Bureaucracy And Efficiency In Nigeria Public Service (A Case Of Ministry Of Public Utility Imo State)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This research was undertaken to investigate into bureaucracy and efficiency in Nigeria public service with specific reference to the ministry of public utilities, Owerri.

This project threw light into bureaucracy practice and it’s attendant consequences which imperil on the efficiency of public service.

The study equally identified the causative element responsible and analyzed the impact of the Nigerian towards eradicating them. It also went further to present some recommendations in order to establish a sound, virile and efficient public bureaucracy.

However, this project is organized into the five chapters of which the first chapter deals with the introduction while chapter two is an over view of the related literature.

Chapters of which the first chapter deals with the methodology whereas chapter four deals on presentation and analysis of data, finally, chapter five deals with summary and the recommendation.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

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

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problems
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Bureaucracy: A conceptual and the theoretical foundation.
  • 2.3 The evolution and growth of bureaucracy in the Nigeria public service.
  • 2.4 Effort and reforms towards a sound and virile public bureaucracy.

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 Sampling technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.7 Method of date analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Presentation of results

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of finding
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • Appendix.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Man has been cooperatively organized as a group to work towards a directed goal in a directive manner since the existence of this world. However, the prevalence of complex bureaucracy is believed to be the structural frame work in our recent organization.

It is against this backdrop that the emergence of these bureaucratic organization is no unprecedented as epitomized of the contemporary era that it is often believed that we are living in the manned by organization. Adam Smith (1923:1790) advocated that economic and industrial matters should be left in the hands of economist and industrial elited and agents (i.e those vast in economic affairs). He was concern with the problem of organization production.

Max Weber (1864-1929) sees the essence of bureaucratic organization to be efficient and effective. In other word, the peculiar characteristic of bureaucracy enable men to effectively and efficiently deal with and transform the socio-physical environment.

It is on this basis that bureaucratic organization are guided and pirated in man’s bid to perfect and actualize himself through socio-economic and actualize himself through socio-economic development that any impediment to their efficient operations should be criticized seriously.

However, bureaucracy is presupposed to provide the frame for the attainment of organizational efficiency, but contrarily in as it grew in Nigeria public service, it came to acquire opprobrious meaning and remark, and also odious connotation, it is therefore in recognition of the need for a sound virile and efficient public bureaucracy that the researcher investigated into the remote cause of bureaucratic inefficiency in the country’s public service.

1.1 Background Of The Study

The case study of the project is the ministry of public utilities and rural development, Owerri. This ministry was created on July, 1999, with the policy thrust of providing safe and sustainable water supply adequate power/energy to urban and rural communities and facilitate community mobilization for self help development project.

The policy thrust of the ministry is implemented through;

  1. Rural electricity,
  2. provision of water to urban,
  3. semi urban and rural communities,
  4. rural road (feeder) construction/ rehabilitation,
  5. inspection of on-going community initiated project for government counterpart funding, rural telecommunications,
  6. water resources management development,
  7. pre-investment studies of hydrogical surveys and geological surveys;
  8. maintenance of reticulated water system in public building;
  9. coordination of all external technical assistance programmes and liaising with the appropriate agencies,
  10. water quality management and pollution control and water borehole licensing and control.

Basically on the structure of the ministry, it has statutory body, a commissioner, permanent secretary, eight departments which include department of administration accounts, planning research and statistics, electrical/service department, community development department, water service department, dam and irrigation department, hydrology/hydrogeology department.

The ministry of public utilities has two parasatals namely: Imo state water development agency (IWDA) and Imo state water corporation as the time of creation of this ministry in 1999, the officers were held as follows;

  1. Barr. Raph Nwosu – Hon. Commissioner
  2. Prince Fan. A. Osuala – Permanent secretary
  3. Aa. B. Uwaeziozi – Director water services
  4. Mrs. L.A. Onwuneme (JP) – Director of Administration
  5. Engr. F.A Akucjie – Director Electrical services
  6. Mrs. B.I. Uwanda Uzoma – Director of hydrology
  7. Engr. R. C. Akanga (KSC) – Director of dam irrigation
  8. Rev. R.O. Udeh – Director planning Research and statistics.
  9. Mr. M.U. Okoro – Director of accounts.

