An Appraisal Of The Nigeria Civil Service As A Panacea To National Development (A Case Study Of Imo State Civil Service Commission, Owerri)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This project work introduced the readers to the background of the roles played by the civil service in National Development both in Nigeria and other nations with similar system of government as Nigeria. The main aim of this research work is to enable the reader and the entire public at large to have full understanding of the methods used in creating information, data analysis etc. much emphasis was laid down on the contributions of Civil Service in National Development as it applied in all nations.

Civil Service in Nigeria occupies a unique position in the formation and implementation of National Development plans. And Civil Service of any country enjoys efficiency and effectiveness to the extent that the government of the day objectively yields to its procedural capacity objectives and bureaucratic stability geared towards the promotion of sustainable national and human development.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problems
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Statement of hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the study
  • 1.9 Definitions of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The concept of civil service
  • 2.3 History of civil service commission
  • 2.4 Principle of civil service commission
  • 2.5 Challenges of the civil service as an agent of national development
  • 2.6 Summary of literature review
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources/ methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data analysis
  • 4.3 Test of hypothesis
  • 4.4 Interpretation of result(s)

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaires

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

In many developing countries including Nigeria, governments are carrying the bulk of the burden of economic development.The start being the biggest employer of labour as a well-developed private sector has thus become one huge instrument for stemming unemployment and other socio-economic miseries.This project is addressing An Appraisal of the Nigeria Civil Service as a panacea to National Development a case study of Civil Service Commission Owerri, Imo state.There is increase dependency of the state government and civil service on the federal government as a unit of government with recognized spheres of independent activity. On this basis, it becomes essential to study the background for public administration in Nigeria and other countries in the world.

Meanwhile, Ogunna (1999) defines civil service as a large scale organization of permanent government paid officials who are recruited in a civil capacity by the civil service commission, charged with the responsibility of exercising the executive authority of government and whose activities are guided by certain rules and procedures and operating in a systematically inter-related pattern to achieve a complex objectives of its government.
However, this catalyzed the multi-dimensional measures of administrating the state of both the military and civilian regimes with the introduction of modern government which has the principal organs namely: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

The function of government expanded in scope especially when it was seen that the executive arm of government has more to do than other arms in running the society. As a result of that,it becomes essential that for any government to function effectively there must be civil servants to carry out the jobs. This leads to the adoption of civil services by both the developed and developing countries as an agent of their executive arm of government assigned with the role of policy implementation.

1.1 Background Of The Study

Imo State is one of the states that made up Nigeria which was created in 1976 with the capital at Owerri under the leadership of Murtala Muhammed. Following the creation of the state, Imo State Civil Service Commission was set to aid the state in running its affairs. Any appointment made by the government in terms of permanent secretary is to the advice of the Civil Service Commission. The Civil Service Commission of Imo State is an institutional framework or machinery for administration of state affairs plays the same role with other civil service in other state and structures in the same way, operates under rules and regulations and also governed by a code of conduct to enable its nature and disciplinary measures as well.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

This research work is of the view that the greatest problem confronting present day civil service is the inability of the service to perform efficiently. More so, our public administration environment exhibits signs of inefficiency and poverty, infact this has hindered our development. The civil service in Nigeria is generally criticized, among others for being too bureaucratic, too conservative and there are conducts derived from colonial based civil service which was designed just to make laws and order.

Because of the permanent nature of the civil service, it is obvious that any social economic and political policy of the government have more impact on civil servants than other members of the society. There are obvious problems arising from the highly politicized nature of the federal and state civil service. In today’s government, the system of corruption, nepotism, godfatherism, and other extraneous factors are of high rate. There is increase in dependency of the state government and civil service on the federal government and it may have weakness over system of federalism that focused mostly on the political and economic powers in the federal government.
Here are questions the researcher can ask in this study:

Why is the existence of wide gap in the executive arm of government and the civil servant in the administrative machinery, thereby causing disparity between administration and politics?

Where are there much politicization of everything in the civil service especially in the presidential system of government, in such a way that the civil service has little say in the determination of their own affairs even in a democratic society like Nigeria?

Why is state government and civil service increasingly dependent on federalism.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

This study recognizes the fact that ministers or commissioners and civil servants are partners in the public service either elected or appointed to serve the public well. But it is unfortunate that the best way to secure the co-operation of the civil service is by capturing its ownership by rigging the appointment and removal of permanent secretaries under the absolute discretion of chief executive from the foregoing, the civil service of Nigeria lacks scientific work which isusually obtainable in the objective of this study are:

  1. To ascertain the way of bringing the wide gap between the theory and practice of public administration in the civil service with politics in a democratic society managed by politicians.
  2. To ascertain measures this could economically save civil servants from certain harsh political and socio-economical policies of the government instead of the temporary measures being attired.
  3. To ascertain ways of minimizing corruption, nepotism, red-tapism and evil vices in the civil services.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Are there challenges facing challenges facing civil service commission in Imo State?
  2. How does Imo State Civil Service Commission contribute in national development?
  3. How many staff are there in Imo state Civil Service Commission both senior and junior staff?

