Until recently, the general provision and management of infrastructure in Nigeria was the sole responsibility of the government, and was conducted through a vertical relationship between the three government tiers. However, in recent years, the government adjusted certain policies to open up opportunities for private partnership (Udoka 2013
). Moreover, Adeyinka and Olugbamila
) observed that this has not been fully implemented, as only about 15% accrues due to public private partnership. Although the Nigerian government recognizes the importance of infrastructure investment and has shown increasing interest in demonstrating a higher political commitment to invest, particularly in the agricultural sector, Daze et al.
) observed that, in reality, the details of plans are quite different from those presented in policy documents.
In Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has, over the years, provided strategic guidance, sourced funds, and overseen the implementation of set goals at state and local levels. These were guided by government policies and programs such as the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) management of irrigation schemes, the Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure’s (DFRRI) management of rural roads and water supplies, Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs), and the National Fadama Development Project (NFDP) which aims to improve rural development by fostering agricultural productivity and other non-farm activities. However, these programs suffered setbacks, as most were ineffective due to the mismanagement of resources and failed siting of projects, among other issues (Enplan Group 2004
). For instance, the roads provided under such programs were poorly constructed, and water facilities were below capacity and could not last due to lack of maintenance (Fiki et al. 2007
). In assessing the performance of these policies, Nchuchuwe and Adejuwon
) concluded that rural infrastructure provision still remains a concern despite several policy attempts. This failure is attributed to governments’ activities, revealing that the priority in policy formulation and resource allocation is accorded to urban areas at the expense of rural areas.
Recently, policies such as the Agricultural Transformation Agenda 2011–2015 (ATA) and the Agricultural Promotion Policy 2016–2020 (APP) have aimed to improve agricultural development in a number of ways, including the improvement of infrastructure investments (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 2016
). Under the ATA, FMARD works in collaboration with the state engage ministries whose responsibilities contribute to growth in agriculture and rural development. For instance, the State Ministry of Works provides technical services in design, construction and the maintenance of feeder roads. A World Bank report by Olomola et al.
) pointed out that the current limitation characterizing ATA policy is that only about 10% of the budget was allocated to the construction of feeder roads. Also, no consideration was made for the provision of other vital AIs, such as irrigation and storage facilities; this was partly because the administration for irrigation in Nigeria is not under the control of the FMARD (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 2016
; Ifejika Speranza et al. 2018
). The sectoral, rather than the integrated, approach to agrarian infrastructure management in Nigeria poses challenges to the realization of set policy objectives towards the growth of the sector. AI, such as feeder roads, waterways and irrigation facilities, rural electrification, storage facilities, and market facilities are generally given the lowest priority in infrastructure development. For instance, at present, about 70% of the 193,200 km of Nigeria’s road network is in a deplorable state, which increases the cost of agricultural goods by between 50–100% (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 2016
), and exceeds the 30–40% cost of trade goods in Africa (Gutman et al. 2015
). Large dams and water reservoirs in Nigeria are constructed for combined purposes, although most are for water supply and hydro-electric power generation. Irrigation farming in Nigeria depends on surface and sub-surface water sources from natural streams, ponds, wells, boreholes and small-scale motor pumps that irrigate crops. However, Takeshima
) observed that these small irrigation schemes and the small scale of production are major drivers for the low returns on investments, the high cost of labor and the high cost of market transactions. These challenges hinder efforts towards the realization of the set goals, leaving the agricultural sector in need of infrastructure facilities and service systems to support extensive production. The government recognizes these, and other, challenges, and intends to address them under the current APP.