DFID’s programme in Nigeria Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

Governance—process and outcomes

1.We commend DFID for its support to strengthening democratic processes and outcomes in Nigeria, and recognise the direct impact that this work has had in contributing to a credible, fair and peaceful presidential election in 2015. (Paragraph 18)

2.We urge DFID to maintain its support throughout the election cycle by strengthening systems and institutional management and civic education. DFID should ensure that a successor programme to its Deepening Democracy in Nigeria 2 (DDiN) programme—due to end in 2018—is established well in advance of the 2019 Presidential Election. Learning from DDiN, boards of DFID projects should include staff of other Government departments where possible, in accordance with the stated desire for DFID’s work to be “embedded in the broader HMG effort”. DFID should also use its comparative advantage in parliamentary strengthening to enhance scrutiny, foster transparency and support legislative oversight. When we met members of the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives in Abuja, it was requested that DFID support capacity building among Nigerian Parliamentarians. This could be facilitated through support for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). The UK Government should review the lessons it has learned through extensive parliamentary strengthening efforts in Burma and consider how these can be applied to its work with the Nigerian Parliament. (Paragraph 19)

3.DFID’s approach to politically smart development programming is at the forefront of addressing the significant political barriers to development in Nigeria. We regard DFID-funded research into the political economy of Nigeria as an investment in more effective programming. (Paragraph 27)

4.We encourage DFID to invest in research into the political economy of Nigeria, particularly on how to better align political and development priorities. It is important that governance inputs are not isolated, and form an integrated part of interventions in education, health, etc. We urge DFID to produce a review within the next year of how programming in its governance suite can better collaborate with its wider interventions and, ultimately, to try to integrate these fully to reduce the need for distinct governance programmes. (Paragraph 28)

5.A central component of DFID’s anti-corruption strategy in Nigeria is supporting enforcement agencies’ capacity and ability to detect, investigate, prosecute and convict those who engage in corrupt behaviour. While DFID, the FCO and the NCA are delivering a cross-Government approach to strengthening judicial systems in Nigeria, we have heard that this approach is overlooking a valuable resource in the form of UK-trained advocates, including in the UK-based diaspora and practising in Nigeria. (Paragraph 36)

6.We urge DFID to make use of the large number of UK-trained lawyers who may be motivated to help drive reform in the judicial system, including the UK-based Nigerian diaspora. The Vice President, with whom DFID works closely and who studied law in the UK, can serve as a key figure in rallying a powerful network of reformers, both in Nigeria and abroad. (Paragraph 37)

7.The quality of governance at the state level varies significantly and it is vital that processes are in place to ensure that the lessons learned—both from DFID programming and more broadly—are spread across Nigeria. The emergence of platforms like BudgIT, which make public budgets available and accessible to citizens, are a key step towards greater transparency and accountability. (Paragraph 43)

8.We encourage DFID to ensure that the States Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM) is implemented with the specific objective of delivering greater accountability from two perspectives:

Inclusive Economic Development

9.The economic and social potential of millions of Nigerians is severely constrained by lack of access to electricity. Therefore we welcome DFID’s efforts to increase energy access in the country and recognise the importance of private sector investment in doing so. While there are likely to be benefits to all households of increased energy access in the long term, we share the concerns held by several witnesses to this inquiry that poverty reduction has not been given sufficient consideration and that the research base for the NIAF programme was inadequate. Tariff increases are hurting poor Nigerians in the short term, even if there is a net overall benefit to privatisation of the power sector in the long term. Despite the NIAF programme’s supposed focus on the North, the dropping of targets for the region suggest that DFID is not delivering in this respect. (Paragraph 55)

10.We suggest that DFID encourage the Nigerian Government to take measures to mitigate negative impacts of electricity price increases on the poorest households and consider both the short and long term impacts of its power sector programmes in terms of poverty reduction. While we recognise that the ‘Lifeline’ tariff aims to do this, its coverage is far too narrow. DFID should support the expansion of the ‘Lifeline’ tariff and should monitor the impact of price increases on poor households not covered by this tariff. In preparing for any future infrastructure programmes in Nigeria or elsewhere, DFID should carry out more in-depth impact assessments to thoroughly consider the impacts of privatisation on the poor. (Paragraph 56)

11.There is no mention of the Nigerian diaspora in DFID’s latest Nigeria Operational Plan 2011–2016. We urge DFID Nigeria to conduct a review into its engagement with British Nigerian diaspora groups, particularly professional associations and those focussed on development, with the objective of ensuring that the substantial financial flows in the form of remittances and foreign direct investment (FDI) complement Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the benefit of the poorest Nigerians. (Paragraph 58)

