STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT IN PHYSICAL PLANNING IN RURAL AREAS (A CASE STUDY OF EKET LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, AKWA IBOM STATE
The study sought to examine stakeholder’s Engagement in physical planning in rural areas using Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria as a case study. Many rural areas in Nigeria lack adequate physical planning for their environments. However, in order to survive, policy makers and stakeholders need to come to their rescue and bring a better planning of their environments in them. It is on the basis of this that this study was designed to answer research questions like: what are the contributions of stakeholders in physical planning in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State? What are the reasons for stakeholder’s Engagement in physical planning in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State? What are the benefits of stakeholders Engagement in physical planning on the people of Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State?
1.1 Background to the Study
The importance of stakeholder Engagement, through positive and pro-active partnerships with the community, business, government and the development industry is enormous and cannot be underestimated. In Nigeria, there is a need to empower residents to advocate for their community of interest and endeavour to create policy and strategy which is respectful of their vision. It is not possible, nor realistic, to expect that the expectations of every stakeholder will be able to be met in every situation, recognising the diverse range of ideas, backgrounds and aspirations that stakeholders do have. It is therefore important that stakeholder Engagement is progressed in an open, transparent, responsible and respectful manner. There are resource implications associated with stakeholder Engagement, requiring the investment of time, energy and money. In addition, there are statutory timeframes established for many decision-making processes. With limited resources, it is not realistic to expect that stakeholder Engagement will be progressed for every single development proposal.