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Agricultural public spending in Nigeria:


  • Mogues, Tewodaj
  • Morris, Michael
  • Freinkman, Lev
  • Adubi, Abimbola
  • Simeon, Ehui
  • Nwoko, Chinedum
  • Taiwo, Olufemi
  • Nege, Caroline
  • Okonji, Patrick
  • Chete, Louis


"Public spending on agriculture in Nigeria is exceedingly low. Less than 2 percent of total federal expenditure was allotted to agriculture during 2001 to 2005, far lower than spending in other key sectors such as education, health, and water. This spending contrasts dramatically with the sector's importance in the Nigerian economy and the policy emphasis on diversifying away from oil, and falls well below the 10 percent goal set by African leaders in the 2003 Maputo agreement. Nigeria also falls far behind in agricultural expenditure by international standards, even when accounting for the relationship between agricultural expenditures and national income. The spending that is extant is highly concentrated in a few areas. Three out of 179 programs account for more than 81 percent of federal capital spending, of which nearly three-quarters go to government purchase of agricultural inputs and agricultural outputs alone. The analysis finds that many of the Presidential Initiatives—which differ greatly in target crops, technologies, research, seed multiplication, and distribution—have identical budgetary provisions. This pattern suggests that the needs assessment and costing for these initiatives may have been inadequate, and that decisions may have been based on political considerations rather than economic assessment. Budget execution is also poor. The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) best practice standard for budget execution is no more than 3 percent discrepancy between budgeted and actual expenditures. In contrast, during the period covered by the study, the Nigerian federal budget execution averaged only 79 percent, meaning 21 percent of the approved budget was never spent. Budget execution at the state and local levels was even less impressive, ranging from 71 percent to 44 percent. However, other sectors showed similar low levels of budget execution, suggesting that the problem is a general one going beyond agriculture. There is an urgent need to improve internal systems for tracking, recording, and disseminating information about public spending in the agriculture sector. Consolidated and up-to-date expenditure data are not available within the Ministry of Agriculture, not even for its own use. Without this information, authorities cannot undertake empirically-based policy analysis, program planning, and impact assessment. There is also a need for clarification of the roles of the three tiers of government in agricultural services delivery. This is important to reduce overlaps and gaps in agricultural interventions and improve efficiency and effectiveness of public investments and service delivery in the sector. Finally, applied research is needed to address critical knowledge gaps in several areas: (i) Spending on fertilizer programs makes up a sizeable portion of overall agricultural spending in Nigeria, yet very little is known about the impact of this spending. (ii) To date, only a small portion of the national grain storage system has been constructed, but if the entire network is completed as planned, the cost will be enormous. Supporting even the current modest level of grain marketing activities is consuming significant amounts of public resources. Is an investment on this order of magnitude desirable? What has been the impact of these investments? (iii) There is a need for an analytical study focusing on the economics of the National Special Program for Food Security (NSPFS). The total cost of NSPFS II is estimated at US$364 million. Detailed financial information about the NSPFS is not publicly available, however, making it difficult to assess whether the considerable investment in NSPFS I generated attractive returns, and whether NSPFS II merits support as currently designed. A rigorous external evaluation is needed to assess the performance of NPSFS and generate information that could be used to make design adjustments." from authors' abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Mogues, Tewodaj & Morris, Michael & Freinkman, Lev & Adubi, Abimbola & Simeon, Ehui & Nwoko, Chinedum & Taiwo, Olufemi & Nege, Caroline & Okonji, Patrick & Chete, Louis, 2008. "Agricultural public spending in Nigeria:," IFPRI discussion papers 789, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:789

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    Cited by:

    1. Takeshima, Hiroyuki & Edeh, Hyacinth & Lawal, Akeem & Isiaka, Moshud, 2014. "Tractor owner-operators in Nigeria: Insights from a small survey in Kaduna and Nasarawa states:," IFPRI discussion papers 1355, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Paul Mosley, 2013. "Two Africas? Why Africa’s ‘Growth Miracle’ is barely reducing poverty," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 19113, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    3. Annegret Maehler, 2010. "Nigeria: A Prime Example of the Resource Curse? Revisiting the Oil-Violence Link in the Niger Delta," GIGA Working Paper Series 120, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    4. Renkow, Mitch, 2010. "Impacts of IFPRI's "priorities for pro-poor public investment" global research program:," Impact assessments 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Mogues, Tewodaj & Yu, Bingxin & Fan, Shenggen & Mcbride, Linden, 2012. "The impacts of public investment in and for agriculture: Synthesis of the existing evidence," IFPRI discussion papers 1217, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Zavale, H., 2011. "The structure and trends of public expenditure on agriculture in Mozambique," IWMI Working Papers H044126, International Water Management Institute.
    7. György Iván, Neszmélyi, 2014. "The motivations for the diversification of the Nigerian economy focusing on sustainable agriculture," APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, AGRIMBA, vol. 8(1).
    8. World Bank, 2013. "Republic of Senegal Basic Agricultural Public Expenditure Diagnostic Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 20141, The World Bank.
    9. Olomola, Aderbigbe & Mogues, Tewodaj & Olofinbiyi, Tolulope & Nwoko, Chinedum & Udoh, Edet & Alabi, Reuben Adeolu & Onu, Justice & Woldeyohannes, Sileshi, 2014. "Analysis of agricultural public expenditures in Nigeria: Examination at the federal, state, and local government levels:," IFPRI discussion papers 1395, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O. & Omonona, Bolarin T. & Sanou, Awa & Ogunleye, Wale, 2015. "Is increasing inorganic fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa a profitable proposition ? evidence from Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7201, The World Bank.
    11. Mogues, Tewodaj & Erman, Alvina, 2016. "Institutional arrangements to make public spending responsive to the poor—(where) have they worked?: Review of the evidence on four major intervention types," IFPRI discussion papers 1519, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Alpuerto, Vida & Diao, Xinshen & Salau, Sheu & Nwafor, Manson, 2009. "Agricultural investment for growth and poverty reduction in Nigeria:," NSSP working papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Omilola, Babatunde & Lambert, Melissa, 2010. "Weathering the storm," IFPRI discussion papers 965, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Aderibigbe Olomola & Tewodaj Mogues & Tolulope Olofinbiyi & Chinedum Nwoko & Edet Udoh & Reuben Alabi & Justice Onu & Sileshi Woldeyohannes, 2014. "Agriculture Public Expenditure Review at the Federal and Subnational Levels in Nigeria (2008-12)," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22345, The World Bank.
    15. Mogues, Tewodaj, 2012. "What determines public expenditure allocations?: A review of theories, and implications for agricultural public investments," IFPRI discussion papers 1216, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Agriculture; Public spending; Expenditure policy; Kaduna; Cross River; Bauchi; Public investment; rural areas;

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