oa The Constitution - Corruption and the image of the Nigerian civil service: a historical discourse

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1595-5753



This article examines historically the image of the Nigerian civil service. It focuses specifically on the festering corruption within the civil service and its consequent hindrance to performance of its bureaucratic function (government business) to the nation. The article traces the corruption and image crises in the sector to the British colonial legacy inherited by Nigeria, and its transformation from an instrument of exploitation in the colonial era to one of corruption and fraud in the post-independence period especially under military rule which created job insecurity in the civil service and consequently deepened the tendency to short-change the system for self-enrichment. It argues that despite the series of structural reforms, image laundry, improved packages and others meant to engender integrity and transparency in the civil service, the sector has not improved. Since the years of military rule to the present civilian era, the IMF and World Bank inspired structural adjustment and economic reforms programmes meant to make the sector more effective is yet to payoff. It concludes by advocating a complete re-orientation of the civil service complex.

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