Civil Service as a government institution plays important part in insuring that government policies result in tangible services for the population. In fact, without the body of professional civil servants, national government cannot function effectively and efficiently. In Nigeria, the Federal Civil Service has been enmeshed in myriads of problems: weak governance structure, red-tapism, weak accountability, low professional standards, waste and corruption, poor productivity, and lack of control, redundancy and over-bloated staff structure. To suffer a result-oriented and modern civil service, consecutive governments in Nigeria have introduced reforms aimed at ameliorating the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil service. However, the service remains inefficient and suffers from obsolescence, lethargy and a lack of enthusiasm in carrying out government policies. This report contends that these reforms failed because there is a lack of democratic practices in the governance of civil service, and the government reform exercise did nothing to address it.
This research establishes the case for democratic centralism in order to solve the persistent deterioration in the quality of governance, bureaucratic bottleneck and problems of ineffectiveness, accountability and productivity currently plaguing Federal civil service in Nigeria. Such a case rests on democratizing the decision-making processes and administrative structure of the civil service. Having outlined how model of democratic centralism should be implemented in the context of ongoing Federal Civil Service reform, the paper concludes that reforming Nigerian Civil Service in line with the principle of democratic centralism will help to build institutional capability that will improve institutional structures and processes, enhance the ability of Nigerian public institutions to perform specific activities so as to achieve its goals in a sustainable way, and provide strong institutions that devoid of corruption.
With the emergence of the modern state, the civil service1 in post-colonial African countries evolved not only to formulate policies but also to effectively implement them. In this regard, the civil service is an institution saddle with the responsibility of designing, formulating and implementing public policy, and discharge government functions and development programmes in an effective and efficient way. In many African countries especially Nigeria, development efforts and government policies are threatened by the incompetency and ineffectiveness of the civil service. As a result of this, successive governments in Nigeria (from post-independence era to the contemporary times), have embarked on articulated patterns of reforms aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness in the civil service. Still, the service remains inefficient and incapable of reforming itself (Salisu, 2001:1) and bedevilling by weak governance structure, red-tapism, weak accountability, low professional standards, waste and corruption, poor productivity, and lack of control, redundancy and over-bloated staff structure.
However, what has been done so far in terms of Civil Service reforms are no more than addressing the symptom rather than the cause of the rot—as the current quest to reform the general staff audit and payroll clean up; Ministries, Departments and Agencies/Parastatal changes based on restructuring; and cross-cutting Service-wide changes, Monetization of Fringe Benefits, Pay Reform, Review and Update of Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations without delving into the governance and democratisation of administrative structure will be futile and unsustainable at best. This paper posits that these reforms failed because there is lack of democratic practices in the administration of civil service, and the government reform exercise did nothing to address it. The paper therefore argues that the gains of ongoing civil service reform will be defeated if effort is not made at democratizing the decision-making processes and administrative structure of the civil service. It however proposes democratic centralism as the best strategy and approach to resolve the persistent deterioration in the quality of governance, bureaucratic bottleneck and problems of ineffectiveness, accountability and productivity currently plaguing civil service in Nigeria.
Since Nigeria has got civil service and civil servants who run it the success of the service depends on those who run it or the controlling hand ie the controller of activities.
According to Alfred P. Slo gain; he opins that:
“No Organization is sounder than the men who run it and delegate others to run it”.
From this, one dare ask, do Nigerians not have capable hand who run the civil service since they have sufficient personnel who the harnessing of material and human resources and the formulation of policies depends on.
This chapter aims at knowing how other scholars viewed the structures of civil service and their problems. In this work or write up the writer is trying to review the literatures on the civil service, their meaning and origin. The literatures on the pre-colonail era to the period of independent. And on the various civil service reforms and also emphasis on how they operates and their qualities of the civil service what is expected of, from civil servants. Then more literature on the functions of civil service and the role of civil servant then we have their administrative responsibilities and other various responsibility for the smooth running of this service. Issues on the problems of civil service due to the mentality caused during colonel period that the government properties belong only to the white and this hinders their interest in the service, then more literatures on how to solve the problem facing the civil servants necessary suggestions were made towards the solution of the problems of civil service.