The Nigeria Second Forestry project, supported by Loan 2760-UNI for US$71 million, was approved in FY87. The loan was fully disbursed and closed one year behind schedule on June 30, 1996. The Implementation Completion Report was prepared by the Africa Regional Office, following a joint mission with the Borrower. The Executive Summary of the Borrower’s Completion report, and comments on the Bank’s ICR draft are attached as Appendix C.
The project was a follow-on to the First Forestry project. That project was primarily a plantation operation. The second project had broader objectives, which were to (i) strengthen the structural base of the forestry sector through improved policies, training, studies and research; (ii) stabilize soil conditions in threatened areas and increase the supply of fuelwood, poles and fodder; and (iii) increase the supply of industrial wood. In line with this, the project had three main components: (i) program management, training, policy analysis, research and studies (16 percent of projected costs): (ii) an afforestation program (AP), implemented predominantly in nine northern (semi-arid) states, to include shelter belts to reduce wind erosion, and support farm forestry (50 percent of cost) and; (iii) a forest management program (FMP), implemented predominantly in four southern (humid) states, to improve management of existing plantations and support limited new plantings.
The project largely met these objectives. The Forestry Management Evaluation and Coordinating Unit (FORMECU), supported by the Afforestation Program Coordination Unit (APCU - established under the project) adequately supervised and supported the 13 state project units. Almost 2,000 short courses were provided for staff at federal, state and project unit levels. Five major studies related to sector policies were undertaken and four completed. These did not have a direct impact but the major issues identified, on the log export ban, constraints to interstate trade in forest products, implementation of improved forest revenue systems, and a review of national and state forestry legislation, were to be conditions for negotiation of a follow-on Forestry III project, currently in abeyance because of country relations. Fourteen other studies were undertaken on topics such as the impact of shelterbelts, integration of fruit trees into farming systems, monitoring and evaluation methodology, and the supply and demand for forest products. A program of research was undertaken as part of the AP, but was not well managed and results were limited.
The physical targets of the AP were exceeded. A total of about 2,100 km of shelterbelts were planted (120 percent of target). The survival rates of trees in the shelterbelts is estimated to be in the satisfactory range of 60-80 percent, and farmers report increased yields in these areas (partly linked to the inclusion of leguminous trees) and improvement of soil conditions, which permits them to increase cultivation of legumes. About 130 million seedlings were produced (260 percent of target) and distributed in support of a number of programs, including planting of about 5,500 ha of woodlots, 1,600 ha of orchards, and 1,200 km of roadside plantings. About 200 women’s groups were supported in development of 1,700 woodlots. In the FMP, improved management was introduced in about 7,500 ha of existing plantations (75 percent of target), while 5,100 ha of new plantations were established (110 percent of target), largely in degraded areas of existing forest reserves. In several areas, local communities maintained the new plantings in exchange for the right to crop the area when the trees were small. Based on data from sample inventories, and farmer surveys of incremental crop and fruit production, the ICR estimated the ERR as 19.8 percent for the AP and 16.7 percent for the FMP, compared with appraisal estimates of 15 and 17 percent, respectively.
The Operations Evaluation Department concurs with the ICR rating of project outcome as satisfactory, institutional development as substantial, Bank performance as satisfactory and sustainability as uncertain. The latter rating reflects the fact that the proposed successor project has not materialized, and that the maintenance effort in the plantations is dependent upon the completion of the pulp mill by the Federal Government, an outcome which appears unlikely.
The ICR provides a clear account of the implementation and outcome of the project and is rated satisfactory.
The principal lessons of the project are that the commitment of the relevant stakeholders to the project is particularly important in long-gestation projects such as forestry implemented in a complex institutional environment, such as multi-state projects operated in a federal system. In this context, the commitment of state and local stakeholders, while necessary, is not sufficient for success.
No audit is planned.