12.The private sector must play an essential role in successful economic development in Nigeria, and investments in commercially viable, job-creating industries will be key to unlocking growth potential. Various parts of the UK Government and associated bodies will play a role in this, including DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and CDC Group. We, and our predecessor committee, have expressed concerns about a lack of a coherent, joined up strategy on how these various pieces will fit together. In particular, it is not clear to what extent poverty reduction and inclusive growth will be prioritised by the Prosperity Fund, and whether DFID will therefore take the lead in its delivery. (Paragraph 61)

13.We recommend that in addition to its new Operational Plan, DFID publishes a strategic plan of how the UK Government’s various approaches will be mobilised to make progress towards inclusive growth and poverty reduction. This should include how it coordinates with CDC Group with respect to its sectoral approach to economic development in Nigeria. (Paragraph 62)

14.Employment is central to Nigeria’s future development, and the successful creation of quality jobs has significant implications for both inclusive growth and social cohesion and stability. A growing private sector is essential to delivering the two million jobs needed for young people entering the labour market each year. Yet the evidence suggests that the selective nature of private sector processes can actually limit the inclusivity of growth if interventions are not carefully planned based on a strong body of evidence. Large-scale programmes should not be based on a body of evidence that is deemed to be ‘weak’. Furthermore, an understanding of the dynamics of the informal sector, where the majority of Nigerians work, is key to delivering effective programming. (Paragraph 67)

15.We urge DFID to invest in research to develop a better understanding of the processes underlying quality job creation in Nigeria. Future programmes designed to generate jobs should be built on a stronger evidence base, with a particular focus on capturing the dynamics of the informal sector to ensure decent, secure livelihoods for the millions of vulnerable people who rely on informal employment. (Paragraph 68)

16.We commend DFID for its commitment to ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’, and in particular the impressive achievements its approach has delivered for many women. DFID’s economic development programmes in Nigeria have rightly taken a substantial gender focus. We heard that it is not just market barriers but equally non-market barriers that can limit the economic empowerment of women. (Paragraph 71)

17.DFID should build upon its current programmes aimed at generating jobs and increasing incomes by addressing the non-market barriers—such as unpaid childcare and family planning—that many women in Nigeria face. In researching these issues and building them into programme design, DFID could strengthen its gender inclusive approach to economic development. (Paragraph 72)

18.One of the fundamental barriers to poverty reduction in Nigeria lies in the commitment at all levels of Government to delivering basic services. While the allocation of resources is of course the prerogative of the Nigerian Government, DFID has a key role to play in informing Nigerian policymakers on the importance of basic services in supporting a healthy, well-educated and productive population. We are particularly concerned about the prospects for Nigeria’s achievement of SDG 4 on inclusive and quality education. An important part of making progress towards SDG 4 is understanding, and helping the Nigerian Government to understand, the scale of the task at hand. (Paragraph 80)

19.DFID should support key Nigerian decision-makers to help them come to the best-informed decisions possible, with a specific emphasis on the value of basic public services. It should help the Nigerian Federal Government in developing a system to compare the performance of different states on delivering basic services. DFID should ensure that it has the resources to connect its programmes to key decision-makers at the state and federal levels, with a particular emphasis on health and education, and that memoranda of understanding reflect specific and firm commitments on the release of funds. (Paragraph 81)

20.DFID should also assist the Nigerian Government in performing an exercise to scope its trajectory towards SDG 4. It should develop a working model on education logistics (covering pupil numbers and distribution, teachers, classrooms, learning materials, etc) which will deepen understanding of what needs to change to get closer to achieving that Goal. (Paragraph 82)

21.We are concerned that inadequate hospital management systems act as a key structural barrier to improved health outcomes in Nigeria—a problem that DFID in-country staff appeared to be aware of on our visit. In Kano state, Committee members visited Dambatta General Hospital which served as a teaching base for midwidery students participating in the £29m DFID-funded Women for Health (W4H) programme. Students were being trained in hospital surroundings that were unacceptably unhygienic, notably the birthing units. DFID staff informed us that there are clinical directors but no operational directors in such hospitals. Further pressure is added to the system by ‘ghost’ workers and poor management of those workers who do attend. (Paragraph 83)

22.We recommend that DFID address the following issues when funding such projects in the future:

a) Ensuring immediate and urgent improvement of hospital hygiene standards; and

b) Ensuring that structural problems in hospital management systems are resolved before funding agreements for any specific programmes are finalised.

