The Civil Service And Corruption | Independent Newspapers Limited
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The Civil Service And Corruption

Posted: Sep 9, 2015 at 12:53 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

The recent declaration by the Federal Government that the civil service is corrupt is a known fact which needs to be addressed as the fire of the war against corruption rages. On Monday, September 8,while at the launch of a capacity building initiative for Civil Servants at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari had noted that the Nigeria’s civil service had lost its steam to poverty of ideas and corruption which had resulted in inefficiency and poor output. According to Buhari, “many who mourn the decline the of the Civil Service today from its days as ‘primus inter pares’ in the commonwealth to one which has earned a reputation for inefficiency, low productivity, corruption and insensitivity to the needs of the public fall into the error of thinking that the problem is poverty of ideas and capacity on the part of the Civil Service.”

cartoonIt is regrettable that the Nigerian Civil Service which used to be in the international reckoning had, over the years, drastically declined in almost every facet of its operation. The institution by its mandate should play an important role in ensuring that government policies are properly implemented for the citizenry. As a matter of fact, without an effective Civil Service, government cannot operate effectively and efficiently. But it is disheartening that the Federal Civil Service has been ensnared in myriad of problems over the years: weak governance structures, poor accountability culture, poor professional standards, low productivity, culture of waste, corruption and over-bloated staff structure.

Indeed successive governments have on several occasions introduced reforms aimed at repositioning and making the institution more efficient and effective. With the return of democracy in 1999, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced a Civil Serve reform with a view to restructuring it. Also the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua set up the Steve Oronsaye panel between 2010 and 2012 to reform the same Civil Service. The out-gone President Goodluck Jonathan administration reportedly approved the restructuring of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS) in order to ensure that the Civil Service is leaner and repositioned to deliver effective and efficient service to the people of Nigeria.

But it is sad that after all the attempts to clean up the Civil Service, corruption and other illicit factors which have undermined the institutions continue to prevail. This is why we support any measure that President Buhari intends to put in place to break the jinx of corruption and ineffectiveness in the Civil Service to allow his change agenda see the light of the day.

However, we believe that in repositioning the Federal Civil Service and ridding it of corruption and other sundry problems that had held it down; the current war against corruption must be sustained and made to be result oriented. Also the government must find a way of insulating the Civil Service from politics. Indeed part of the problems with the institution is that it has been greatly politicized.

As President Buhari takes steps to expunge corruption from the system, we encourage him to ensure that he builds formidable institutions that posterity would be proud of and that governments after him would key into to take the country further on the part of progress.

Comments (1)

  • Sep 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm Fayomi Modupe

    Depoliticizing the Civil Service is a key to end corruption and inefficiency. It is these bureaucrats who tutor the political class on stealing which seems to have become corruption with the new Sheriff in town. How I wish appointments, promotions, postings even sanctions should be based on merit.

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