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Shifting the Imbalance

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For new content, see African and Asian Studies.

In many African countries, high rates of migration have often been blamed on the "urban bias" in the resource allocations of the state. While the urban areas have benefited from investments, the rural areas have suffered depletion, thereby widening the gap in incomes and basic facilities between the two areas. Inevitably, there has been massive migration from rural to urban areas in search of the "good life." This population explosion in urban areas has had its attendant strain on facilities. One school of thought has suggested that the Structural Adjustment Program would address imbalances by shifting rural-urban terms of trade decisively in favour of rural producers and thereby encouraging a "return migration." Another school of thought has disputed the predictions that SAP would relieve the urban areas of their burden, however. An examination of the impact of SAP on population movement between rural and urban areas in northern Nigeria supports this sceptical view; SAP has not stemmed rural-urban migration.


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