Civic Education Notes

Public Corporation

A Public Corporation may be defined as a business entity, owned, managed and financed with tax payers’ money by government of a country with the main motive of not making profit but to render essential services to the public PHCN, Water Corporation, Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Ports Authority are example of Public Corporations.


  1. Huge Capital outlay is involved in the establishment of public corporation.  Hence, the need for government involvement.
  2. Provision of essential services by the government necessitates the need for its establishment
  3. Prevention of Exploitation by private enterprises.  Hence the need for government participation
  4. For security purposes: Government of a country establishes and owns public corporations like Airports, seaports, Minting etc in order to monitor its activities
  5. It served as an avenue for employment generation for the citizens.


  1. Frequent government/Political interference in the administration of Public corporations which result in gross inefficiency.
  2. Favoritism in the appointment of general managers and members of board of directors of ten lead to enthronement of mediocrity rather than meritocracy
  3. Political victimization of officials of public corporations
  4. Ethnicity and sectionalism hamper the effective performance of public corporations
  5. Non-challant attitude of workers of public corporations as nobody’s business makes it grossly ineffective.


  1. Parliamentary control: The parliament is given some powers by the acts establishing it to scrutinize their accounts, auditor’s report brought before the House during question time.
  2. Judicial control: As a legal entity which can be sue and sued, a public corporation can be dragged to court if it fails to act within the confine of the law establishing it and its action declared ultra vires.
  3. Ministerial control:  Ministers that are accountable to the parliament are given extensive power in public corporations i.e appointment and dismissal of Board of Directors.
  4. Public control: Members of the public that consume goods and services of the public corporations exercise some form of control through criticisms leveled against them.


1a.          Define public corporation

b.            Account for the reasons for the establishment of public corporation

2.            Account for the problems facing public corporations.

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