The impact of oil revenues and government programs on agricultural development in Nigeria

Igber, Joe Orban
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This study critically examines the impacts of oil revenues on agriculture and other socioeconomic sectors in Nigeria during the period between 1970to 1990. Major socioeconomic indicators are regressed against oil revenues to determine the significance of statistical relationships as bases for in-depth analyses of social and economic impacts. The period of the initial oil boom in Nigeria channeled large sums of money into government programs which temporarily benefitted urban sectors, but neglected agriculture. These developments resulted in massive rural- urban migration where workers left the farming areas in anticipation of high paying jobs and better living conditions in the cities. The rural exodus contributed to serious declines in land in crops and '. agricultural output. Agricultural exports, which had previously contributed substantially to the balance of trade, declined to an insignificant level. Nigeria, which had previously been self sufficient in food production, became a major food importer, further contributing to the decline in the balance of trade. The agricultural sector's contribution to gross domestic product declined from 60 percent in 1960 to less than 10 percent in 1978. The huge oil revenues impacted on the exchange rate, which was favorable during the early phase of oil industry development. But oil sales over time contributed to currency appreciation with a consequent damaging effect on international trade. The excessive movement of rural workers into the cities for presumed job opportunities related to oil revenue expenditures resulted in massive unemployment. This led to insufficient housing, extreme hunger, unsanitary conditions and crime. During the late 1970's and early 1980's, the Nigerian government initiated several assistance programs to address the decline of agriculture, including national food programs, the green revolution and farm credit programs. These programs, although initiated with good intent, were misguided and mismanaged and thus had minimal impact in reversing the dire economic and social conditions of the agricultural sector. The decline of agriculture and related economic and social conditions is ironic considering the wealth of national and human resources in the country. The study offers suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of agricultural assistance programs to take advantage of the resources available.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1993.
xii, 121 leaves, bound 29 cm
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Sociology; no. 2956
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