1.2 Statement Of Problems

Bureaucracy inefficiency has posed a lot of challenged and serious concern for all in public service concern for all in public service. As bureaucracy grew in the public service, it poses a problem because the existence of bureaucracy can diversely affect the smooth functioning of an organization. the problem lies on the fact that bureaucracy is associated with inefficiency, lack of initiative, unintelligent rigidity in the approach to human problems, undue business and bossiness on the part of officials and down right stubbornness. It is these undesirable and regrettable tendencies of bureaucracy that members of the public cry out against.
Therefore, the problem addressed in this research work anchors on the following;

  1. bureaucracy distorts the smooth functioning of an organization.
  2. It adversely affects efficient delivery of public goods and services.
  3. Bureaucracy promotes red-tapism, rigidity and inefficiency.
  4. It reduces productivity.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

Bureaucracy is often perceived as a phenomenon that can adversely affect the smooth functioning of an organization it is on this standpoint that people refer bureaucracy to as red-tapism, sluggish, rigid, cumbersome, negative and inefficient. This research is undertaken to investigate into bureaucratic problem in Nigerian public enterprises, the effects of such problem and possible ways of eradication the problems to ensure virile, sound and efficient and sustainable public bureaucracy.

However, this research is aimed at finding out the extent to which bureaucracy have undermined the smooth, effective and efficient operation of Nigerian public enterprises.

  1. It is also the objective of this research to elucidate the concept of bureaucracy.
  2. The project will attempt to identify, examine and analyze the causes of bureaucratic bottlenecks in the country’s public service.
  3. It is equally the purpose of this study to make a well articulated recommendation that will go a long way to ensure sanity in our public service with a view to achieving efficiency and increased productivity.

1.4 Research Questions

The researcher is guided by certain research questions in his quest for answer to the problem being investigated. The main problem of this research therefore involves the following questions;

  1. What is bureaucracy?
  2. Is the country’s socio-political climate conducive for virile, sound and efficient public bureaucracy?
  3. To what extent does the reform exercise yield positive result?
  4. Could it be possible for Nigerian’s public administration or public service to survive without bureaucratic bottleneck?
  5. Has the government of Nigeria made any serious effort towards eradicating bureaucratic inefficiency in the public administration.
  6. In what ways can the problem be solved?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Significance of the study defines the relative contribution and benefits of this study to the public administrators and researchers if successfully carried out. However, this study will be of great significance in the following ways;

  1. The findings of this study shall be of immerse benefits to administrators and managers in correcting the flaws inherent in a bureaucratic set up.
  2. It will also help organizations in boosting productivity.
  3. It will useful to public enterprises and other corporate bodies if they adopt the findings and recommendations provided in the work, when making policies or decisions.
  4. It will also aid the government and organizations to avoid bureaucracy bottlenecks, red-tapism and nonchalant attitude of public servants.
  5. Academically, this study or research work will contribute to the stock knowledge and stimulate further research into the subject matter by students, and other researchers in the filed of administration, management and social sciences.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

Since the large scale organizations, bureaucracy is eminent inevitable for the success of such organization, the scope of this research borders on bureaucratic and efficient of Nigeria public service, with the ministry of public utilities, Imo state, as the case study, as a result of the vastness and ambiguity of ministry of public utilities, the study shall be narrowed down to the administrative department of the ministry.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In this study, it is necessary to highlight some of the problems which the researcher encountered in the course of carry out the research. They include time constraint, financial constraint, and unwillingness of staff to give information.

Time Constraint:

This factor posed a limitation to the study as the time frame work designated for the conduct of this research was incompatible with academic work. The research therefore paid a dividend attention to this study as she combines it with other academic work load.

Financial Constraint:

This is one of the major problems encountered by the researcher. Finance was not available for adequate mobilization of the work.

Unwillingness Of Staff To Give Information:

This is one of the problem which militated against holistic dearth of data due to non compliance and non-challent attitude of workers of respondent in completing questionnaire.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

In this study, the researcher is operating with certain concepts which may not be familiar to the readers. For better intuition and understanding of the terms and concept used, an operational definition is given below;


This is a system or organization and management in which roles task and relationship among people and position are clearly defined, carefully prescribed and controlled in accordance with formal authority. It characterized by strict adherence to rules and regulation, a systematic division of labour, hierarchical structures, records keeping and impersonality relationship.

Public Service:

This refers to all public institutions that implement public policy, comprising the civil service, public enterprises, legislatives, local government system etc.

Public Utilities:

This refers to special kind of public enterprises devoted mainly to the provision of essential public service such as electricity, pipe borne water, etc for both domestic and commercial consumption.

Public Enterprises:

These are organizations set up as corporate bodies and as part of the government apparatus for an entrepreneurial or entrepreneurial -like objectives.


