Civic Education

Short comings in the public service

Problems of the Public Service in Nigeria

1) Poor Condition of Service: The public servants do not earn good salaries and they lack many motivational incentives that will make them work harder.

2) Bribery and Corruption: Some public servants no longer do their official duty, rather they are looking forward to being bribed before doing their duties.

3) Tribalism: Some high ranking officials favour only people from their ethnic group.

4) Political Instability: Frequent change in government results in constant change of top officials of the public service like Head of Service and Director General.

5) Over-Staffing: The public service is over-staffed with people who are not willing to work and whose ideas are outdated.

6) Lack of Qualified Personnel: Many intelligent and qualified professionals and technical staff prefer to seek job opportunities in the private sector.

7) Inadequate Training Facilities: Workers need to be trained and re-trained but the necessary facilities for the training are not available.

8) Red-tapism or Bureaucracy: This refers to excessive use of formalities in the public service which hinders effectiveness.

Ways of Improving Public Service in Nigeria

1) Necessary machinery should be put in place for training and retraining of public servants.

2) Good salary package and incentives for public workers and to be paid as when due.

3) The public service should be completely insulated from politics to make its neutrality more realistic.

4) Political office holders should treat public servants as professionals and stop interfering unnecessarily into their official duties.

5) The code of conduct bureau should be empowered to sanction any public officer who contravenes the rules and regulations guiding the public service.

6) The public complaint commission should intensify efforts to correct public officers and punish where necessary.

7) Appointment of directors into the public service should be on merit.

Achievements of Public Service

1) Formation of Policy: Members of the public service, especially those in the administrative class, supply the necessary information needed based on their experience acquired over the years for policy formulation .

2) Policy Execution: They execute the policy of the government after it has been approved for execution.

3) Acting as Government Adviser: It gives useful advice to the government via the ministers and the commissioners.

4) Playing an Intermediary Role: It act as an intermediary or bridge between the government and the general public in information dissemination.

5) Legislative Function: Through delegated legislation, the public service performs the legislative function of making rules, regulation and by-laws that have the force of law and are obeyed.

6) Preparation of Budgets: The public servants provide information and help in the preparation and execution of annual budgets and development plans.

7) Assisting Ministers: They assist the ministers and the commissioners by providing adequate information to them which help them in answering questions raised in the parliament.


  1. What are the problems facing public service in Nigeria?
  2. What are some of the ways of improving public service in Nigeria?
  3. List the Public service achievements.

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