ASSET MAPPING OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGERIA-MIC GRANT
- Reference: P-NG-A00-007
- Approval date: 30/05/2014
- Start date: 03/12/2014
- Appraisal Date: 01/05/2014
- Status: OngoingOnGo
- Implementing Agency: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
- Location: ABUJA, NIGERIA
The grant requested is specifically intended to finance a thorough compilation of geo-coded and geo-specific data and information on active and latent assets in four core areas of agriculture and natural resources, infrastructure, human capital and other assets crucial to the balanced development of Nigeria. The initiative is demand-driven, triggered by a request from the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for support from the Bank to undertake an Asset Mapping of existing resources that can be utilized to support development initiatives, isolate them through a systematic web-based strategic planning and operational system, to ensure congruency between development strategy, natural strengths of the country from an operational and, foundational resource-based and human resource perspectives. The major objective of this exercise is to lay the foundation for strategic planning and provide a benchmark from which to measure progress over time for resource endowed country like Nigeria. The tool would also be used to map national assets, capacities, and abilities of people and structures to development planning and foreign investment opportunities. The tool will also support national efforts that will add value to the natural, economic, and human resources that exist in the community.
The proposed program is in line with the MIC Trust Fund Guidelines as well as Pillar II (Investing in critical infrastructure to promote development) of the Nigeria 2013 - 2017 Nigeria Country Strategy Paper (CSP). It will inform the Government's strategy of promoting balanced inclusive growth across all the geopolitical zones of the country.
Much like most developing countries, Nigeria faces its own share of country-specific challenges ranging from political to economic. However, the single most latently potent of these challenges emanates from the growing socioeconomic split and imbalances which characterize the geopolitical zones of the country. A comparative perusal of some indices between these zones reveals that in almost every important socioeconomic indicator, some geopolitical zones, particularly the North East, are lagging far behind others.
These lopsided indices suggest that a timely and targeted economic blueprint is needed to accelerate a more geographically balanced economic growth in Nigeria. The need to embark on a targeted economic agenda for the north is heightened in light of the serious threat to both economic and political stability in the aftermath of violent attacks by the militant Islamist movement in the north - Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad (more commonly known as "Boko Haram"). In view of these regional tensions, a more balanced economic agenda may be an effective antidote. (It will be ideal to link this issue to the fact, that Nigeria being a resourced based economy, there is a critical need to identify, codify and better use the available resources for better planning and balanced economic development).
While it is difficult to fully discern all the underlying factors that lead to the emergence of these groups, there is some consensus that their seemingly successful recruitment of new members and operational sustenance may be related to the economic underdevelopment and lack of economic opportunities in these regions. In effect, enhancing economic opportunities that can create jobs will be an effective tool in silently resolving this lingering problem.
Given the massive size of Nigeria, natural resource and agricultural products differ somewhat significantly among geographical zones . More importantly, the differences in natural endowments almost automatically bestow latent comparative advantages on each geopolitical zone. In view of these advantages, this economic blueprint would explore the possibilities of holistically harnessing all the identified resources in order to achieve maximum impact in each region. The design of the blueprint will focus on the comparative advantage that each zone may have given its critical assets/endowments. It will also be important to ascertain whether: (a) existing programmes/projects of state governments are aligned to these assets; (b) that funding synergies exist between states, zones, and the federal government; (c) that donor support to states/zones take cognizance of these comparative advantages; and (d) that private sector investments are targeted at these critical assets. The next section outlines the proposed intervention points for the plan with brief discussions of each initiative.
The robust economic growth Nigeria has experienced over the past decade has not led to sufficient growth inclusiveness as poverty and unemployment remain high. Moreover there exists uneven growth and performance in key socioeconomic indicators across the geo-political zones that are skewed against the Northern region, especially the North East geo-political zones. The Northern regions lags behind in education, health, employment, poverty and other indicators compared to the Southern regions. Several attempts have been made in the past to forcefully spur economic growth at the regional level. This requires a more innovative approach as encapsulated in this proposed project. Critical assets constitute the backbone of any country's national existence and development. A comprehensive inventory of these assets classified into different categories needs to be kept and updated from time to time. Some of the broad categorization of such assets include infrastructural, human capital, natural resource and agricultural assets. Also, understanding the quantity and location of these assets across the six geo-political zones of the country is most useful for public and private decision-making. Availability of this type of data holds high promise for growth improving growth strategies for the geopolitical zones through mapping of the economic opportunities presented by these assets in the formulation of critical policies and identification of investments needed to translate these economic opportunities into transformational growth. To ensure that the critical assets across the geopolitical zone are mapped, a scientific approach will be adopted to ensure that the critical assets are captured. A combination of up-to date digital map of the six geo-political zones and mobile devices with in-built GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies will be used to determine the accurate locations of the assets as well as their attributes. The socio-economic data will also be collected using a comprehensive questionnaire designed to capture information on talent pools by profession (doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, etc), trade organizations, artisans and the likes within the areas of interest. A vital part of the processes is quality assurance and quality control that will ensure that the final outcomes are of the highest quality in line with global standards for geospatial and socio-economic datasets. The acquired data will depict a comprehensive representation of the inventory of critical assets, highlighting their true spread and distribution in terms of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities across each geopolitical zone. The information to be obtained from the mapping exercise will be useful for the development of growth strategies across the geopolitical zones by creating economic opportunities presented by these assets. The products of this exercise will be useful for a wide range of stakeholders that include the following:
1. Investment Forums: This data will become one of the main selling points for persuading foreign investors during Nigeria-focused investment forums. 2. Economic Summits: Since most (if not all) geopolitical zones now have periodic economic summits, the document could be complementary to the plans that each zone may already have. 3. MDAs: The holistic information generated through this intervention would become handy for relevant MDAs in planning and situating their own sectoral plans. 4. Potential Investors: Both local and foreign potential investors would benefit significantly from having an organized and comprehensive body of geo-coded data showcasing national assets and associated opportunities 5. National Planning Commission: The data could be a complementary planning tool for the National Planning Commission. Aspects of the data could also serve as a baseline for the Infrastructure Master Plan. 6. Others: Donor Community, job-seekers, suppliers of raw materials, beneficiaries of forward and backward linkages, etc.
Given the comprehensiveness of the inventory of assets and the decision support tools that will be generated, the expected output, outcomes and impact of this proposed program would include:
-Design of a web-based tool; -Ability of the Federal Government to make informed well-grounded prescient decisions on development alternatives as well as specific and targeted choices; "A reduction in disparity of economic opportunities across geopolitical zones; "A more balanced and inclusive economic growth; "A reduction in unemployment and poverty rates; "A better policy synergy amongst the tiers of government for critical projects; "An increase in foreign direct investment; "A better guide to development assistance for donor agencies. "Ultimately affect a balanced investment and development program in Nigeria
ALEMU Zerihun Gudeta - RDNG