No doubt, in many countries in the world today, the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the programmes of development planning and foreign aid appear to be unable to reverse this trend.
Nearly all the developing countries, including Nigeria, have a modern sector, where the pattern of living and working are similar to those in developed the patterns of living and working are not only dissatisfying but in many cases are even getting worse.
Meanwhile, a typical condition of the poor in developing countries is that, their work opportunities are so limited that they cannot work their way out their situation. They are under-employed, or totally unemployed.
When they do find irregular work, their productivity is extremely low. Some of them have land, but often too little land. Many have not a plot of land, and no hope of getting in the future . There is no hope for them in the rural areas, and so they drift into the big cities.
Having no hope of getting work for themselves in the big cities either and of course no housing. All the same, they flock into the cities because their chances of finding some work appear to be greater than in the villages where such chances are nil. Rural unemployment becomes urban unemployment.
The problem can be slstateduite simply: what can be done to promote economic growth in the small towns and villages which still contain about eighty or ninety percent the population? The primary need is woworkplacesliterally millions of woworkplacesNo one, of course, would suggest that output per worker is unemployment.
But the primary aim cannot bemaximizeutput per worker; it must be to maximize work opportunities for the ununemployednd the under-employed. The poor man’s greatest need is the chance to work.
Even those that receive meagre salaries or wages and relatively unproductive/work is better than no work at all. It is t, therefore, ore important that everybody should produce something, then a few people should each produce a great deal. And in most developing countries, this can only be achieved by using an appropriate intermediate technology.