EFFECTS AND CAUSES INEFFICIENCY OF THE BUREAUCRACY IN NIGERIA

EFFECTS AND CAUSES INEFFICIENCY OF THE BUREAUCRACY IN NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In
view of the fact that ethics and morality are the norms of every
descent society, and the bedrock on which wholesome, efficient just and
prosperous bureaucracy can be built upon, there is the need to stress on
the importance of efficiency in the civil service. There is no gain
saying the fact that effective, efficient, patriotic, and committed
public servants who should be accountable for their stewardship are
desirable for any nation to match forward. However, it is of note that
our civil servants have become reckless and blatant. Our civil servants
now bend the rules and are involved in wide spectrum of acts such as
accepting gratification, concealing offences relating to corruption,
fraudulent acquisition of property, fraudulent receipt of property,
deliberate frustration of investigation, making false statements or
returns, bribery of public officials, dealing with property acquired
through gratification. Also worthy of note among many civil servants
include, unethical behaviour such as refusal to proceed on transfer or
accept posting, habitual lateness to work, deliberate delay in treating
official document, unauthorized removal of public records immoral and
unruly behaviour, foul language, lethargy, apathy, laziness, rudeness to
members of the public, malingering, presenting false sick certificates
in order to go and attend to private businesses and a host of other
deplorable attitudes. This is the area in which the civil service is in
need of immediate drastic attention. The public expect the civil
servants to demonstrate initiative, resourcefulness, and managerial
skill. These could be achieved through strict observance of
administrative ethics. This research project examines critically the
concepts of administrative ethics with reference to its application in
the civil service. In the 19th century, a British liberal Lord Acton
said “All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts
absolutely”. Though power is hardly ever be absolute, it is expected
that those in authority should act within the framework of the law.
Administrative executives should be limited by what their subjects and
subordinates stand for. It is important to remind those who wield
authority to the members of the public that the power enjoyed by them is
to enable them achieve the goals of the government. Authority in the
civil service has to be for the general welfare of the public and not
for the private or personal gains of departmental or divisional heads.
Authority should not be exercised in a manner to advance the interest of
a family, clique or ethnic group. Officers in authority should ensure
that all those under them are given the same
3
opportunities in
accordance with laid down principles and rules. Preferential treatment
for any officer or class amounts to favoritism. It is often said of an
individual that if character is lost, everything is lost, it is in a bid
to ensure and sustain good character and high professional conduct that
administrative ethics are enshrined in the civil service hand book,
public service rules and financial regulations for use-by civil servants
for strict adherence so as to ensure efficiency in services delivery .
Bureaucratic efficiency could be achieved through adherence to
administrative ethics. It is a state in which civil servants discharge
their official duties in strict compliance with public laws and
regulations and in keeping with public will. It means being pedantic. It
is a moral and legal liability of public officers to discharge their
lawful duties for which they are paid from public purse in accordance
with the terms of their appointment and in keeping with the statutory
provisions governing the lawful performance of their duties. It is the
moral principles required of civil servants in the course of their daily
duties. Administrative ethics is an essential condition for civil
service efficiency and high productivity and a solid foundation for the
growth and development of the bureaucracy It enhances public
accountability, great responsiveness to public interest and general
4
public satisfaction. It instills in the civil servants high standard of
conduct. In fact the importance of administrative ethics cannot be
overemphasized. Britain was the first country that developed a
democratic type of professional code for the civil servants. Till date,
the British civil service is well known for its efficiency Nigeria after
its independence borrowed its civil service pattern from Britain. Since
then, the country has developed a professional code of ethics for its
civil service. However, it contains authoritarian, bureaucratic and
other non democratic elements besides the usual ethics. They are
contained in the civil services handbook. The interest of the researcher
was drawn following cases of inefficiency in the civil service. For
this reason, the researcher considers it necessary to evaluate the
bureaucracy and determine factors that hinder its efficiency and suggest
ways of enhancing its efficiency.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The
Nigerian bureaucracy has indeed come long way from its inception during
the colonial era till the present. It has received some kudos and many
hard knocks. It has been reformed, ‗reviewed‘, restructured, yet has
remained basically the same.
While some Nigerians see the
bureaucracy as been indolent, corrupt, over bloated, a drain pipe and a
cemetery for good government policies and programmes, yet some see it as
victim of bad political leadership which has been one of the greatest
challenges facing Nigeria bureaucracy today. Bureaucratic inefficiency
has now posed serious concern in the civil service. It distorts the
smooth operations of the entire civil service. It has resulted in
unproductively and adversely affects he efficient delivery of public
goods and services. It is on the bases of the above that the researcher
intends to tackle such nagging issues like, what is the place of the
bureaucracy in the functioning of government?, what factors are
responsible for this bureaucratic inefficiency? What impact has the
civil service made towards restoring efficiency in the bureaucracy etc.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The
major objective of this research work is to assess effects and causes
inefficiency of the bureaucracy in with a view to offering suggestions
on how to make them to be more efficient. To achieve this, the
researcher wishes ; (i) to elaborate on the role of the bureaucracy.
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