has drawn State Government attention to develop the region. Individuals, public and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have also contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Warri. Despite these adverse development, migration of people into Warri has brought with it huge negative effect especially on the socio-economic life and source of livelihood of the inhabitants in Warri. It is against this background that this study is carried out to examine the socio-economic effect of urban-rural migration on destination areas using Warri, Delta State as case study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Studies have shown that urban-rural migration has adverse socio-economic effect on destination areas. These effects include;

High rate of unemployment: Increased rate of unchecked and uncontrolled migration into Warri has resulted to unemployment in the region. In developing countries like Nigeria rural-urban migration and urban-rural migration affects socio-economic realities and employment opportunities in both urban and rural areas.

Scarcity of land: Increased migration has created problems of non-availability of land resources for both tourism development and agricultural production. This often leads to low crop yield, neglect in tourism development, poor infrastructural development among others. Most of the migrants move to the town alone. They had some information about the town and the decision of their migration is mostly made by themselves. However, most of them migrated decide to migrate not in planned way (Craig, 2013).

A greater number of the migrants are young adults, males, and unmarried and had some form of education before they decided to migrate. There are many causes for the movement of the people to the town. Among them the search for job, to gain education and training, and problem related with land and agricultural productivity was the major one. Many of the migrants encountered problems at the initial period of adjustment and adaptation and even currently (Sandar, 2005).

Rapid population growth: The rate of urbanization in developing nations has increased in alarming rate. The cause for the process of urbanization has in the developed Western state and developing countries has differed greatly. The underlying factor in the case of the former was industrialization but rural-urban migration due to population presser on the rural land for the latter group (Kahun, 2000, ILO, 2012). Thus in view of the high rates of urban population growth and the low level of urbanization, rural to urban migration appears to have been the major component of urban population growth in many developing countries. In different parts of African migration is considered as a means to escape economic, social, political problems and challenges it is a survival strategy (Sandar, 2005). The reason varies from not conducive geographical environment in Mail to that of severs poverty (Sandar, 2003). Landlessness, fragmented, unproductive land holdings and poor income compel rural exodus in most of the urban cities (Sandar, 2005).

Increased urban and rural problems: The unchecked and uncontrolled migration into the city of Warri and its surrounding rural areas has resulted to attendant urban and rural problems such as unemployment, housing congestion, increase in crime rate, poor health condition due to lack of medical facilities, shortage of water supply, inadequate electrification, poor communication system and bad road network, among others. Such high influx of population has its own effects on the areas of departure and destination on the regard of social, economic, environmental, cultural and political (Craig, 2013).

Poor social amenities: Migration brings with it problems of poor and inadequate social and environmental facilities various communities (Anuwar, 2010). This indicates that the town experiencing a high number of in-migration mainly from Warri axis. The researcher had very much familiar with research areas from his childhood. In connection to this, at the present time the town is faced with serious of problem within and around due to high population pressure. For instance some of the main problems in the eyes of the researcher are environmental pollution, natural resources degradation, overcrowding, social unrest (theft, crime, and pick pocket), high living cost and poor urban amenities.

Although actual data on urban-rural migration and its socio-economic effect on destination areas is scanty, it is believed that Warri received a large migrant population each year. Warri faced a series of problems due to rapid population growth. It is against this background that this study is carried out to address the above mentioned problems with the hope of proffering solutions to the identified problems.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to investigate the socio-economic effect of urban-rural migration on the destination areas based on a case study of Warri, Delta State. It is on the background of this, that the researcher intend to:

Determine the causes and consequent effect of migration in Warri;
Examine the socio-economic effect of migration on destination areas in Warri, Delta State;
To make recommendation(s) on the causes and effects of migration in Warri, Delta State.

1.4 Research Questions

The researcher designed the following questions to guide the study. They include;

What are the causes and consequent effect of migration in the study area?
What are the reason(s) why people migrate from urban areas to rural areas?
What are the socio-economic effects of migration on destination areas in the study area?
What are the socio-economic activities and source of livelihood of the inhabitants in Warri?
What are the recommendation(s) on the causes and effects of migration in Warri, Delta State?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The study is guided by the following hypotheses.

Migration has no socio-economic effect on the destination areas in Warri.
Migration has no significant impact on the socio-economic activities and source of livelihood of the inhabitants in Warri.
1.6 Significance of the Study

This study focuses on the socio-economic effect of urban-rural migration on the destination areas using Warri, Delta State. This will enhance the destination’s ability to offer visitors improved festival experience and elicit high repeat visitations.

The overall consideration of the significance of the study will be summarized in the following statements.

– Fill the gap in the literature in the areas of urban-rural Migration and its socio-economic effect on the destination areas,

– It become not a primary but a secondary source of information for researchers , academicians and practitioners,

– Serve as guiding documents for policy makers for the adaption, formulation and implementation of a genuine rural development strategies, efficient urban management, migration policy, etc.

– Give insight for the town administrators about the existing and emerging socio-economic challenge of the migrants in relation with the socio-economic services provided by the town administration.


Warri is an ancient city in the Niger Delta coast of Nigeria. Warri is well known to be one of the busiest cities in Nigeria. Warri Metropolis has three (3) local government areas which are Warri South, Udu and Uvwie Local Government Areas of Delta State.




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