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pdf.png February 2017 NRSS (Full Paper)

ACTORS AND INSTITUTIONS IN AGRICULTURAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ALLOCATION AND NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY

(EVIDENCE FROM SUBNATIONAL JURISDICTIONS IN NIGERIA)

Abstract

Many countries in Africa have a large agricultural footprint, but do not enjoy the full benefits that the sector offers. Why do policymakers continue to under invest in those types of agricultural public goods and services that have well-known, high payoffs to the rural poor? To help clarify this conundrum, we have carried out new research that shows that budget allocations are outcomes of political choices among a variety of public actors with diverse interests and capabilities, negotiating budgets within specific political-institutional contexts. Our research draws on the framework of actor-centered institutionalism to examine empirically how actors and institutions influence agricultural budget outcomes in Nigeria. We employ a case study approach for which we selected three states (Cross River, Niger, and Ondo) and one local government area within each study state (Akamkpa, Wushishi, and Odigbo, respectively) as case study sites. Our findings include the following:

Who influences government spending in agriculture? 1.) Subnational chief executives have an outsized influence on how much state and local level budgetary attention agriculture receives and which agricultural investments are prioritized. Other key actors are de fact marginal players. 2.) The types of agricultural infrastructure and services that get budgetary attention depend on their visibility and the extent to which there is a relatively short duration from incurring public expenses to the completion of outputs. 3.) Donor assistance for agriculture is directed largely to projects requiring co-investments by the state or local governments. This means that external financial support can have significant influence on the allocation of domestic subnational spending. How do institutions shape agricultural public spending? Even after a budget has undergone all the standard processes and has been signed into law, extant rules create openings for policymakers to exercise significant discretion on revising it. The constitution and laws leave room for interpretation about what the responsibilities and authorities of different tiers of government are. Due to these legal ambiguities, there are both overlaps and gaps in agricultural public spending. Efforts to strengthen intergovernmental coordination in agricultural spending are underway, but obstacles to cooperation remain.

Overall, these findings underscore the importance of understanding how governments determine public expenditure allocations and why public actors behave as they do. These insights can help guide efforts on how best to support improved efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. 



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2017-03-03
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pptx.png February 2017 NRSS (Slide Show)

ACTORS AND INSTITUTIONS IN AGRICULTURAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ALLOCATION AND NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY

(EVIDENCE FROM SUBNATIONAL JURISDICTIONS IN NIGERIA)

Abstract

Many countries in Africa have a large agricultural footprint, but do not enjoy the full benefits that the sector offers. Why do policymakers continue to under invest in those types of agricultural public goods and services that have well-known, high payoffs to the rural poor? To help clarify this conundrum, we have carried out new research that shows that budget allocations are outcomes of political choices among a variety of public actors with diverse interests and capabilities, negotiating budgets within specific political-institutional contexts. Our research draws on the framework of actor-centered institutionalism to examine empirically how actors and institutions influence agricultural budget outcomes in Nigeria. We employ a case study approach for which we selected three states (Cross River, Niger, and Ondo) and one local government area within each study state (Akamkpa, Wushishi, and Odigbo, respectively) as case study sites. Our findings include the following:

Who influences government spending in agriculture? 1.) Subnational chief executives have an outsized influence on how much state and local level budgetary attention agriculture receives and which agricultural investments are prioritized. Other key actors are de fact marginal players. 2.) The types of agricultural infrastructure and services that get budgetary attention depend on their visibility and the extent to which there is a relatively short duration from incurring public expenses to the completion of outputs. 3.) Donor assistance for agriculture is directed largely to projects requiring co-investments by the state or local governments. This means that external financial support can have significant influence on the allocation of domestic subnational spending. How do institutions shape agricultural public spending? Even after a budget has undergone all the standard processes and has been signed into law, extant rules create openings for policymakers to exercise significant discretion on revising it. The constitution and laws leave room for interpretation about what the responsibilities and authorities of different tiers of government are. Due to these legal ambiguities, there are both overlaps and gaps in agricultural public spending. Efforts to strengthen intergovernmental coordination in agricultural spending are underway, but obstacles to cooperation remain.

Overall, these findings underscore the importance of understanding how governments determine public expenditure allocations and why public actors behave as they do. These insights can help guide efforts on how best to support improved efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. 



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2017-03-03
2.99 MB
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pdf.png June 2017 NRSS (Full Paper)

Sub-national Government Participation in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Nigeria

Abstract

The relative roles of the three tiers of government in public service delivery has emerged as one of the most important topics of open and vigorous debate in the new democratic climate in Nigeria. Being a federal system of government, there have been increasing calls for intergovernmental fiscal relations in the country to be reassessed in light of a widespread belief that although the states and LGAs are assigned primary responsibility for the delivery of basic public services, they are not equipped with adequate revenue resources to fulfil their expenditure obligations because the bulk of government revenues is retained by the federal government. This study examines the prospects and challenges of sub-national governments participation in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently launched by the federal government of Nigeria. Among others, the study observes that sub-national revenue potential is limited by the inter-jurisdictional mobility of economic agents, with most naturally “local” taxes having low revenue yields. Hence, typically, sub-national own-revenue sources are not commensurate with sub-national spending responsibilities, creating a vertical fiscal imbalance usually filled by fiscal transfers from the federal government. Of course, the almost exclusive reliance on federal transfers creates conditions for lack of accountability as sub-national governments may continue to shift blame and responsibility for service delivery to higher tiers of government that control the bulk of government revenues. The study also highlights the political and institutional constraints to sub-national government participation in Economic Development Plans in Nigeria, with suggestions as to how the constraints can be overcome.



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2017-07-05
993.54 KB
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pptx.png June 2017 NRSS (Slide Show)

Sub-national Government Participation in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Nigeria

Abstract

The relative roles of the three tiers of government in public service delivery has emerged as one of the most important topics of open and vigorous debate in the new democratic climate in Nigeria. Being a federal system of government, there have been increasing calls for intergovernmental fiscal relations in the country to be reassessed in light of a widespread belief that although the states and LGAs are assigned primary responsibility for the delivery of basic public services, they are not equipped with adequate revenue resources to fulfil their expenditure obligations because the bulk of government revenues is retained by the federal government. This study examines the prospects and challenges of sub-national governments participation in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently launched by the federal government of Nigeria. Among others, the study observes that sub-national revenue potential is limited by the inter-jurisdictional mobility of economic agents, with most naturally “local” taxes having low revenue yields. Hence, typically, sub-national own-revenue sources are not commensurate with sub-national spending responsibilities, creating a vertical fiscal imbalance usually filled by fiscal transfers from the federal government. Of course, the almost exclusive reliance on federal transfers creates conditions for lack of accountability as sub-national governments may continue to shift blame and responsibility for service delivery to higher tiers of government that control the bulk of government revenues. The study also highlights the political and institutional constraints to sub-national government participation in Economic Development Plans in Nigeria, with suggestions as to how the constraints can be overcome.



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2017-07-05
136.69 KB
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