This guide is to help you know the public sector reforms in Nigeria with case study to help you appreciate the structure of public sector in Nigeria.
Public Sector Reforms in Nigeria
The study examines the Nigerian government’s administrative and financial changes. The goal is to examine a variety of programs and policies that have been implemented in Nigeria as well as the impact of these reforms on the country’s public sector.
This is very important because there is a clear professional shift taking place in both the government and the people who work for it.
In doing the research, the authors of this publication used an exploratory approach. The study’s findings show that there is a lot of literature on public sector reorganization, but there isn’t much on administrative and financial reform programs in the government.
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As a result, the study says that reform programs are important and necessary for Nigeria’s public sector to be efficient and for the country to grow.
Finally, it recommends, among other things, a continuous and systematic review of government programs and policies to ensure alignment with national objectives, the mobilization of sufficient resources for successful program execution and implementation, and collaboration among all levels of government and professionals.
The deepening of the transformation, a revolution procedure, is required for Nigeria’s integration into world economic and political organizations. The resurrection of genuine action and an increase in the competitiveness of economic foundation relations with public sector projects, the most important of which are rapidly overriding the impacts of the global economic crisis, is a critical task in this procedure.
In recent years, the crisis has demonstrated a high sensitivity to unfavorable changes in the economy. Then, for challenging public sector projects and the resuscitation of their financial prospects, effective techniques of reintegration (reorganization, restructuring, and reformation) are required.
One of the approaches to reforming the public sector is to reform from the standpoint of current scientific research (Tovazhnyanskiy, 2010).
As a result, if public sector reform has the capacity for transformation and change, restructuring is one of the practical techniques for enhancing the public sector through structural reform of its core subsystem. In some cases, the term “restructuring” is misunderstood.
Restructuring is sometimes thought of as the process of breaking down a large corporation into its constituent elements. Dismantling and disassembling the structure and then constructing independent businesses from the unique components.
The basis of restructuring includes a change in administrative structure, division, and disassembly, and the process of selecting finance embodies subdivisions, but they are not its components or goal.
The goals of the reorganization and the means chosen to achieve this goal determine whether or not structural amendments are carried out. A lot of people and politicians are only now talking about how to change the public sector.
For a long time, the public sector has been regarded as a stable domain with its own methods of hiring, managing human resources, and engaging in social debate.
However, things have changed, and the boundaries between the non-profit and profit economies, as well as the private and public sectors, have been confused.
In third-world countries like Nigeria, public sector reform is a top priority at the moment. This is because of factors like the crisis and public liability, but also of other things.
Austerity, cuts in government spending, resource rationalization, and service externalization are all on the table in a number of states.
People who work for the government have a big impact on both public employment and the way the public sector works.
Read also: PUBLIC ACCOUNTS – PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTS
When it comes to public sectors, there are significant differences between states. Civil servants operate in the public sector in many jurisdictions, while civil servants employed in other states are deemed insignificant.
The institute’s surroundings can also be quite diverse, as the public sector might include “public-owned corporations, central administrations, local governments, education, hospitals, railways, services of general interest, delegated to private firms, and so on.”
Over the years, the Nigerian public sector has grown significantly. Since consolidated government expenditures climbed from 29% of GDP in 1997 to 50% of GDP in 2001, the government’s role in the economy has become disproportionately large (Makinde, 2003).
The three (3) levels of government in Nigeria’s decentralized government structure often work together in a number of ways when it comes to money and basic service delivery.
Although this is in the context of a de-professionalized and low-intensity public service, the Nigerian government has been identified as a contract provider and a major employer of labor (Dada, 2003).
Overextended public spending outline and profile, continuous shortfalls funded by local and outside borrowing with subsequent high debit service liability, failure of old apparatuses of regulatory lending to misappropriation of funds and corruption, incidence of ghost employees, poor estimates of projects and programs, and a numerous folder of abandoned projects, particularly inefficient and extravagant parastatal projects, have all contributed to the public sector’s decline over the centuries (Aduke, 2007).
