Volume 1 Issue 5 - 2017
Poor Governance and Agricultural Development in Nigeria
1Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Federal university Dutsinma Katsina State
2Department of Political Science, Federal university Dutsinma Katsina State
3Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North-West University Mafikeng, South Africa
*Corresponding Author: Tiri GD, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Federal university Dutsinma Katsina State.
Received: September 15, 2017; Published: October 07, 2017
Bad governance have made development elusive in Africa and in Nigeria in particular. Poor governance and corruption in particular in Nigeria has been responsible for the neglect of the agricultural sector. Corruption is commonly avoided in social research and agricultural development discourse, despite its subterranean but serious damaging effect on development if left unchecked. Despite the woeful performance of many African nations on the Corruption Performance Index (CPI) monitored by transparency international annually and frequent reportage of corruption on the media, principal stakeholders including research sector shy away from addressing its major impediments to effectiveness of development interventions. Based on qualitative data obtained through literature reviews, this article explicates how the growth of the agricultural sector is still stunted occasioned by bad and unimaginable policies, misplacement of priorities, poor project planning and implementation. The consequence of underdevelopment in agriculture is food insecurity, hunger/poverty and urban drift. The paper also looked at the paradigm and dimensions of poor governance as it affects the agricultural sector; challenges of poor governance to agricultural development practice as well as institutionalizing anti-corruption measures. Central to the discussion on these papers is that poor governance manifested in corruption poses a serious threat to development challenge in many spheres of human endeavour including agricultural development. The study noted that to effectively transform the agricultural sector in Nigeria ethical standards in decision –making must be the national policy on corruption. The paper concludes that the country must go all-out with its anti-corruption crusade. This will enable the revival of critical sectors such as Agriculture ensuring more food supply and employment in the country.
Keywords: Poor Governance; Corruption perception index; Agricultural Sector and National Policy
It is well established that Nigeria suffers from endemic and systemic corruption which harms the country’s development. The adage that “HIV and AIDs kills an individual, but corruption kills a whole generation, a whole people, and a whole country” implies that corruption is more lethal, more deadly and more devastating than HIV and AIDs. The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI) shows that corruption has increased in Nigeria with the country currently ranking 134th out of 180 countries surveyed in 2010. In 2008, Nigeria scored 2.7 points and took 12st position out of 180 countries but in 2010, the country’s CPI score dropped to 2.1. With this score, Nigeria ranks below Ghana, Cameroun, Niger and Benin on the Transparency International rating scale (Daily Trust, 2009; Online Nigeria, 2009). Oyejide (2008) argued that the associated types and level of corruption in Nigeria may have been influenced and heightened by the direct access of government to oil windfall income in an environment of weak public institutions, capture or near capture of the state by powerful vested interests and the inability of the citizens to effectively assert their rights. Much progress has been made in the global battle against corruption giving the evidence of significantly increased attention to the problem in recent time (USAID, 2005). The increasing number of international conventions and domestic laws against corruption, as well as the evolution of Transparency International from a small NGO to a global movement with over 100 chapters around the world, further confirms this trend.
Diplomatic, donor, and private sector engagement in the fight against corruption also has increased; however, there is evidence that corruption still remains a serious problem and a significant impediment to development (USAID 2005; Anand 2006, & Sarmiento, 2006). Although corruption is not a new phenomenon, what is new and worrying is the magnitude and forms it has taken. It has spread its tentacles to every sphere of national life. It is one of the biggest threats to development (Ades & Di Tella, 1996). Corruption benefits the rich and the well-to-do. It enriches the rich and disproportionally affects the poor, unprotected and the underprivileged and thereby it deepens their deprivation. What is more unfortunate today is the growing tolerance and our acceptance of corruption as an inevitable and integral part of the civil society (Anand, 2006). Unless it is checked, the governments and people will have to USAID (2005) argued that corruption undermines social, political, and economic development; cripples democracy and impedes economic growth. It stated further that failure to address endemic corruption ultimately undermines all development efforts with small and medium-sized enterprises being disproportionately affected. By improving the productivity of public expenditures, tracking and reducing leakage, and enhancing citizens’ oversight, it is anticipated that anticorruption efforts can support the achievement of goals in agriculture, health, education, social safety net programs, and infrastructure. It was in this vein that Anand (2006) argued that the need of this hour is to stop crying ourselves hoarse about the persistent evil effects of corruption but rather engage in active efforts that will curb the spread. Anand’s suggestion therefore implies that remedy, to a large extent, lies with us–We the people. Similarly, Spector (2005) argued that while comprehensive government reforms to address endemic corruption may be needed, sector-specific solutions can be pursued at the same time or even in the absence of political will for more systemic reforms. It is against this backdrop that the study was carried out with the aim of investigating the following specific objectives
- To examine the effect of poor governance on the Agricultural sector.
