A Senior Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute, Tewodaj Mogues and Tolulope Olofinbiyi, a PhD candidate at Tufts University Boston Massachusetts have said that many agricultural programmes and projects in Nigeria die before their expiration dates due to the diverse interests and capabilities of the actors and institutions within and outside the agencies responsible for the implementation of the projects.
The duo observed that many African countries have a large agricultural footprint but do not enjoy the full benefits due to undue influences from the stakeholders.
Making the revelation while delivering Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan lecture in a paper titled ‘Actors and institutions in agricultural public expenditure allocation and national food security: Evidence from sub-national jurisdictions in Nigeria’, said that undue influence from chief executives affect the implementation of most projects in agric sector.
They maintained that the situation is the same in all the states across the federation citing the example of Cross River, Niger and Ondo whose budgetary allocations and implementation are largely depend on the so called key actors and institutions.
Many countries in Africa have a large agricultural footprint, but do not enjoy the full benefits that the sector offers to improve citizen’s welfare and drive economic growth.
“Policy makers in many African countries continue to under-invest in those types of agricultural public goods and services that have well-known, high payoffs to the rural poor.
“Budgetary allocations are outcomes of political choices among a variety of public actors with diverse interests and capability-negotiation budgets within specific political-institutional contexts.
“Sub-national chief executives have an outsized influence on how much state and local level budgetary attention agriculture receives and which agricultural investments are prioritised. Other key factors that could be expected to play a role in resource allocation, for example, the commissioners of agriculture at the state level, the Director of Agriculture at the local government level and the legislative councils at both levels are de facto marginal players.”
According to them, “Policy makers often view the political returns to public investments as being as important, if not more important.”
The researchers called on governments at all levels to find ways of reducing the influences of the so-called actors including politicians to the barest minimum even though the budgetary allocations in Nigeria, Federal, States and Local Governments are low compared to what is obtainable in other developing countries in Africa.
They then recommended that in order to put a stop to these abnormalities, the Federal Government should ensure thorough coordination of agricultural policies from the top downwards.
via Business Day