This has to do with excessive use of formalities and strict adherence to rules in public business which shows down actions.

Public Administration:

This deals with how the activities of government are carried out as well as the institution (such as ministries, and extra-ministerial department) procedures and processes involved in translating public policies in action.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

Bureaucracy inefficiency has been the problem child in Nigeria public administration since her attainment of independence in 1960. it is in recognition of the need for a sound, virile and efficient public bureaucracy that the researcher embarked on proper investigation of the remote causes of bureaucratic inefficiency in the country’s public administration, the impact of the problems, the efforts in this regard, the researcher, examined the Nigeria socio-political climate to determine whether it is conducive for virile and sound public bureaucracy.

However the study analyzed the efforts made so far by successive government in Nigeria public administration and the extent to which the reform exercise yielded positive result. In addition, it attempted to examine the possibility of Nigerian’s public service serving without bureaucratic bottleneck. It is in light of the analysis/investigation, that the study presents the following observation.

5.2 Summary Of Finding

In summary of finding from this study, it becomes evident that Nigerian’s public service inherited bureaucratic inefficiency from the erstwhile colonial administration and these problems were transplanted into public bureaucracy as she took over the reign of political power from the colonial masters and become sovereign state in 1960. For instance, colonialism guaranteed increase in power and bureaucratic autonomy by enthroning powerful psychological overtone which 6[enthroned serious psychological menance to pay careful attention to detail hence red tapism.

Besides, the colonial people were sub servants to their administration and this institutionalized the bureaucratic norms of superiority, inferiority complex and induces authority’s prestige.

The reform related an atmosphere or system of procedure practices norms and conventions which were inherited hitherto in our public service today, hence bureaucratic bottleneck or inefficiency, lack of integrity is the toot of bureaucratic problems which was bound by colonialism and political climate which its direct and indirect effect engendered bureaucratic problems or our private service.

The Nigeria socio-political climate is not conducive for a virile sound and efficient public bureaucracy because of problem of leadership which often resulted in outright lack of a helpful political direction, such as political bureaucrats like minister given or taken actions without prior knowledge of the procedures and social cost. This is the root of conflict between administrators and professional officers Udorji public services review commission of 1974 paragraph 122 of the report revealed that the relationship between administration and professional is one of the ceremony and antagonism in a conflate rather than partnership in an enterprise, which resulted to lack of team work necessary in modern management.

5.3 Conclusion

This research was undertaken to investigation into bureaucracy and efficiency in Nigeria public service with the ministry of public utilities as the case study.

This study identified the causative elements responsible for bureaucratic inefficiencies and summarily exposed the finding made so far based on the data collection and analyzed in the study.

Based on the investigations so far made the following conclusion were drawn.

  1. That bureaucratic bottleneck or inefficiency has become a complex phenomenon.
  2. That socio-political climate exerts environmental influence upon the Nigeria public bureaucracy.
  3. That the Nigeria’s political environment is the bane of the country’s bureaucracy and indeed the entire public service.
  4. That the greatest obstacle to the country’s bureaucracy are Nigerians themselves.
  5. That lack of integrity is the root of the problem of Nigerians public bureaucracy.

5.4 Recommendation

It is obvious that Ministry of public utilities which its constituent segment of service is constrained by bureaucratic bottleneck. In order to establish a sound, virile and efficient public bureaucracy, bureaucratic inefficiency should be eradicated in Nigeria’s public service. It is in attempt to realize this noble objective that the researcher presents the following suggestion.

  1. The actors in Nigeria public service should shun mentality syndrome (non-challant attitude) and regard government business as their own business concern.
  2. Every bureaucracy should live above board by maintaining transparency, honest, dedication and patriotism.
  3. Government should pursue with vigor the provision of adequate facilities a close and enhance overtime packages or incentive for their workers.
  4. Every Nigeria worker should see his co-workers as one body and should always emphasis their values rather than their differences. This will promote good relationship and achieve a sound public bureaucracy.
  5. Nigeria should denounce excessive materialism and political officers should take all which often spills over into bureaucracy.
  6. All management techniques, practice and skills should colliery rather than our present foray’s comparative approach.
  7. Recruitment entrance into the public bureaucracy should strictly be guided by meritocracy, competence, adequate training and skilled personnel rather than emotional and political consideration cum religious bias.
  8. Finally, government should provide special rewards for bureaucrats who love above board in the public service and bureaucrats whose action in any way by omission or commission constitute in obstacle to the realization of a sound, virile and efficient public bureaucracy.

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