The level of public spending on agriculture in Nigeria remains low regardless of the indicator used. Agricultural spending as a share of total federal spending averaged 4.6 percent between 2008 and 2012 and has been trending downward precipitously. In contrast, Nigeria recorded an annual average agricultural growth rate of more than 6 percent between 2003 and 2010, and agricultural gross domestic product followed an increasing trend between 2008 and 2012. Budgetary allocation to agriculture compared with other key sectors is also low despite the sector’s role in the fight against poverty, hunger, and unemployment and in the pursuit of economic development.
To develop the agricultural sector, all tiers of government—federal, state, and local—should increase spending. The state and local governments should step up efforts to increase internally generated revenue so as to reduce overdependence on allocations from the federation account. To enhance technical efficiency, effective monitoring frameworks for budget implementation should be established by all tiers of government. Procurement and cash management processes should also be strengthened to enhance value and avoid rushed commitments. Allocative efficiency should be improved by making budgetary allocations to agriculture more realistic. To improve the overall budget process, it is important for the three tiers of government to adopt a system of collaboration in agricultural development agenda setting and joint financing of projects that will minimize waste of financial resources and eliminate delays in the budget process. The house of assembly at the federal and state levels should enact a budget process act to give legal backing to the stipulated time frames relating to budget preparation, approval, and implementation. Because the dearth of information is likely to undermine the effectiveness of the budget as an economic management tool, the federal and state governments should strengthen the information system for agriculture public expenditure management.