Undue Influences bane of Agric Development in Africa – Research Fellow

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
A Senior Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute Dr. Tewodaj Mogues on Tuesday said undue influences from the stakeholders are the bane  of agricultural development in Africa.
Dr Mogues stated this in Ibadan while delivering the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) lecture.
According to her, most agricultural programs and projects in Nigeria failed before their expiration dates due to the diverse interests and capabilities of the actors and institutions within and outside the agencies responsible for implementation such projects.
“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 underinvest in those types of agricultural public goods and services that have well-known, high payoffs to the rural poor,”she said.
The Senior Research Fellow in the paper titled “Actors and institutions in agricultural public expenditure allocation and national food security: Evidence from subnational jurisdictions in Nigeria” emphasized that many African countries have a large agricultural footprint but do not enjoy the full benefits due to undue influences from the stakeholders.
Speaking further,Dr Mogues declared that the situation was the same in all the states across the federation,saying, in Cross River, Niger and Ondo, budgetary allocations and implementation are largely depend on the so called key actors and institutions.
She noted that there is the need for governments at all levels in Nigeria 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”.
“Budgetary allocations are outcomes of political choices among a variety of public actors-with diverse interests and capabilities-negotiation budgets within specific political-insitutional contexts. Subnational chief executives have an outsized influence on how much state and local level budgetary attention agriculture receives and which agricultural investments are priotized. Other key factors who could be expected to play a role in resource allocation-for example, the commissioners of agricultural 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.
She then charged that to end the flaws, Federal Government should ensure thorough coordination of agricultural policies from the top downwards and that for agricultural projects to succeed in Nigeria, all efforts must be put in place to reduce the undue influences from the uninvited influencers.

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