As a result, several states and federal agencies are beginning to accumulate pay arrears and expenses owed to suppliers and contractors. Furthermore, the traditional role of rolling strategy has been called into question, and it now just refers to the drafting of a financial plan and a few key rules.
The time of detailed arrangements had become unmanageable, and resources had been held hostage because of political interference in prioritizing. This made the strategies useless.
It’s hard to believe that the bad state of public finances has pushed administrative and financial reform in the public sector to the back burner. This led to the fiscal crisis of 2008.
The banking crisis played a major role in this. As the disaster became a bigger threat to the existence of multiple currencies, the state of public finances also became more important at the international level. This led to a lot of legislative efforts to improve international governance.
However, for many countries around the world, public sector restructuring is not a new occurrence. For a while now, the public sector has been going through a lot of changes to make it more efficient and less complicated (Naumann & Naedenoen, 2013; Demmke & Moilanen, 2013).
Government reactions and progress on fiscal restructuring, on the other hand, have differed greatly. As a result, the public sector reorganization initiative is vast. Due to a lack of budgetary, mechanical, and administrative resources, the Nigerian government can’t do a lot to improve the public sector.
Even if the resources are available, there are still concerns about the sensitivity and complexities of a number of public sector reorganization procedures.
Regrettably, there were several manifestations of dissatisfaction at the start of the new period in the areas of resource control, wages and salaries, education, privatization, deregulation, and so on.
These manifestations of dissatisfaction were accompanied by an increase in the rate of occurrence and degree of inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and the loss of state resources (Abdullah, 2007).
Despite the growing interest, scholars’ primary concern is the examination of restructuring factors. However, few scholars have assessed the effects of administrative and fiscal restructuring on how to successfully implement the transformational program and how to assess the impact this development has on Nigeria’s public subdivisions.
People who work for the government have to change how they manage things for all of the above reasons.
The purpose of this article is to examine the administrative and financial reforms in the Nigerian public sector with the goal of gradually renovating and changing financial prudence.
This study is related to the NPM theory (New Public Management). The idea is a way of managing public service establishments that is used by both national and sub-national governments and public service agencies.
The notion has been used to alter the public sector, including its rules and priorities. It was dubbed the “golden standard” for administrative and financial reform.
As Hood (1991) says, the main ideas of the theory of new public management are management, performance standards, output controls, decentralization, competition, private sector organizations, and cost-cutting.
This isn’t the only thing that the philosophy says. It says that the government is forced into managerialism by a difficult shift from traditional public administration to public management.
Invariably, the theory is seen as a type of administrative notion based on private-sector ideas that have been incorporated into the public sector (Pillitt, 1995).
The importance of the theory for public sector reforms in Nigeria may be linked to the evidence and principle that it encompasses important mechanisms of thoughts and issues that not only emphasize administrative development and structural reform, but also philosophies and issues that stress administration devolution in public service, and finally, it includes thoughts and issues that speak to motoring and honesty in the discharge of responsibilities in public service.
Restructuring of the public sector: conceptual discourse
Researchers have tried many times to figure out what restructuring in the public sector is all about and why it’s important.
Many researchers have argued that the public sector in developing countries is an entity, and that one of the most difficult aspects of development is ensuring that services are delivered efficiently. In addition, inefficiency has significant implications for any country (Borin, 1994; Bangura, 2000; Ayeni, 2002). Restructuring conjures up images of careful and deliberate changes in the minds of many people (Lam, 1997; Halligan, 1997; and Denhardt & Denhardt, 2000), but this is not always the case.
According to them, any meddling that doesn’t change how the public sector runs and runs its business isn’t restructuring.
As a result, public sector restructuring is a way to improve the structure, operations, procedures, and systems of public services so that they can be used as a tool for national unity, consistency, and socioeconomic growth.
Restructuring also necessitates a focus on strengthening the foundations of public sector employment and altering the incentives that different public officials face, aligning them with the general rules and aims of administration.