- To analyse the role of corruption in sustainable Agricultural development in Nigeria.
- To discuss some weak institutional or governance factors affecting Agricultural sector growth.
- To ascertain the paradigm and dimension of poor governance and corruption in the Agricultural sector
The place of corruption in sustainable Agricultural development.
Most of Nigeria’s poor live in the rural areas and depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihoods. According to Mogues., et al. (2008), ‘before effective investment programs can be designed and implemented, it is important to have a clear understanding of the pattern of public spending on agriculture.’ It implies that if capital resources allocated to agricultural sector would suffer poor management, its effective and profitable investment might be unrealistic. To buttress this point, many people believed that, though the budgetary allocation to the sector has been inadequate (averaging about 3% of the total at the national level), compared to the minimum of 10% by Maputo Standard; much could still have been achieved if the 3% were truly committed. Aside of issue of financial mismanagement in the sector, corruption affects virtually all aspects of farm and rural development
African countries’ performance on Transparency International CPI and evidence of corrupt practices in development
Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. Though more than 90 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, the organisation raise awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and work with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it. An important contribution to the global fight against corruption by the Transparency International is the annual production of Corruption Perception Index (since 1995) in several countries across the world. The Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived government officials such as embezzlement and nepotism as well as abuses linking public and private actors such as bribery, extortion influence peddling or fraud (Centre for Democracy and Governance, 1999). More so, corruption can arise in both political and bureaucratic offices and may be petty or grand organized or unorganized. However, corruption pervades many aspects of human endeavours including agricultural extension development and practice. Corruption can pose a serious development challenge to agricultural extension practices in Nigeria and this by implication to a very large extent limit agricultural production potentials in the country.
The divergent dimensions of problems of agricultural development in Nigeria are enormous, much of which could be traceable to corrupt tendencies of some practitioners. This is because to a large extent, corruption undermines democracy and good governance by subverting formal processes. In this case, some stakeholders are denied involvement in taking vital decisions as they concern agricultural development practices. Ani (2007) had indicated that the best programmes in agricultural development are those determined by the local people and extension staff working together. This to a very reasonable degree would minimize corruption among practitioners in the agricultural sector rural areas, development are still hindered by institutional and administrative problems, characterized by schemes imposed on the rural poor, rather than clientele participation. The clientele’s perception of the relevance of a recommended innovation and consequent adoption of such a programme is a factor of the extent of involvement of such clientele (Adebayo., et al. 2002). Hence, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 2003) affirmed that the main thrust of sustainable agricultural development rests on extension and other agricultural related services. In recognition of this fact however, various approaches and techniques of extension services had been experimented with little success on the overall.
This could largely stem from the fact that little or no room is given to farmers to contribute their own idea in the extension practices as well as corrupt practices meted out to farmers by extension practitioners. It is in the light of the above that a pertinent question is posed: what are the challenges of greed and corruption in agricultural extension development and practice in Nigeria? To address this question, the study specifically addressed the following: Good governance and effective leadership are necessary for sustainable development. Studies such as Ogbeidi (2012), Ojukwu and Shopeju (2010) and Ogundiya (2009) on the Nigerian economy have shown that leadership problem is a major cause of the country’s inability to effectively mobilize her resources. Leadership problem has hampered the country’s progress in the political, economic, military and socio-cultural sectors. At independence, expectations throughout Nigeria were high and the possibilities for greatness were almost limitless.
Considering her vast resources, the country appeared set for good attainments and fulfil what the international community saw as her destiny to lead the black race into the mainstream and technological civilisation. Regrettably, the Nigerian economy has hit an all-time low as a result of massive underutilization of resources. Leadership and lack of transparency in public spending have resulted in massive looting of the national treasury and gross mismanagement of public enterprises. In the period immediately following independence, the agricultural sector played its expected roles in national development. Agriculture contributed the largest share of the national gross domestic product (GDP). However, over the years, the sector has witnessed a tremendous decline in its contribution to national development. The near eclipse of the sector in the era of the oil boom (1972–1975) and inconsistent and unfocussed government policies have been cited as the main challenges to food security in Nigeria (Okuneye and Adebayo 2002). Instead of the oil wealth transforming the country into one of the most successful states in Africa, it has led to worsening levels of poverty and underdevelopment (Ogbeidi 2012, Ogundiya 2009). Over the years, the percentage of people living in poverty in Nigeria has been increasing. While this stood at 28.1% in 1980, by 1996 it had reached 65.6% and as at 2012 it stood at 70% (Ogbeidi 2012, Kraxberger 2004).
