Rural Infrastructures in Nigeria: Basic needs for the Rural Majority
In 1978 the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development commenced a project for systematically building a database of rural infrastructures, classified into three:
Rural physical infrastructures – rural roads network; rural water supply schemes; rural market infrastructures; rural storage facilities; etc.
Rural social infrastructures – rural health facilities (primary health centres, maternities, dispensaries, etc.), and
Rural Institutional infrastructures – rural savings and credit associations; rural development associations; rural cooperative societies; etc.
The project – Rural Infrastructure Survey (RIS) – had FIF as project manager was involved until a later stage when the implementation suffered a lull; nonetheless FIF is presently instrumental to resuscitating it and modernizing it using ICT tools to improve efficiency of data collection and dissemination of results.
The project entails a biannual conduct of field survey of the stock and flow of several infrastructures of critical need to farmers and other rural dwellers. The output of the survey comprised the series of volumes titled: Rural Infrastructure Survey in Nigeria: Basic Needs of the Rural Majority, which provided the required information for planning and implementation of several programmes and projects in the country.
However the database is presently old, the last update stopping in 1994, which owes to lack of funds for the conduct of the surveys since that time. The old database itself has been redesigned for publication on the internet as INFRASTAT (for infrastructure statistics in Nigeria). The goal of INFRASTAT is to demonstrate enhanced public access and utility of the pre-existing database for different end-users of infrastructure information about Nigeria, with a view to resuscitating the project as soon as possible.