It is invariably focused on governance issues, professional duties, and the decision-making process (Hallinger, Murphy, & Hausman, 2013).
Attempting to achieve an efficient balance between the monetary liability of public service and the desire to offer incentives that allure qualified employees, public sector restructuring is instinctive.
As a result, it wants to build public and business trust in the legitimacy and use of civil employment.
Since Obasanjo (2000) correctly confirmed the principle and reasoning for restructuring in Nigeria, the restructuring is centered on the desire to discuss serious issues such as reduction of public spending, development of strategy responsiveness and execution, increasing service provision, and developing private and public sector trust.
People must halt, reflect, take stock, and vow to do things differently or to start undertakings that will have a substantial impact on their lives at particular points in their history.
All of the things we’ve talked about here have slowed down growth, including institutions, relationships, policies, and programs. We’ve also talked about unfriendly alliances, conflict, obstacles, and crisis points.
If they tell themselves the truth, they will have the confidence and sense of mission to draw out viable solutions to their difficulties. Kwiatkiewicz (2013) focuses on human capital in her research of the “Main Drivers of Change Affecting Public Sectors.
” Kwiatkiewicz asserts that municipal amenities, which include FGI (facilities of general interest), are extremely important to the general public (as providers of essential services) and to property owners (as providers of occupations for huge numbers of employees).
According to her, liberalisation, technological development, financial uncertainty, the changing nature of demand, and climatic change are the primary drivers of transformative change. She also knows that there are a lot of main effects that can be broken down into four groups:
- Job losses, new contracts, and increased workload
- Workplace flexibility and organization
- New educational and skill-development challenges
- a focus on the customer. “
Restructuring programs in Nigeria’s public sector
Instead of the progress and development that we are entitled to expect from those who govern us, we have experienced in the last decade and a half, particularly under the previous administration, a persistent decline in the quality of our governance, leading to incapacity and the weakening of all public institutions. NEPA, NITEL, education, roads and railways, housing, and other social institutions were allowed to decay and collapse “(Obasanjo, 1999, p.132).
The remark is meant to show how confused and sad most federal institutions were after the Ayida reform in 1994.
Besides the board’s findings and how they were used, there were a lot of other things that made the central government and the federal public service have problems (Abba, 2008; Adebayo, 2004).
Inefficiency in the delivery of social services, insensitivity to general welfare, and indifference to the norms guiding the conduct of public officials are signs of rampant corruption (Jega, 2007; Okorie, 1995).
Inefficiency in the delivery of social services, insensitivity to general welfare, and indifference to the norms guiding the conduct of public officials are signs of rampant corruption (Jega, 2007; Okorie, 1995). (Olaopa 2008, p. 157).
This is in line with Nwede’s (2013) conclusion that poor management slowed down Nigeria’s public sector restructuring.
Following the military government’s past blunders, Nigeria’s civil establishment is defined by capitalist officials whose primary interest is in what they will gain rather than what they will insert into the program.
Ayida’s panel report set rules for the civil service that caused a lot of confusion, fights between groups, and a lack of respect for the principles of impartiality and non-partisanship that are at the heart of the public sector.
There were major flaws in the forty-two (42) ideas for the board that had been in place before Obasanjo’s administration (Nwizu, 2002). Between 1999 and 2007, Obasanjo implemented several public service reorganization projects around the country, destroying what was left of the public sector.
Obasanjo’s restructuring revival was summarized by Bayo (2012, p. 18) in the following comprehensive methods: “monetization policy, pension reform, restructuring of pilot Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), down-sizing, and payroll reform.”
“Public service procurement and due process, wage and salary adjustments, and rewards are among the others” (Public service rules, 2010).
However, the restructuring policies of the Obasanjo administration were solely based on the conviction that the overall capitalist economy needed to be altered.
The Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) was created in order to achieve the fundamentals of the revival program, and it was seen as tactical in completing their restructuring agenda. It has the authority to ensure a smooth transition to a capitalist economy.
