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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Agricultural Research

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Agricultural Research
Project Costs(US $M)
 104.1  91.1
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 78.0  81.9
Sector, Major Sect.:
Cofinancing (US $M)
 26.1  NA
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/1999 12/31/1999
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Robert C. Varley
Ridley Nelson Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
Research System Development - develop an institutional framework for improvement of the national agricultural research management system, in accordance with development objectives, needs of farmers and sustainable use of natural resources;

Strengthening of Research Institutes - namely the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), through more effective deployment of human resources, rehabilitation of infrastructure and provision of equipment.

b. Components
The latest estimate of total expenditure on all components is $91.1 million, of which the Bank financed $81.9 million. The Bank expenditures were on:-
(1) Civil works - $3.5 m; (2) Plant, equipment and spare parts - $49.8 m; (3) National Strategic Plan - $0.6 m; (4) Research Grant Scheme $ 0.6 m; (5) Technical Assistance and Studies - $9.1 m; (6) Training $3.1 m; (7) Priority Research Programmes - $14.2m.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Data on realized Government expenditures classified by component were not available. The major differences between latest estimates for Bank funding and the SAR are (1) overspending on plant, equipment and spares ($49.8m v $ 31.2 m) and (2) underspending on training and priority research ( $17.3 m v $31.9 m at appraisal.)

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Research Systems Development:-
  • A new body, ARCN (Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria) was established in 1996 to replace an existing council and strengthen research management capacity of the Agricultural Science Department (ASD) of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology ;
  • a 15 year strategic plan and various studies were completed;
  • 34 projects were initiated, of which 19 were rated satisfactory with 70-80% completion;
  • a total of 347 NARI staff attended overseas training and other events while 676 local staff received training;
  • significant knowledge transfer was achieved for one of the three TA areas - research management, and to a lesser extent agricultural research planning and financial administration.
Strengthening of Research Institutes:-
  • The project procured over 10,000 pieces of equipment - about 40% of the vehicles are still in commission;
  • A new central research council building is nearly complete but lacks counterpart funds for completion;
  • 120 research projects were implemented by 18 NARIs and most have been incorporated in a National Coordinated Agricultural Research Program (NCRP);
  • 3 agricultural universities and 23 faculties of agriculture and veterinary medicine, as well as NGOs and international research centers, have participated in NCRPs;
  • the project collaborated in development of new varieties of arable and horticultural, forest and tree crops, providing support for research in cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and fisheries;
  • Studies estimate that technologies generated by the NARIs, and disseminated through Agricultural Development Projects, have ERRs between 26% and 46%.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Scientific achievements in agricultural research, technology generation and dissemination for crop and animal genetic materials, as well as improved agricultural production techniques and tools;
  • revitalization of efforts to enhance the capacity of the NARIs;
  • estabishment of a viable Research Extension Farmer Input Liaison System (REFILS.)

  • 5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

    Highly unsatisfactory financial management and failure to follow Bank procurement guidelines, including bid-rigging and collusion between project staff and the suppliers;
  • financial mismanagement negatively impacted key components, including the research grant scheme, human resources development plan, seed production facilities and major NARI civil works;
  • suspension of programs for library resources, administration and computerized MIS, auditing and administration;
  • decline in government financial support has prevented realization of desired enhancement of budget controls and threatens the sustainability of the increase in research capacity;
  • of 122 stafff sponsored for graduate study, only 9 of the MSc and none of the PhD candidates have graduated yet.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    UnsatisfactoryModerately Unsatisfactory
      Despite egregious financial mismanagement the research outcomes and increase in institutional capacity were significant
    Institutional Dev.:
    Bank Performance:
    Borrower Perf.:
    Quality of ICR:

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    Financial management and procurement personnel should be selected far more rigorously for projects of this size and importance;
    • diligence and effort devoted by management to technical aspects reduce the attention given to fiduciary responsibilities;
    • procurement policies should also be subject to scrutiny and the desirable role of subsidiarity and accountability;
    • a long term resource mobilization and allocation strategy is essential for sustainability of projects of this type.

    8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

              Why?  Over $50 million was provided by the Bank for plant, equipment and spare parts, and while financial mismanagement is acknowledged, it is unclear how much the total cost of corruption was, and what the current stock of useful assets is. The Government is unable to account for how its own funds were used.

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The ICR is satisfactory but is less clearly written than the Mission Aide Memoire and borrower contributions.

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