Nigeria a country blessed and richly endowed with vast natural and human resources, so sufficient for her development, yet remain in a state of under-development. Prior to independence in 1960, Nigeria was a agrarian economy. Agriculture contributing over 75% of her export earning, as well as contributing over 60% to her gross domestic product. With the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity in early 1970’s in conjunction of rising of oil price in the international market, agricultural sector was giving lesser concern leading to its decline. 

Enough revenue beyond the expectation of the government enters into the coffer of the government, hence, increasing its expenditure. Between 1974-1975, there was aggressive drive by the Nigeria leadership to use the revenue accruing from oil to tackle the problems of underdevelopment in the country. Sadly, policy makers failed in the process of implementation which ultimately debarred the country to achieve the stated goals (Richard, 1978:222).

The government of Nigeria has developed and embarked on a number of programs to ensure food increase in the country, thereby stimulating the agricultural sector of the economy to its full potential; such policy includes operation feed the nation of Obasanjo’s in 1976, River basin which was incorporated to implement and ensure the success of OFN. Others include Green revolution of Buhari etc. Despite, this whole effort made by government, agricultural sector has been experiencing declining in output (Noko 2012).

This led to the importation of food, which further wreaked serious havocs on agriculture when full exploitation of oil resumed in earnest and consequently, “the government could think of no other alternative than to mortgage of the country’s economic future to the good behaviour and concordance of the multinational and local capitalist” (Richard, 1978, 224).
An analysis of government past effort and program towards agriculture will reveal this better. Successive governments have been battling to stern the incidence of poverty and hunger, and then associated problems. The military regime of General Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975) launched the National accelerated food production program (NAFPP) in 1972 but with no tangible result. It has intention of stemming deterioration in the agricultural sector that the government initiated policies that would encourage productivity because agriculture is still an important sector of the Nigeria economy. 

In 1976, the military government of Obasanjo initiated operation feed the nation (OFN) program and the development of the rural areas. However, OFN is also colossal failure and waste of money as its predecessor i.e. NAFPP, it is in this connection that it is important to highlight these unsatisfactory results related to the mentality associated with what is known in the Nigeria Parlance, as “quick returns”. The civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari (1979-1983) initiated the Green revolution program with the objectives of the raising cost of importation and increase in agricultural sector. The green revolution benefited only corrupt politicians and arm chair bureaucratic/ farmers and urban dwellers to the disadvantages of the teeming population of genuine farmers who could have the necessary turn around in the poverty reduction drive.

Furthermore, the Babaginda regime discovered that the key solution to the problem of Nigeria poverty is to transform the economy, this led to the adoption of structural Adjustment Program by September 1986. SAP which is a policy adopted under the prescription of the world bank (IMF) to developing countries as the key element to accelerate economic development in the various countries. Other agricultural programs adopted include Directorate of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) and National Directorate of |Employment (NDE).

However, all these programs adopted by the head of states, so far has not really impacted much on the economy, this is due to culminated corruption that is rampant in Nigeria. Nigeria presidents have had countless number of programs aimed at alleviating poverty. This programs mostly failed because of corruption, lack of human capacity, inadequate management and implementation of these programs(Noko, 2011). The failure of these programs is due to lack of policy implementation and abandonment of project of successive government by new government. Among the leading programs adopted by the government to improve the living standards of Nigerians include; Rolling plan, National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS), 7- Point Agenda, Vision 2010, Vision 20:2020.
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