American Journal of Rural Development. 2014, 2(1), 13-19DOI:
Abstract: All around the world, local governments, the private sector and even the civil society are exploring better ways to achieve poverty reduction and rural development through local economic development strategies, the corner stone of sustainable national development. This is sequel to the fact that local governments, particularly in Nigeria face increased challenges of poor qualitative leadership, financial indiscipline, almost absolute reliance on allocation from the federated account / low internally generated revenues, pervasive poverty, income inequality, long-term ethnic conflict and civil unrest, political instability and corruption among others. Meanwhile, massive transformations are taking place in the global economy resulting from trade liberalization, privatization and enhanced telecommunications. The significance of this paradox to Nigeria is that citizens and local governments now face formidable challenges, greater opportunity and growing responsibility to work together to address the dehumanizing socio-economic conditions of their local citizens, most of whom are under employed or out rightly unemployed and living in absolute poverty. This paper postulates local economic development strategies, a participating process in which local people from all sectors work together to help create decent jobs and improve the quality of life for everyone, including the poor and marginalized as the most potent tool for achieving sustainable poverty reduction and rural transformation in Nigeria.