The bulk of the oil revenue, which is distributed to the central government is dissipated through corruption involving political leaders and government officials (Urien 2012, Ojukwu and Shopeju 2010). Despite these challenges, agriculture remains the major sector upon which the majority of the rural poor in Nigeria depend. It provides 70% of the active labor force with employment and contributed 23% of the GDP in 2006 (CBN 2007). The Federal Government of Nigeria has identified agriculture as the key development priority in its efforts to halve poverty by 2015 and to diversify the economy away from the oil sector (Soludo 2006). There is an organic interconnection between quality of governance and capacity to drive a sustainable development. Good governance was seen as the bedrock of all development initiatives in Nigeria and a fundamental prerequisite to any form of sustainable growth or meaningful development in the country. Since independence in 1960, Nigeria’s history has been characterised by years of poor governance, mostly under dictatorial military and corrupt civilian rule. Over the decades, this history of poor governance created a volatile polity with sporadic eruptions of violence around issues of ethnicity, religion, political power and resource control.
A regular series of coup d’états between the mid 1970’s until the early 1990’s, ushered in the imposition of successive military regimes, each with its own agenda and policy direction. This inconsistency and instability in government birthed a culture of policy inconsistency in so far as national development was concerned. As such, inconsistency and disjointed policymaking presided over by kleptocratic and dictatorial governments led to the rapid deterioration in public service delivery and the dilapidation of public facilities such as roads, schools, sewage systems and hospitals. Resultantly, there were significantly reduced social and economic development opportunities for majority of the country’s population and the potential of the country to be a high performer within Africa was undermined. Irrespective of revenue generated through its oil wealth (80% of its export revenue), majority of Nigerians continued to live in poverty and social conditions worsened, essentially due to corruption, poor management, inefficient government institutions and lack of equitable distribution of resources. However, with the return to civil rule, new economic reforms and more robust efforts to tackle corruption began to improve the quality of governance and the country’s economic growth trajectory. This paper reviews the roles of leadership and governance in agricultural development in Nigeria. It discusses the problems and challenges posed by these and government responses to leadership and governance dilemma in agriculture in the country. It also discusses the agricultural policies of various governments in Nigeria since independence and analyses budgetary allocation to agricultural sector over these years and compares it with other sectors of the economy.
Challenges of Leadership and Governance in Nigeria’s agricultural sector
So many factors could be associated with the collapse of agricultural sector in Nigeria but the most important one is the conflicting political decisions. Leadership, whether bad or good, will reflect either negatively or positively on a state’s socioeconomic and political environment. Yuki (2010) defines leadership as both a “process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives”. Similarly, Daft (2002) views leadership as “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purpose”. According to Ademola (2008), leadership in public service have been engaged in reckless use of government properties and have been channels to corrupt practices. Good governance has been equated to political and institutional processes and outcomes that support the exercise of legitimate authority by public institutions in the conduct of public affairs and management of public resources, so as to guarantee the realization of sustainable human development.
It was seen as the bedrock of all development initiatives in Nigeria and a fundamental prerequisite to any form of sustainable growth or meaningful development in the country. The true test of “good governance” is the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. As a result of bad leadership in the Nigeria, most of our leaders have no sense of commitment to development. Mimiko (1998) captures the situation this way: “The decolonization allowed the crop of leaders that aligned with colonial power to take over Nigeria. This ensured the sustenance of a neo-colonial economy even after political independence. These leaders on assumption of power quickly turned up the repressive machinery of the colonial state rather than dismantling it.
