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The study involved gathering of information from relevant government ministries, departments and agencies which shape the policy-institutional conditions of agricultural processing and postharvest activities. In addition, enterprise-level data was obtained using researcher-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire contained information about the status of the enterprises, their production activities, operational constraints and the role of the business environment. A total of seven agricultural commodities were studied. They are cassava, rice, sugar cane, poultry, cattle, fish and fruits. The choice of commodities aligns with the priorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as enunciated under the Presidential Initiatives.
The enterprises were selected based on major commodity belts of the country while simultaneously ensuring adequate agro-ecological spread. In line with the selection principles, States which fall within the commodity belts and which have nationally significant or distinctive producing-processing clusters were identified. The procedure led to the selection of thirty eight (38) enterprises cutting across fifteen (15) States of the country. The States are: Lagos, Kano, Bornu, Bayelsa, Cross River, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Niger and Federal Capital Territory.
From the macro point of view, the bane of agricultural development in Nigeria is incessant changes in policy and the concomitant policy uncertainty which deters private investment and increases risks of business and investment decision-making. The lingering policy-based constraints include policy discontinuity, high mortality and turnover of government programmes, lack of inter-agency coordination and collaboration and non- or poorly-implemented government measures. On the other hand, current evidence shows that enterprise-level conditions in study states are difficult. As a result, there are persisting problems of high operational cost, low processing capacity and under-investment in agricultural processing.
Activity Report 2007 Evidence at the enterprise level reveals that the constraints and limitations of agricultural
processing are typical of the business conditions across the country. They are as follows:
deficiencies in power, water and road infrastructure; inefficient and non-transparent regulatory institutions; inadequate and irregular supply of agricultural raw materials for processing; multiple taxes and levies; low level of security; poor contract enforcement/dispute resolution institutions;
lack of adequate/suitable access to credit/finance and obsolete poorly-performing equipments and facilities.
In order to tackle these binding constraints, the study recommends a corridor approach to the development of agricultural processing and post-harvest activities. The corridor approach describes a holistic and integrated model of public-private sector partnership for developing competitive agricultural processing. It involves the designation of commodity-based processing hubs in contiguous farming areas and targeting them with a complete set of infrastructural, regulatory and capacity building measures. The measures will seek to develop model agricultural processing centres which demonstrate adequate infrastructure services, sound technical and managerial skills, modern production facilities and efficient processing methods and technology. The centres will foster high quality of agricultural processing, competitive product standards, better site facilities and sanitation, stable power, adequate water supply as well as tailored credit. The model could serve as a virile tool to operationalise the current federal government’s industrial policy on enterprise zones and industrial clusters. The centres will foster the achievement of the existing benchmark 70% local content (raw materials utilisation) for agro-allied industries in Nigeria.
3.6 RESEARCH LEADING TO THE PRODUCTION OF BASE DOCUMENT FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA ECONOMIC COMMISSION (SENEC)The SENEC Initiative grew out of the recommendations of the Stakeholders Forum on Industrial Clusters held in September 26, 2006 in Enugu under the auspices of Enugu. AIAE initiated the SENEC process by constituting an Interim Steering Committee to midwife the establishment of the SENEC. The Committee was inaugurated on January 15, 2007. The Committee then
established three subcommittees as follows:
A work session of the SENEC sub-committee on Communication at the AIAE Conference Room The Study Subcommittee was charged with preparing a framework document to serve as working paper for dialogue, consultations and mobilization for the SENEC. The Subcommittee
carried out its duties through variety of methods and techniques:
• extensive review of the literature on best practices around the world;
• call for memorandum from all Ndigbo (persons and organizations) at home and in the Diaspora;
• interviews with selected individuals and organizations; and
• consultations and dialogue with Ndigbo organizations.
Based on feedback and revisions, the Subcommittee published the draft framework document, the Memorandum for the Establishment of South-East Nigeria Economic Commission (SENEC).
The Memorandum is a key tool of AIAE strategy to foster a South-East Nigeria Economic Commission. It provides a base document to guide stakeholders in deciding the character, structure and functions of the Commission. It lays out the strategic framework in terms of context and rationale, international best practices, relevance and impact of the Commission.
By rallying stakeholders for the creation of a sub-national economic development agency for the South-East geopolitical zone in Nigeria, AIAE is fulfilling its niche objective of fostering the utilization of research-based evidence for policymaking. In taking the opportunity to facilitate the creation of the South-East Nigeria Economic Commission, AIAE demonstrates a high level of corporate social responsibility, geared to impact its immediate economic environment. But, the task is enormous indeed. Hence, AIAE is deploying its critical mass of intellectual and networking resources. The array of positive feedback and commentaries recorded in the course of preparing the Memorandum is vindication of the timeliness, relevance and prospects of the initiative. There is therefore, a strong basis to intensify our march towards actualizing this innovative organisational paradigm for the south-east geopolitical zone.
Activity Report 2007
3.7 TRAINING During the year, the Institute organized a certificate-based Training Course on Capital Stock Measurement and Survey, for staff of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), from October 15-20, 2007.