DFID should work with the Nigerian Government to ensure that memoranda of understanding include commitments to improve hospital management, operational systems and hygiene. (Paragraph 84)

23.Due to the attraction of living and working in urban areas for teachers, we are concerned about worsening imbalances in the supply of qualified teachers between urban and rural areas. Unlike the Women for Health (W4H) programme which recruits health worker trainees from rural areas in an attempt to fill gaps in services in those areas, there appears to be no clear rural focus in the Teacher Development Programme to address this imbalance. (Paragraph 88)

24.We recognise that in parts of Nigeria, state governments are not equipped to provide schooling for all children, therefore supporting quality private sector provision is a necessary feature of DFID’s approach. In Lagos we visited a Bridge International Academies school and were impressed by the quality of education provision. However, we are concerned about the affordability of private schooling for the poorest families, and that reliance on for-profit companies to deliver education is not easily reconciled with DFID’s commitment to “leaving no one behind”. One risk is that families who can only send some of their children to school may prioritise the education of boys over girls. Regardless of the public/private sector balance of provision, the responsibility of educating children lies with state governments. While DFID is supporting public sector education in Lagos and Kano through its Education Sector Support in Nigeria (ESSPIN) programme, the extent to which DFID is encouraging the expansion of the sector is unclear. (Paragraph 94)

25.We urge DFID to ensure that its support to private sector provision of education aligns with its commitment to “leaving no one behind”, and that the very furthest behind are prioritised. The furthest behind are not going to be served by for-profit companies, therefore DFID should deliver a focused strategy on how it is going to help the Nigerian authorities significantly expand public sector provision and deliver quality education to those who cannot afford school fees. If the DEEPEN approach is to be expanded to other parts of Nigeria, the model must pay due attention to regional variations in both the prevalence and depth of poverty. We also urge DFID to concentrate attention on educational outcomes across both the public and private sectors. DFID should ensure that the state governments it works with are equipped to effectively regulate both public and private schools, guaranteeing both quality and access for all. (Paragraph 95)

26.While we commend DFID’s commitment to closing the gap in primary school enrolment rates between girls and boys, with a specific focus on regions where girls are particularly disadvantaged, we are concerned about the continued failure of the Girls Education Project (GEP3) to perform satisfactorily. Despite the various phases since 2004, this UNICEF-managed project, awarded without competition, has consistently failed to meet targets and in a number of DFID reviews has been given ratings to indicate that outputs “substantially did not meet expectation”. While there have been improvements, these are relative to an unacceptably low baseline. We are also disappointed to hear in the project’s latest annual review that the recommendations made by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) in 2012 have still not been successfully implemented. While we recognise the operational difficulties associated with this programme, we are concerned by DFID’s continued funding of a programme that has so consistently failed to meet expectations. (Paragraph 100)

27.In its response to this Report, DFID should set out what steps it, and UNICEF, are taking to improve the effectiveness of the GEP project and address the specific concerns raised about enrolment, learning, effective financial management and resource planning. It should identify the criteria that improvements will be judged against and to what extent these fall short of the project’s original targets. DFID should also state over what timeframe it expects the project to be fully meeting expectations. This should include an indication of at what point continued underperformance will mean that DFID no longer deems the project viable, and will withdraw its support. (Paragraph 101)

28.DFID’s SuNMaP (Support to National Malaria Programme) has been widely regarded as a success, both in tackling malaria itself and in strengthening health systems more broadly. We believe that a number of lessons have been learned from this programme that may apply across DFID’s health programming and wider interventions in Nigeria and elsewhere. (Paragraph 106)

29.We urge DFID to apply lessons from SuNMaP on how catalytic investments, such as in building the capacity of the Nigerian Government’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), can have wider benefits for the provision of basic services. DFID should also ensure that the length of programmes matches what research has shown to be most effective: we have heard evidence that this is not always the case at present. Implementing partners and stakeholders should also be kept up-to-date on strategic funding priorities so that they can plan their activities accordingly. We would also like to see DFID invest in building networks between research communities and relevant state and federal authorities in order to deliver effective partnerships and policies that have a strong evidence base. (Paragraph 107)

30.With costs per beneficiary expected to be as low as US$0.12 per person treated by the end of the programme, DFID’s Tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases through an Integrated Approach has shown how cost effective life-saving health interventions can be. We urge DFID to actively use such examples as evidence to the public of how cost-effective UK aid can be in changing the lives of millions of Nigerians. We recommend that DFID scale up this programme as part of the effort to eliminate NTDs in Nigeria. Such a programme should also be replicated in other countries that DFID operates where NTDs are a problem. (Paragraph 110)

31.DFID has shown strong commitment to reducing the disadvantages faced by women and girls in Nigeria across all of its programming, while also running targeted interventions aimed at transformative change. However, one of the concerns raised in evidence to this inquiry is the lack of support services to women and girls who have been victims of violence. While the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) are a promising start, they are too few and need to be scaled up. (Paragraph 115)

32.DFID should take immediate action to influence the Nigerian Government to scale up its support services to victims of sexual violence through SARCS, and extend this support to all women and girls subjected to violence. We urge DFID to act upon the recommendations in the recent Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) report on violence against women and girls, and build upon the ‘strong start’ it has made in tackling this issue by prioritising support services for affected women and girls in Nigeria. (Paragraph 116)