Significantly, they have no vision of development to accompany the efficient instrument of repression they inherited. All they were interested in was access to power and privileges and not development”. Many factors were associated with the collapse of agricultural sector in Nigeria but the most important one is the conflicting political decisions. The problem of lack of continuity and frequent change of government policies affect the nation’s agricultural sector. There were several attempts at encouraging productivity in the agricultural sector, but the frequent changes in government and subsequent government policy changes brought agriculture finally to its knees. For this reason, Nigeria must hit the bottom of the “valley” before it can start to move up again. Political decisions in Nigeria’s agricultural industry are meant to provide steps to assist this very important industry on its upward journey from the bottom of the valley. Despite the strategies adopted by various governments in Nigeria to address agriculture and rural underdevelopment problem, the story remains the same. There are still inequality and poverty particularly in the rural areas. There are a lot of public complaints on the underdevelopment situations of many rural areas which constitutes a threat to Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the twenty strongest economies by the year 2020 (Vision 2020). A lot of resources (financial) have been injected, but all in vain (Yakubu, 2009).
Paradigm and dimensions of corruption in the Agricultural sector
Corruption is an age-long phenomenon that has been known to pose a serious challenge to developmental efforts of many developing countries of the world. These could be in the areas of agriculture, education, economy, and politics as well as in social spheres of human existence. Nigeria’s agricultural sector has suffered untold setback due to neglect greed and corruption. The present national food insecurity in Nigeria could be blamed on failed policies and outright manipulation of strategies by public office holders for personal financial gains.
The history of corruption is as old as the world because ancient civilization have traces of widespread illegality and corruption. Corruption has been ubiquitous in complex societies from ancient Egypt, Israel, Rome and Greece down to the present (Dike, 2003). Corruption is also believed to be endemic in modern governments and it is not peculiar to any content, region or ethnic group. This does not however, mean that the incidence and corrupt activities are the same in every society. However, the forms of corrupt activities prevalent in Nigeria may include political corruption, bureaucratic corruption, electoral corruption, embezzlement and bribery. Dike (2003) had categorized forms of corruption and gave interpretation to them as follows: political corruption which takes place at the highest levels of political authority is a corruption of greed. It affects the manner in which decisions are made, manipulates and distorts political institutions and rules of procedure. Bureaucratic corruption, which occurs in the public administration or the implementation end of politics is the low level and street level corruption. This is the type of corruption, the citizens encounter daily at places like the hospitals, schools etc.
It may be necessary to ponder while to ask, who is to blame for the prevalence of corrupt activities in the society. Is it the common man or those in power? Why does it happen at all? What is the attendant result? However, greed and the brazen display of wealth by public officials could significantly point to the fact that those in power are to blame more for corruption than the common people, who are often pushed into corrupt behaviour in their bid to survive the harsh economic circumstances. Societies, corruption is almost unavoidable, where morality is relaxed and many people struggle for survival without assistance from the government. The influence or pressure of polygamous household and extended family system and pressure to meet family obligations, which are more in less developed countries like Nigeria are some of the causes of corruption. Thus, Merton as cited by Dike (2003) acknowledges the relationship between culture and corruption. This in essence entails that corruption could be linked to strong family values involving intense feelings of obligation.
Another dimension of corrupt practices could arise from poor reward system of government organs sectors and agencies to their workers. In Nigeria, researchers in the employment of government are not regularly paid. Thus, lack of economic opportunity could be a serious problem in a society whose citizens are achievement oriented but have relatively low access to economic opportunities. This no doubt could explain the reason for the upsurge of corrupt behaviours in the country. This is because the cultures of societies that stress economic success as an important goal but nevertheless strongly restrict access to opportunities will definitely have higher levels of corruption. Corruption in this dimension has taught the society a wrong lesson that it does not pay to be honest, hardworking and law-abiding. Through corrupt means, many political office holders have acquired wealth and properties of different magnitudes and they often display the ill-gotten wealth without getting any sanctions from government.
Corruption could arise where public officials have wide authority, little accountability and perverse incentives. This means that the more activities public officials control or regulate the more opportunities exist for corruption. Furthermore, the lower the probability of selection and punishment, the greater the risk that corruption will take place. In addition, the lower the salaries, the rewards for performance, the security of employment and the professionalism in public service, the greater the incentives for public officials to pursue self-serving rather than public-serving ends.
A number of factors can predispose groups or societies to disregard formal rules and embrace corruption. In many cultures particularly in the context of poverty or conflict, allegiance to personal loyalties such as one’s family or ethnic, religious or socio-economic identity outweighs allegiance to objective rules. Centre for Democracy and Governance (1999) had indicated that in other cases, the low legitimacy of government (because it is repressive, ineffective, discordant with culture, or imposed by foreign rule) induces disregard for formal rules. Similarly dominance of political party or ruling elite over political and economic processes or exclusion of marginalised poorly organized groups from the same creates incentives for those disadvantaged by the system to operate outside it and thus make room for more corruption.
