Nigeria

In Nigeria, we fostered powerful coalitions to support a nationwide movement of women farmers and community health advocates to demand accountable delivery of services. Together we have helped women farmers gain access to seeds, tools and other agricultural investments and bolstered investments in rural primary health care facilities respectively.

Open Budget Survey Results

Public Participation

26

Budget Oversight

61

Transparency

45
Initiatives in Nigeria

111,000

women farmers gained access to farming supplies

683

healthcare clinics in three states had infrastructure improvements

A women sells fresh produce at a market in Jos, Nigeria
SPARK initiative

Nigeria’s smallholder women farmers

Summary

We forged a powerful coalition of budget reform allies to support the Smallholder Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria in securing budget changes to bolster their livelihoods and food security in the country. The coalition found that although women farmers make up 70% of the agricultural workforce and produce 60% of the food Nigerians consume, they are overlooked in agricultural policies. Chronic underinvestment was hurting women farmers’ ability to produce more to bolster Nigeria’s food security.

Impacts to date:

  • Honed the budget advocacy skills of an organization representing 2 million women farmers nationwide.
  • Successfully advocated to protect the federal agricultural budget from proposed cuts of 40% in 2020.
  • Secured budget lines worth $2 million USD in the federal budget, targeting women farmers in five focus states.
  • Ensured approximately 111,0000 smallholder women farmers gained access to new or improved seeds and fertilizer to grow crops, and lighter and more modern equipment to increase production.
  • Facilitated the inclusion of smallholder women farmers in high-level spaces like the National Steering Committee on the Agriculture Sector and the committee overseeing the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture.
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Strengthening Public Accountability

Our Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) program flips traditional public finance management work on its head by putting underserved communities at the center of budget advocacy.

We now understand that to have a voice, we need to be part of the process that puts together the budget. We need to know and engage about how much is being allocated to the agricultural sector—and how much of that goes to women farmers.

An outdoor produce market in Nigeria
35%
The percentage of agricultural budget allocations that should target women farmers as stipulated in Nigeria’s Gender Policy in Agriculture.
SPARK initiative

Nigeria’s primary healthcare centers

Summary

We forged a powerful coalition of budget reform allies to support the Community Empowerment Network, Community Development Association, and Ogun Women for Maternal Health Coalition in bolstering investment in primary healthcare centers in rural areas. The coalition found that these facilities suffer from outdated procurement processes, delays in budget flows, and lack of personnel and equipment. Although many Nigerians rely on their local clinic for care, only 20% of the 30,000 facilities across the country are in working order. Preventable maternal mortality remains high, and only 36% of women give birth in a clinic.

Impacts to date:

  • Secured an increase of 6.4% in health allocations in Anambra’s 2020 state budget. Anambra’s 2021 budget also centralized and increased allocations to the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency from 26.4 million to 757.6 million naira.
  • Persuaded Anambra officials to disburse their 20% share of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (the federal government matches with the other 80%) to 175 PHC facilities for the first time. Anambra is now the leading state in accessing these federal matching funds.
  • Leveraged the government’s Midwives Service Scheme to get 80 midwives hired in Ogun state where half of all primary healthcare centers lack sufficient midwives.
  • Increased the number of excluded communities that access primary healthcare centers by persuading state officials to improve the infrastructure in 683 clinics in three states.
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I am proud of leading members to advocate for Primary Health Care Centers…our partnership[s] helped us …provide the evidence needed for the #FixmyPHC campaign, which directly led to governments increasing money spent on Primary Health Care Centers.

A dilapidated hospital room in a primary health center in Nigeria
A dilapidated hospital room in a primary health center in Nigeria
46%
Over the past seven years, Ogun State government raised about 64% of its targeted revenue, but only spent 46% of what it budgeted for health

Tax Equity Initiative

Summary

In Nigeria, we strengthen connections between civil society, government and other stakeholders to make Nigeria’s tax system more equitable, including by advocating against tax breaks that hurt the government’s revenue base and ability to fund quality public services.

Impacts to date:

  • Built the capacity of the Nigeria Tax Justice and Governance Platform to engage the government around harmful tax incentives (in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States’ Fiscal Transition Programme, and the Africa Center for Tax and Governance).
  • Convened a National Tax Conference that brought together critical stakeholders including tax policy and tax administration officials, the private sector, civil society coalition partners, and the media to discuss harmful tax expenditures and implications for Nigeria’s economic progress.
  • Partnered with the Society of Women in Taxation, and the Association of Nigeria Women Business Network, on gender mainstreaming in tax policy and administration.
  • Developed a position paper on the Finance Act 2022 that recommended the government abolish harmful tax incentives; improve management of tax expenditures; and reform tax incentives to bolster funding for public services.
  • Engaged key regional actors, like the Africa Tax Administrations Forum, the West Africa Tax Administrations Forum, and the Public Services International.
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Budget Credibility Initiative

Summary

Budget credibility refers to the extent to which a government’s actual spending deviates from its approved budget. In Nigeria, we found high levels of underspending on agriculture, health and other sectors at both the national and subnational level.

Impacts to date:

  • Conducted research assessing spending patterns in the federal budget for sectors relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals. We found that the government underspent its budget by 32 percent on average. Sectors, such as agriculture, water and sanitation, and the environment, saw much greater underspending.
  • Conducted assessments that found high levels of underspending in state agricultural budgets. For example in 2018, Jigawa underspent its agriculture budget by 57% (despite significantly meeting her revenue collection targets). They particularly underspent on infrastructure, agricultural supplies, and other goods and services for agricultural programs.
  • Conducted assessments that found high levels of underspending in state health budgets, including by 77 percent in Anambra (between 2014-2019) and 54 percent in Ogun (between 2013 and 2020). This underspending is often due to delays in releasing funds to implementing agencies for health, and has an impact on primary healthcare service delivery.
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Featured Network Members

Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON)

FollowTaxes

Centre for Social Justice Limited by Guarantee (CSJ)

Partnership Initiative
+234 81 2723 5995

Social & Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)

+234 1 764 6299 | +234 70 9811 8536
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Headwinds and Tailwinds: Navigating Budgets in Turbulent Times

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