Conflict and fragility

33.We commend DFID on its commitment to humanitarian support in the North East, but we are concerned about the gap between humanitarian needs and available funds. We are particularly troubled by the number of out of school children and the long term impacts this is likely to have on the region’s development, potentially further widening the gap between the North and South of Nigeria. Assuring parents of the safety and security of schools in Northern Nigeria should be a priority, and we welcome DFID’s support to the Safe Schools Initiative in this respect. (Paragraph 127)

34.DFID must do all it can to ensure that the UN appeal for Nigeria in 2016 is fully funded. In line with commitments made to education in emergencies at the World Humanitarian Summit in May, DFID should use both its own resources and its influence over other donors to ensure that the Education Cannot Wait Fund is well supported and quickly operationalised so that interruptions to education caused by the conflict are minimised to no more than 30 days. We also recommend that DFID scale up its support for the Safe Schools Initiative, and engage with and support the special investigative committee appointed by President Buhari to assess the safety of schools in Nigeria. Finally, the recommendations of the research conducted by ESSPIN into the impact of conflict on education should be properly financed and implemented, and similar research should be conducted with the informal Quranic schools that DFID also works with. (Paragraph 128)

35.We commend DFID on its continued commitment to development in the North East of Nigeria despite the exceptionally challenging operational environment. DFID has demonstrated its ability to work flexibly and adapt to changing security conditions, whilst maintaining its efforts to fight poverty in a highly unstable region. The lessons learned in the North East of Nigeria will be invaluable in other parts of Nigeria and other DFID programmes globally, as the Department increases its focus on fragile states in line with the recent aid strategy. (Paragraph 133)

36.We recommend DFID ensures that it has robust processes in place for learning and disseminating lessons on effectively operating in a fragile environment. It is essential that core staff and implementing partners engage with each other effectively through regular meetings, and that best practice is shared with other country teams globally. DFID should continue to monitor the security situation as closely as possible, and ensure that it is in a position to expand both its humanitarian and development activities towards the North East as the situation stabilises. (Paragraph 134)

37.The drivers of conflict in Nigeria are multifaceted and complex, demanding a deep level of understanding and careful engagement with relevant stakeholders. DFID’s approach through the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) has proved successful in supporting policy and delivering good value for money in addressing issues relating to employment and empowerment, management of land and water and environmental degradation due to oil spills. We were pleased to hear that DFID has engaged in a consultation process with Nigerian youth in planning its future priorities. (Paragraph 139)

38.We recommend that DFID continues its support for work to address the drivers of conflict through the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP). Following the increase in violence in the Middle Belt and its association with the impacts of climate change, DFID should strengthen its approach to mitigating these impacts. Building climate change resilience, particularly in the Middle Belt, should be increasingly prioritised by the NSRP moving forward. It should also make youth consultations a key feature of its planning processes for future activities, particularly in fragile states. (Paragraph 140)

39.With territory being recaptured from Boko Haram and displaced persons being encouraged to return home, it is vital that these people are adequately supported in rebuilding their lives. There will be significant challenges in the near future in providing livelihoods for the displaced as well as integrating them into cohesive communities to build lasting peace. (Paragraph 144)

40.We urge DFID to prioritise livelihoods and peacebuilding in its programming in the North East. DFID should encourage the Nigerian Government to launch large-scale temporary employment generation programmes and cash transfers targeting the poorest households with DFID support. Reconciliation and community cohesion should also be considered a priority. The more effective peacebuilding elements of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) should be scaled up and concentrated on the communities where they are most necessary. DFID should fund and make use of the experiences of faith-based organisations and other civil society groups, who are in a unique position to bridge divisions within and between communities. (Paragraph 145)

41.Community-based approaches to conflict recovery will be central to building lasting peace in conflict-affected parts of Nigeria. We commend DFID on some of the promising results emerging from its community level work, particularly with respect to the newer elements of the Justice for All programme such as the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and Community Accountability Forum (CAF). However, we have concerns about how inclusive its humanitarian response has been in serving the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly with respect to displaced people with disabilities. (Paragraph 149)

42.We recommend DFID scale up its community-based work, which the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has suggested can have a promising pro-poor impact. Specifically, DFID should aim to scale up its community-based efforts in the areas of justice and peace and security, with a particular focus on the communities worst affected by Boko Haram in the North East. In line with its disability framework, we urge DFID to adjust the focus of its ‘Life Saving Humanitarian Support in Northeast Nigeria’ programme to include specific targets to cater for the needs of people with disabilities affected by the conflict. (Paragraph 150)

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25 July 2016