Agricultural Development in Nigeria
Nigeria’s agricultural economy reflects the dynamics of its political economy since independence (Eboh, 2011). Prior to attainment of her political independence through the present regime, most government policies have been directed towards accelerating economic growth and development with the ultimate aim of transforming the economy. Development is critical and essential to the sustenance and growth of any nation. In order to successfully enhance meaningful development, effective strategies must be evolved. Gboyega (2003) captures development as an idea that embodies all attempts to improve the conditions of human existence in all ramifications. It implies improvement in material well-being of all citizens, not the most powerful and rich alone, in a sustainable way such that today’s consumption does not imperil the future, it also demands that poverty and inequality of access to the good things of life be removed or drastically reduced. It seeks to improve personal physical security and livelihoods and expansion of life chances. Naomi (1995) believes that development is usually taken to involve not only economic growth, but also some notion of equitable distribution, provision of health care, education, housing and other essential services all with a view to improving the individual and collective quality of life (Naomi, 1995).
Emerging trends in Agricultural development practise in Nigeria
Agricultural practise in Nigeria over the years has been grappling with enormous challenges. The agricultural extension function is fundamental in the transformation process of agricultural production and its sustainable development. Extension in agriculture has been a major instrument of emphasis in agricultural development processes (Ani, 2007). Agricultural extension is a dynamic process, it’s always poised to adequately address emerging issues and trends in agricultural development process. In recent years, the dynamic nature of agricultural extension has been brought to bear with evolving agricultural development processes.
Rural farmers have been known to use technologies that have been developed throughout the centuries. They have always made their selections being fully aware of the interactions between varieties and the ecological environment they have identified fodder species and medicinal plants and have a rudimentary knowledge of animal pathology and understand production systems, which generally pressure soil fertility.
However, external inputs have substituted for natural processes and resources, rendering them less powerful (Roling, 1993). For instance, pesticides have replaced biological, cultural and mechanical methods for controlling pests, weeds and diseases inorganic fertilizers have substituted for livestock manures, composts and nitrogen-fixing crops information for management decisions comes from input suppliers, researchers and extensionists rather than from local sources.
The basic challenge for sustainable agriculture is to make better use of the internal resources. This can be done by minimizing the inputs used by regenerating internal resources more effectively or by combinations of both as well as maximizing indigenous knowledge of farmers. A necessary condition for sustainable agricultural development is that large number of farming households must be motivated to use coordinated resource management. This could be for pest and predator management, nutrient management, livestock management, nutrient management, conserving soil and water resources. The problem however is that in most places platforms for collective decision making have not been established to manage such resources (Roling, 1994). The success of sustainable agriculture therefore, depends not just on the motivations, skills and knowledge of individual farmers but on action taken by group or communities as a whole.
Many resource-conserving technologies and practices have been widely proven on research stations to be both productive and sustainable, the total number of farmers using them is still small (Ani, 2007). This could be because the technologies involve the substitution of management skills, knowledge and labour for external inputs. The modern approach to agricultural research and extension however, has been to emphasize packages of technologies. Few farmers are able to adopt the whole modern packages of production or conservation technologies without considerable adjustments. Part of the problem is that most agricultural research still occurs on research stations, where scientists experience conditions quite different from those experienced by farmers. Similarly, agricultural extension service providers have not been faithful in delivering their services to the intended audience. Worst still is that most of these service providers either divert most of the inputs meant for farmers use or that they make such inputs highly inaccessible to farmers. This to a very large extent would make the practice of agricultural extension and its sustainability a mirage.
Challenges of corruption to agricultural development and practice
In agricultural development efforts, agricultural extension services are expected to assist farmers to identify and analyse their production problems make them become aware of the opportunities for improvement in farm yields in order to obtain increased income and attain a better standard of living. Obviously, the role of agricultural extension providers involves disseminating information on agricultural technologies and improved practices to farm families and ensuring farmers’ capacity building through the use of a variety of communication methods and training programmes (Van den Ban and Hawkins, 1998). However, the normative roles of agricultural extension are either partially or not properly performed because of myriad of problem facing the service. These problems may vary in dimension and magnitude, ranging from inefficiency and fraudulent practices among practitioners. Agbamu (2005) had indicated the following to be major bottlenecks to the success of agricultural extension development and practice.