1.5 Statement Of Hypothesis

From the foregoing, the researcher hypothesizes the following

  1. H0: Civil service did not contribute effectively and efficiently to the achievement of adequate staff and personnel.
    H1: Civil service did not contribute effectively and efficiently to the achievement of adequate staff and personnel.
  2. H0: creation of civil service has not paved way for employment opportunity.
    H2: creation of civil service has not paved way for employment opportunity.
  3. H0: The high rate of poverty has been reduced through the civil service.
    H3: The high rate of poverty has been reduced through the civil service.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The significance of any social science research is to identify findings, generalization and also making assumptions of the basic relationship between a phenomenon and alternative. In this case the relationship between political office and civil service in the government system is based on service and commitment.

The recommendation of this study will contribute to the existing literatures in the area of appraising civil service as a remedy to national development in that civil servants are seen as an advisory agent in achieving national development.

Furthermore, the study reveals that there is some degree of conflict between administrators, legislative body and civil servants’ interest because the duties of the civil servant is guided by the rules and regulations which guides its conducts and may not yield the politicians fortune under a corrupt patronage system.

1.7 Scope Of Study

This work is expected to cover specific issues like the history of civil service in Nigeria and its function. This work also centers on how the achievement of the civil service in Imo State and Nigeria will be assessed, its lapses and suggestions from the researcher.

1.8 Limitations Of The Study

This research work has suffered some constraints before its completion. Some of the constraints were insufficient availability of fund for proper conduct of this study work in the period of inflation in the country, lack of easy accessibility to the desired government’s document due to the ethics and improper co-operative attitude. Another one is time limit, the time given was not enough compiled studies and other researches.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

Civil Service:

This is an organ created to ensure that policies and programmes of any government at any particular time is carried out.

Civil Servant:

This is someone who is employed by the civil service commission and paid by the government out of the money voted for that purpose by the National Assembly or State House of Assembly.


This means a solution or remedy to a problem.


This implies improvement in material wellbeing of all citizens not the most powerful and rich alone but to everyone in the society.

National Development:

This refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens both social, moral, political, cultural, economical etc.


This is a system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than the elected representatives.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Introduction, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

The Imo State Civil Service Commission has come to stay. This is as a result of its importance, the scheme and achievements so far, one will see the contributions of it to national development in Nigeria despite its challenges, it generally provided employment, education etc.

5.2 Summary Of Finding

The presidential system of government was introduced into the Nigerian political system in 1990. At its level, the leader of the ruling national party of Nigeria and executive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari formed a government that made the country a class based society. The level of corruption rose high that transferred the political boundaries into public service, the regime tried to consolidate the gains of the Udorji Civil Service Reform of 1974 but it was not a smooth civil service organization nationwide.

The post-civil service especially during the presidential system of has been development-oriented with some respect to Human rights and independence of Judiciary. Civil servants at all stages and every aspect are part of the government through their contributions to decision making and policy implementation.

In system of distribution of amenities and opportunities, the federal civil service is not representative of states in appointing ministers, members of board and commissioners. Despite all these measures, Civil Service helps to develop the nation.

5.3 Conclusion

From the scope of study, it seems that the Nigeria Civil Service is a by-product of the Colonial administration of the British Imperial Power.

In practice, the civil services were forced to its root ie service of the state and its primary role is to advice the executive and lawful directives or commands from the government.

5.4 Recommendation

Having examined the role of civil service in Nigerian development, especially under the presidential system, a critical analysis shows that in as much as the most civilian regime is better than the best military regime as it is often said that “the Presidential system as we see it from the Nigeria prospective is a mixture of democracy and authoritarianism”. This implies that civil service works under fear of job security in a system they are supposed to have full right in deciding the affairs of the state and the people.

Therefore, the recommendations are as follows

  1. There should be ethnical revolution aimed at bridging the gap of ideological differences between civil servants and political office holders and this will enable the two classes to see themselves as partners in progress of securing the nation.
  2. The civil service commissioners should be inaugurated through re-orientation and staff training to suit the demanded and realities of modern age. People in the service should have the life facing of government work and prosperity and not regard it as no man’s own.
  3. Government should regard civil servants as the backbone of administration of the state. By this also, civil servants should be motivated through regular payment of salaries, promotions, provision of fund and materials for work etc. and incentives for workers should not be politicized.
  4. Also, as a way of reducing corruption and embezzlement I would suggest that the deficit budgeting should be discouraged because Nigeria lack financial discipline thereby enabling public servants to be more reliant on themselves and hardworking .
  5. Finally, a good government and stable society is needed to provide efficient structure and enduring peaceful development. Therefore, I recommend that the public administration offered through the civil service should be one in which the ruling elites under the presidential system will conform to its trials of prudence, probity and patriotism in the discharge of their duties of public offices.

As an end in this study, there is need re-organizing the machinery of government in all standards and functional basis as an efficient strategy for rapid development system.

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