Reorganization and repositioning of ministries and offices in Nigeria
Obasanjo’s administration was largely devoted to achieving global best practice in public service, initiating technically driven workers via information and communication technology (ICT), making them approachable and professional to resolve the difficulties of overburdened workers and restore Nigerians’ trust in civil organizations, and resolving the difficulties of replication and overlapping work among agencies and tiers of government.
This was seen to be one of the most unique of the fundamental themes that would reposition the federal government.
This part of the restructuring would look into ghost labor, the importance of agencies, departments, and parastatals, the number of workers each ministry needs, the job organization for each post and cadre, and the types of training each minister needs.
In 2004, the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) was set up as an independent bureau in the presidency. In September of that year, it was set up in the month of September.
This feature of the system came about because of the re-assignment and re-organization of all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in all parts and sectors of the federal government, which led to this change in the system.
According to the agency, certain ministries should be reformed into four to eight (4–8) departments, depending on capability and responsibilities.
The FEC’s approval was required for any change or restructuring (Federal Executive Council).
Nigeria’s monetization policy
One of the issues that surrounded the Ayida board in 1994 was its inability to put a halt to corruption and dishonesty in the public sector.
The government was set up to clean up the civil sector of dishonesty by giving what it thought was a road map for how to make money. This way, it could help fight corruption.
The plan’s main goals were to determine the true cost of governance in order to avoid extravagance and monetary outflows in all government firms, as well as to improve the remuneration package for civil servants. In June of 2003, the idea was first put into practice.
It started with government office holders and quickly spread to all federal employees.
The strategy aimed to figure out how much money employees get in fringe benefits as a percentage of their service and pay. Many of these benefits, like water, phone, and electricity, are paid for by the company.
The cost of keeping home servant chains, ward-rope, and furnishing allowances was also covered.
The official car was likewise monetized by purchasing it when the personnel made timely monthly payments. The scheme also allowed for the auctioning of official lodgings to residents.
The goal was to stop money and dishonesty from leaking out, as well as to build a maintenance culture with new attitudes about how to keep things clean.
The policy also monetized the allowances and salaries of all central government employees who were previously paid in kind (Stephen, 2011).
Beginning on May 1, 2000, it increased the general minimum wage from two thousand five hundred (#2,500) to three thousand five hundred (#3,500) Naira per month, then to seven thousand five hundred (#7,500), and now to eighteen thousand (#18,000) Naira as authorized by the Senate in 2011.(Shaibu, 2011).
As a result, a committee was formed to address the concerns of pay discrepancy and pay consolidation in order to resolve the disparities in salaries and wages. The company did this to ease the pain of its employees and to avoid the problems that come from misusing or stealing resources and money.
Nigeria’s public sector downsizing
Soon before Obasanjo’s administration, public organizations saw a massive increase in worker strength.
In 1988, there were two hundred and thirteen thousand, eight hundred and two (213,802) workers, and in 1990, there were approximately two hundred and seventy-three thousand, three hundred and ninety-two (273,392) workers (Otobo, 1999; Adamolekun, 2008).
One of the challenges faced by Obasanjo’s government was the overabundance of workers and the number of MDAs.
This increased recurring spending without having to comply with output in terms of service delivery. As a result of the employee reductions, many parastatals were also dissolved, amalgamated, and reformed.
Among other things, there were only ten departments in the Ministry of Finance. The number of National Planning Commission departments went down from eleven to seven.
The National Power Board was merged with the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research, and the NCEMA (National Center for Economic Management and Administration) and CMD (Center for Management and Development) were merged.
The plan resulted in the dismissal of the employees. To contain it, standards for disengagement were devised and implemented.
- officers who have been appointed without proper authority,
- officers who have been charged with misconduct in the line of duty;
- officers who are unable to serve due to a medical condition.
- employees in jobs where services are monetized, outsourced, or eliminated, such as drivers, cleaners, cooks, messengers, and security guards, among others.
- employees who have lost their jobs as a result of their organization/department being scrapped or restructured.
- officials who do not have the necessary qualifications or competence for their position.