- The control and direction of activities of agricultural extension systems in developing countries are usually from the top to the bottom with the professional extensionist at the operative level carrying out rigidly designated activities
- The extension systems are typically entrenched as part or parastatal of the Ministry of Agriculture
- Professional development activities, training, motivation and support funds for agricultural extensionists are limited
- The systems are subject to intensive political control
- In addition to the educational functions, agricultural extension researchers in many developing countries are expected to perform a wide range of non-extension duties that include regulatory functions or enforcement of government rules and supply service
The foregoing are typical areas of bottlenecks to efficient agricultural extension service and practice in Nigeria. These areas undoubtedly are where corruption has come to bear majorly against efficient and effective operations of agricultural extension service in this country. For instance, the control and direction of the activities of agricultural extension systems from the top without recourse to determining the prevailing circumstances of the farmers in most cases would be to satisfy the powers that be Inherent in this approach is greed and corruption that finds its expression in self-centredness. More so, the limited fund meant for professional development activities, training, motivation and support is either diverted or not released for the purpose after due approval has been made on study by the authority. This is a fragrant abuse of office and power to the detriment of agricultural extension development and practice.
Agricultural extension programmes require adequate funding to ensure successful extension service delivery. Poor financing of extension programmes has been a long standing problem facing the service (Williams, 1989). The current funding situation has been precarious in terms of both limited and unreliable provision of operating resources. One of the implications of this funding problem is that the governments need to demonstrate the political will to perceive agricultural extension service as a priority area in their development agenda and commit reliable flow of funds to it.
Poor logistic support for field extension staff is another area, where corruption could be identified to play a significant role in undermining agricultural extension development and practice.
Whereas, enough budgetary provisions are made on study to take care of this only a meagre percentage is practically made available in this regard. Mobility for field staff is very important in operating an efficient agricultural extension service. Good and reliable means of movement for extensionists from place to place to serve farmers in rural areas is one of the factors that holds the key to successful extension research. In addition to the above is that there has always been failure of input suppliers to ensure effective and timely distribution to farmers. Such inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and others rarely get to the target audience at the right time and in the right quantity. Part of the reason could be that most of these farm inputs are hijacked by people, who have political power and therefore, either divert them or sell them at very highly exorbitant prices beyond the reach of many rural farmers. This in the main becomes a very big challenge to agricultural extension practice as the teachings of field extension agents to farmers may not have practical application. Another area where corruption has found its expression is in the area of irregular monitoring and evaluation of extension programmes. Agricultural extension programmes are expected to be subjected to monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring attempts to know what is happening with regard to programme input and output. It gives to the management of agricultural programmes indication as to the areas which require urgent and timely corrective measure. On the other hand, evaluation is the process of determining the extent to which objectives of a programme have been achieved. The fact remains that in most cases these activities (monitoring and evaluation) are not actually done. At most what is done is that staff who are trusted with these responsibilities sit down in their offices and conjure up report that may not have any bearing to the true position of the existing programme. This type of scenario will not augur well with agricultural extension practice in any country.
Agricultural extension development and practice in Nigeria is a fundamental issue of concern necessary for improved agricultural production. With its huge potentials as employer of labour, agriculture remains one of the most effective instruments for overall economic development of the country. There is need therefore that governments at all levels should go beyond mere budget pronouncements by ensuring that provisions for agriculture are faithfully implemented. However, greed and corruption on the part of practitioners of agricultural development process is a big challenge in the agricultural sector.
However, to effectively control corruption in Nigeria, ethical standards in decision-making must be the foundation of the nation’s policy on corruption. Therefore, armed with ethics and virtue the nation should reduce personal gains from corrupt behaviour by instituting effective sanctions for corrupt behaviours. Nevertheless, lack of adequate rewards for good skills and honest efforts are among the reasons for the upsurge of corruption in the society. It is necessary therefore that adequately rewarding workers for their services could go a long way in controlling corruption in agricultural sector. Thus, the keys to effectively and significantly reduce corruption in any society are honest and integrity, effective leadership and governance, transparency and accountability.
Hence, any effort aimed at improving agricultural extension development and practice in Nigeria would require an articulated and functional policy on agricultural extension with defined roles, goals and targets. With this in place, it is hoped that the challenges of greed and corruption in agricultural extension development and practice would be overcome.
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