The federal and state governments have budgeted less than two percent of their total vote of N44 trillion for agriculture in the last three years, according to an investigation by Daily Trust using official data.
Only N810.4 billion (1.86 percent) of the total expenditure was voted for agriculture despite the governments trumpeted commitment to the sector.
More than half of these figures will be expended running the bureaucracies of the agric ministries and their related agencies.
Official data analysed by this newspaper revealed that the central and state governments have budgeted N360.1 billion for agriculture, representing just 2 percent of their N17.5 trillion cumulative spending in 2018.
This figure is slightly higher than the N254 billion they budgeted for the sector in 2017, which was 1.8 percent of their total budget of N13.5 trillion.
In 2016, the two tiers spent N196.3 billion on agriculture, representing 1.6 percent of their N12.5 trillion total spending.
This is coming at a time of governments’ avowed determination to move away from oil to agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.
Over the past years, oil prices have continued to fall, plunging the country into recession with states unable to pay salaries or execute capital projects.
Far away from Maputo
These figures are far cry from the 2003 AU-Maputo Declaration’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) that requires African countries to allocate at least 10 percent of their annual budgets to agriculture and achieve six percent annual growth in agricultural GDP.
CAADP is Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all, which Nigeria is a signatory.
In Maputo, Mozambique, in 2003, the African Union (AU) Summit made the first declaration on CAADP as an integral part of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Some of the signatories to the Maputo declaration have since started the implementation of the agreement. They include Burkina Faso (18 percent), Niger and Mali (15 percent), Malawi (13.8 percent), Ethiopia (11.9 percent), Senegal (10.8 percent), Zambia (11.5 percent).
Poor federal funding
In 2018, the federal government is spending N172.8 billion on agriculture, representing 2 percent of its total budget of N8.6 trillion for the year. N53.8 billion is for recurrent, while N118.9 billion is for capital votes.
In 2017, of the N7.3 trillion budgets for the year, the federal government voted only N123 billion (1.6 percent) for agriculture. Salaries and overheads got N31.7 billion while the remaining N91.6 billion was for capital projects.
The central government spent N75.8 billion (1.26 percent) on agriculture in 2016 out of its total budget of N6 trillion. N29.6 billion of the amount was for bureaucratic expenses, leaving N46.17 billion for agric service.
The federal government has been allocating dismal figures to the sector since 2010 when it budgeted 1.32 percent and 1.47 percent in 2011, 1.67 percent in 2012, 1.67 percent in 2013, 1.43 percent in 2014, and 0.90 percent in 2015.
The agric sector got its highest federal funding under the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. The federal government budgeted 5.41 percent in 2008 and 5.38 percent in 2009, according to Daily Trust findings.
States lip service
This year, 24 state governments are spending N187.3 billion (2 percent) on agriculture from their combined budget of N8.95 trillion. There are no figures for Kebbi, Adamawa, Kwara, Niger, Enugu, Ebonyi, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo, and Osun states.
In 2017, 30 states spent N131 billion (2.1 percent) on agriculture out of their N6.2 trillion combined budgets.
In 2016, 30 states budgeted N120.53 billion for agriculture, which was about 2 percent of their combined budgets of N6.1 trillion for the year.
The northern states (minus Kebbi, Adamawa, Kwara, and Niger) expenditure on agriculture for 2018 is N107.8 billion, even though it’s the mainstay of their economy. The 19 states have a combined budget of N2.85 trillion for the year.
In 2017, out of their combined budget of N2.4 trillion, the northern states spent a paltry sum of N88.4 billion (3.6 percent), compared to the N97.07 billion they spent on agriculture in 2016.
In 2018, the southern states (minus Enugu, Ebonyi, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo, and Osun) budgeted only N79.5 billion for agriculture out of their cumulative spending of N6.12 trillion.
In 2017, the southern states’ total budget for agriculture was N42.2 billion (1.1 percent) out of their total budget of N3.8 trillion for the year.
In 2016, the total budget for the four southern states for agriculture was N23.46 billion out of their combined budgets of N3.5 trillion.
This year, the northwest agric spending is N59.9 billion out of its total budget of N1.15 trillion. The zone spent N43.4 billion on the sector out of N1.01 trillion total budgets in 2017. It spent N60.18 billion on the sector in 2016 out of its combined budget of N1.12 trillion.
The northeast is spending N31.5 billion on agric this year of its total budget of N796 billion. In 2017, out of its combined budget of N593.1 billion, the northeast zone spent N24 billion on agriculture. In 2016, the region spent N29.62 billion on the sector out of its budget of N676 billion.
The north-central zone’s budget for agric is N16.4 billion out of its total budget of N904 billion. In 2017, the region spent N21.2 billion out of its N781.5 billion combined budgets. Of its budget of N684 billion, the zone spent N7.27 billion on the sector in 2016.
Out of the south-south cumulative budget of N3.2 trillion, only N30 billion was meant for agric this year. Last year, the region spent N13.1 billion on the sector out of its total expenditure of N1.8 trillion. It spent only N10.94 billion on agric out of its N1.6 trillion budgets in 2016.
The south-west budgeted N35.3 billion for agric out of its budget of N2.1 trillion. In 2017, states of Lagos, Oyo, and Ogun figures for agriculture was N21 billion. The zone has a total budget of N1.5 trillion for 2017. Out of its budget of N1.36 trillion in 2016, the zone spent N10.2 billion on the sector.
The southeast will spend N13.7 billion on agric of its combined budget of N581.2 billion. Last year, the states of Imo, Anambra, and Enugu earmarked only N9.1 billion for agriculture out of its combined budget of N581 billion. In 2016, the zone spent N2.32 billion out of its total budget of N490 billion.
States with big votes
Official data analysed by Daily Trust shows that only eight states have a two-digit budget for agric this year. They are Ogun (N21.1bn), Akwa Ibom (N17.9bn), Sokoto (N16.5bn), Katsina (N14.2bn), Bauchi (N11.9bn), Cross River (N10.9bn), Lagos (N10.5bn), and Kano (N10.4bn).
Others are Jigawa (N9.3bn), Borno (N8bn), Imo (N7.9bn), Zamfara (N5.9bn), Benue (N5.5bn), Taraba (N5bn), Kogi (N4.5bn), Gombe, (N4bn), and Plateau (N4bn).
States with least votes
States with the least budget for agric in 2018 include Ekiti (N1.66bn), Abia (N2.3bn), Nasarawa (N2.4bn), Yobe (N2.6bn), Oyo (N3.7bn), and Anambra (N3.8bn).