Rural communities in Nigeria often lack adequate infrastructure. I have struggled recently with the thought of relocating to the city. My biggest grouse with staying in a small town is the poor quality of internet services. I have battled with unsatisfactory internet services over the last few weeks. This has caused me untold shame and embarrassment. I shouldn’t have to experience this on a daily basis. The EMBA programme requires reliable internet access. This is crucial for participating in online lectures and group discussions.
This situation reminds me of a case study we discussed a few weeks ago in a class of “Analysis of business problems”. The case study involved a company deciding on the location of its new factory. Two options were up for consideration. The first option was to locate the factory in a small town about 100 kilometres away from its main plant. While, the second option was to locate the new factory in the city where the main plant was located. As we discusses the case, we came up with a list of criteria for evaluating each site. The criteria included proximity to the main factory, availability of infrastructure, cost of utilities and industrial harmony.
Eventually, we chose the small town as the location for the new factory. The major criteria that informed the choice of the small town was industrial harmony. From previous experience, workers in small towns were less likely to join workers’ union. Thus the potential for improved industrial relations between the workers and the company management made the small town more appealing in this case.
Long term implications:
Interestingly, the choice of the small town was based on likelihood of industrial harmony at the site. The reduced potential for industrial dispute in the small town may be due to its lower state of industrialisation. However, it is possible that with increased industrialisation, the risk of industrial unrest would increase in the small town as well.
The way forward:
This case study reminds me of the important role government plays in providing adequate infrastructure for small towns and rural areas. Such infrastructure includes good roads, adequate water supply, electricity and of course, good quality internet services. A small town with good infrastructure will attract investors who could establish new companies in the area. Consequently, workers in the new companies may relocate their families to small towns or rural areas if good social amenities like schools, hospitals and markets are available there. This will lead to further development of the town or rural area.
Many rural areas and small towns in our country lack adequate infrastructure and social amenities. Sadly, many residents in our rural communities are unable to provide these facilities themselves. Hence the need for a collective effort to solve this problem. Private individuals and non-governmental organisations can work with governments to provide improved amenities for rural dwellers. In the end, we remain Nigerians, whether we reside in the city or in the sub-urban areas. Our location (rural or urban) should not hinder opportunities for self-development and self-actualisation. Working together, we can make our communities the preferred destination for investors from all over the world. The future of our country lies in our hands. #EMBA27