EFFECTS AND CAUSES INEFFICIENCY OF THE BUREAUCRACY IN NIGERIA
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
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
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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