Public Administration and the Collapse of Probity And Good Governance in Nigeria: The Impact Of Political Superstructure.


Emerging from the vestiges of over one hundred years of imperial rule, the Nigerian public administration system has experienced significant transformation to secure a place of pride in the general discourse on governance. However, the stream of political developments that brought the system into sharp focus and relevance has been as challenging to the public service as they are instructive in intellectual reflections. For example, in the growing literature on the collapse of probity and good governance in Nigeria, the public service has been severely scored on account of its failure to provide the required institutional grounding for good governance. While not absorbing the political class of culpability for this failure, the general assessment of the leadership question in Nigeria has been heavily skewed against the bureaucracy. The paper seeks to deconstruct this notion and argues that the political superstructure is largely responsible for the governance failure, and that the public service under the suffocating grip of its political master has only managed to maintain its going concern within the context of political instability, policy inconsistency, and the lack of political accountability in the last fifty years of public administration. The analysis is predicated on the politics – administration dichotomy as its theoretical framework. This approach provides tremendous insight into the nature and character of interaction between the political class and the administrative class on the basis of which deductions are made and conclusion drawn. In the final analysis, two recommendations stand out among others; a call for legislative activism sufficient enough to institutionalise a culture of political and managerial accountability and a call for policy consistency sufficient enough to sustain and drive the current reforms of the public service to its logical ends

Keywords: Accountability, Administration, Governance, Politics, Public Service

Unique Article ID: GJPSA-115
Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 8-25 (Download PDF)

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