4.0 THE DATABANK UNIT The year witnessed tremendous progress in strengthening the AIAE Databank to become a one-stop data shop for internal research purposes of the Institute. The central goal of the databank is to develop and maintain an on-going robust, credible and up-to-date statistical database of macroeconomic, microeconomic, social sector and human development indicators to support research at the Institute. The Databank Unit Dr. Moses Oduh, commenced operations on 7th January, 2006. It is charged with the functions, Coordinator, Databank viz, sourcing, assembling and mobilizing data into the databank; organizing and processing data into systematic storage system for easy retrieval and utilization; and constant updating and improvement of the statistical database to ensure credibility, reliability and usability. It is intended that the Databank will provide quick and inexpensive access of Institute researchers to verifiable datasets on various economic and development indicators. It is also envisaged that Databank will serve as an important data and information resource for researchers, private sector and policymakers.
The Databank Unit employs inventive methods to source and organize data into meaningful and usable datasets for research and related uses. It assembles and harmonizes existing data from government statistical agencies, international agencies and other statistical organizations.
It draws data also from existing primary surveys of the Institute and other research institutes. It carries out data transformations based on data history and theoretical framework. It uses literature based on the behavioural pattern and general acceptability of data (as proxy and indicator) and their relationship with social, political and economic variables to develop a specific indicator.
The sources of the data for the Databank include official Nigerian government sources such as the National Bureau of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Planning Commission. Other sources include the international agencies such as the World Bank (WB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and others.
Also, the Databank Unit undertakes data transformation based on data history, while adopting interpolated and extrapolated data techniques.
Activity Report 2007 As at December 2007, the Databank has 6,036 indicators - time series and cross sectional. The bank contains 209 sub-data generic names, 23 Sources (including AIAE transformed data and surveys). There are 13 generic names as follows: macroeconomic indicators, agriculture, health, migration, labour, governance, corruption, elasticities, energy, trade, human development indices, human poverty indices and population. The traditional indicators constitute 30 percent of the total data while the transformed data, based on data history formed 60 percent. The remaining 10 percent are primary data.
5.0 PEER LEARNING SEMINAR SERIES
The Peer Learning Seminars provide platform for training, learning and intellectual interaction among Associate Fellows. The Seminar offers intellectual discussion on major conceptual and methodological questions; experts are invited to deliver well-researched papers addressing specific research concepts and methodologies.
6.0 NETWORKING, OUTREACH AND AFFILIATIONSDuring the year, AIAE intensified its national and international networking and outreach programs with partner and collaborating institutions, both within and outside the country. The Institute participated in several national and international conferences. Some of these conferences are given below.
• Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 13), with the theme – Nigeria: Positioning for the Top 20 League, held 5-7 September, 2007 at Abuja. The Executive Director (Prof. Eric Eboh) presented a paper titled - The role of state-level policy in business competitiveness.
• 4th National Conference on Investment themed “Creating an Enabling Investment Environment for the Realization of Vision 2020”, organised by the Nigerian Investment
Activity Report 2007
Promotion Commission (NIPC) held at Ibadan on 23rd -25th October, 2007. The Executive Director presented a paper titled –Business Environment across Nigerian States: Evidence and Challenges.
• African Economic Conference with the theme- “Opportunities and Challenges for Africa in the Global Arena” organised by the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15-17 November, 2007.
• African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) Annual Conference and Workshop on “Science, Technology and Climate Change Adaptation in Africa”, 19-23 November, 2007, Johannesburg, South Africa. The Executive Director presented a paper titledResource Degradation, Poverty and Growth in Nigeria: Implications for Climate-Change Adaptation.
7.0 ASSOCIATE FELLOWS’ NETWORK
7.1 PRINCIPLES AND SCOPE OF FELLOWS’ NETWORKINGThe research network of the Institute connects Associate Fellows within five thematic groups. The
• Trade, Regional Integration and Competitiveness (TRIC);
• Macroeconomic Analysis, Modeling and Forecasting (MAMF);
• Public Sector Economics and Management (PSEM);
• Poverty, Income Distribution and the Labour Market (PIDLAM); and
• Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRUD).
The Institute networks Associate Fellows is a novel scientific networking arrangement that provides rich opportunities for intellectual self-enhancement, academic interaction and mutual learning. The thematic groups constitute the research hub of the Institute. The Institute provides needed peer networking facilities, training and capacity building, quality assurance, administrative coordination and scientific supervision. By the Institute’s research network, Associate Fellows have a credible platform for international networking with scientific institutions, research organizations and academic and professional societies. During 2007, a total of thirty (30) new Associate Fellows were admitted. This increased the number to one hundred and eighty (180) Associate Fellows as at December 2007.
7.2 THE ASSOCIATE FELLOWS RETREAT 2007 The annual Associate Fellows Retreat/Conference for 2007 was held on 4th January 2007 at Enugu. The Keynote Address was “Research Networking, Professional Development and Institution Building” by Dr. Kasirim Nwuke, Senior Economist, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Also, Dr. Nwuke facilitated highly interesting discussion among Associate Fellows, particularly regarding opportunities for research partnership with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The Retreat featured another speech by the former Economic Adviser to the President and Chief Executive, National Planning Commission, Dr. Osita Ogbu. There was another speech on “From Research to Policy Practice: Experiences and Challenges in the Monetary Policy Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria” by Mr. James Olekah, Director, Monetary Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria. Based on the speech, there was rich exchange of ideas about the nexus of economic research and policy.