ABU Journal, Department Of Public Administration
Volume No: 2|
TOWARDS EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE REFORMS IN NIGERIA
DR. SALLAH, ABOKI
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE&NBSP;TARABA STATE UNIVERSITY,&NBSP;JALINGO, TARABA STATE, NIGERIA
Since the first public service reform as embodied in the Harragin Commission report in 1946, Nigeria has attempted numerous other reforms in other to sanitize the public service with the view of contributing meaningfully to national development. Sixty years later, several other reforms were introduced whose implementation either attests to its total or partial failure. In 1999 when President Obasanjo was sworn in, a wide range of reforms were further introduced with the intention to move the service out of crises of governance resulting from a weaker capacity of the state to meaningfully respond to development challenges and the need to halt the erosion of public confidence in government to fulfil the heightened expectation of the citizenry. To date none of the reforms institutionalised were effective.This paper argues that apart from political, social and operational reasons, the system also lacked the relevant institutional requirements to effectively implement the reforms. It provides an overview of public service reforms in Nigeria which it argues would, in the light of its numerous advantages, facilitate the effective implementation of the reforms and also lay the foundation for an efficient public service which has the capacity to make meaningful contribution. The paper also explores some of the reasons why previous reforms failed and proffers recommendations for the effective implementation of public service reforms in Nigeria.
The official justification of any Public service reform is the need for enhanced administrative efficiency and effectiveness. However, a closer examination of the measures being promoted by the government suggests that the values underlying some of the reforms were not implemented.
With the civil service becoming more of an umpire than a direct participant in national development activities, the concept of administrative efficiency and effectiveness as applied to government Bureaucracy assumes a significantly different meaning, measured in terms of its direct, concrete and measurable contributions to industrial, commercial, infrastructural and social development of the nation.