- employees who have been determined to be inefficient or unsatisfactory;
- officers who desire to retire on their own terms. “
These philosophies respond to the critical question of how many people are required to do the task. And what skills and techniques will be used to complete this task?
The government is doing biometric statistics certification and head tally exercises in line with the above idea.
It was hoped that by doing this, the “ghost staff” syndrome would be reduced, as well as giving a clear picture of the strength of the real staff and a way to figure out how much money they were worth.
IPPIS was approved by the FEC for launch (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System).
It was deemed necessary to construct a pre-retirement program, particularly for the eliminated group of cleaners, security, drivers, and domestic employees. The Civil Service Commission at the federal level sent out letters of retirement to about 35,700 employees, in line with government policy and decision.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption laws and financial restrictions
There was no powerful monetary rule to end corruption and financial mismanagement before Obasanjo’s tenure. Even though there was a financial regulation movement before the government, it didn’t have the power to sue people who didn’t pay.
Efforts by previous restructurings were futile, and the judicial system was not reliable enough to deliver justice quickly. Corruption was established indirectly and directly by the previous government, particularly the military junta.
There was a noticeable trend of corruption across the board in the country. The trend of public servants becoming capitalist authorities was compounded.
This was the main task that the new government had to deal with, and it had to be properly controlled and defeated. A proposed anti-corruption law was sent to the National Assembly shortly after Obasanjo took office.
They were created after the National Assembly passed a law in 2000, and now they are called the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offenses Commission).
In the fight against corruption and dishonesty in the country, the institutions were brought together. They were supposed to restore public trust in government business and manage money in a smart and efficient way.
Since 1999, there have been nine reforms to the public sector.
In many public service restructurings, the goal is to turn an ineffective civil service into a knowledge-based, specialized, and accountable system that can provide citizens with timely, careful, and efficient service.
With the development of public service reform, the state government’s apparatus is rebuilt and strengthened in order to increase the nation’s efficiency and performance.
In this case, the technique refers to the process of finding a comprehensive, well-understood, and complete explanation of the problems that are being looked into.
It entails a thorough analysis in order to discover new relationships and facts in order to improve present knowledge. It may be necessary and desirable to use more than one of the general types of investigative methods in any given study.
One could look for an answer to a specific problem by learning about its past through record research (secondary sources) and defining the current situation through field research (primary sources).
This study used the secondary data collection approach, which entailed extracting relevant information from conference papers, public documents, textbooks, journals, and magazines, among other sources. The study, on the other hand, used an exploratory research approach.
This is because it piques the researchers’ attention and satisfies their need to fully know the topic matter.
This helps the researchers get further information on the findings. This study has a problem because it has to be done at a certain time. This has a negative effect on the results.
This is owing to the fact that the time allotted for this study is insufficient to conduct an explanatory investigation of this nature. Another problem with this study is the financial constraint, which stems from a lack of funds to subscribe to a number of international publications in order to gain access to materials from around the world. The researchers did, however, consult other periodicals and textbooks for information. As a result, the study focused solely on Nigerian public sector reforms.
Conclusions and suggestions
The reform projects are very important for Nigeria’s public sector to be efficient and for the country to grow.
Reform in the Nigerian public sector is a must, but it must not be viewed as a rushed answer to problems affecting or confronting our state’s development.
If the reform is to be relevant and without disruption, the development of a state alliance to promote civil sector reform that includes all interested parties and collaborators, such as the public service, civil servants, labor unions, civil group societies, political parties, the media, and researchers, is essential.
It is also possible to conclude that many of the initiatives implemented by the Nigerian government to reform its public sector have failed to provide the desired results, owing to institutional, historical, political, cultural, economic, and other environmental constraints.
In the execution of such restructurings, the possibilities for public sector reform are bleak. The transformation of public organizations into main conduits for the attainment of the possibilities of a valuable existence must be clearly the focus of public consideration, and it must be a basic rule essential of the government in power.
However, government programs and policies should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are in line with the country’s goals, get the resources needed to run the programs, and work with all levels of government and professionals.