Problems of the Civil Service and how It can be Prevented
Problems of the Civil Service:
Among the problems that confront the Civil Service are
(i) Insufficient Funding: The necessary funds required by each ministry to discharge its duty and functions are always grossly inadequate.
(ii) Poor Leadership And Management Of Resources In The Civil Service: Leadership may lack focus and vigour, some allow biased and personal interest to affect their effectiveness. Some are wasteful and lack prudence in resource management.
(iii) Bribery And Corruption: Bribery and Corruption have infected the Civil Service heavily. It takes different forms and levels. There is corruption in recruitment when merit is sacrificed to the altar of favouritism. Failure to discharge one’s duties without inducement, collection of a 10% cut in the award of contracts, etc.
(iv) Poor And Ineffective Monitoring And Supervision of The Civil Service To Enhance Effectiveness: The Administrative Class, Civil Service Commission, and other bodies are not offering effective monitoring and supervision to enhance the effectiveness of the service.
(v) Low Morale, Poor Motivation, and Poor Working Conditions: These all affect the efficiency of the service. The Civil Servants are poorly motivated to put in their best. They lack the necessary working tools and a good working environment. Their salaries and wages are poor, this affects their morale.
(vi) Dwindling Civil Service Values: Erosion of core Civil Service values such as Merit, Integrity, Discipline, Transparency, Anonymity, Political Neutrality, etc. affect its efficiency.
(vii) Red-tapism (Bureaucracy): Too much emphasis is placed on protocol, especially on urgent matters. Slowness In Decision Making And Implementation and Lack of Initiative and Innovation are all problems that affect the service due to unnecessary adherence to bureaucracy and procedure.
(viii) Ineffective Organization, Poor Utilization of Available Human Resources: Poor record-keeping, Improper filing and storage and retrieval of files and documents, duplication of offices and duties, and even posting and placement of officers without due consideration to their qualification and capabilities, affect efficiency and effectiveness of Civil Service.
How to Improve the Civil Service (How to Fight Corruption in The Service):
(i) Regular Payment of Salaries, Wages, and Benefits of Civil Servants will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Civil Service. The Salaries and Wages must be improved.
(ii) The officers must be regularly trained including training on the endemic of corruption.
(iii) There shall be an improvement in the working environment and welfare of Civil Servants.
(iv) Anti-Corruption Units should be set up in every Ministry and Department e.g. Servicom, Anti-Corruption Unit, etc. These units shall discharge their duties without fear or favour.
(v) The Senior Management should offer focused leadership in the service. They should effectively monitor and supervise their subordinates in the implementation of policies and Programmes.
(vi) Excellence and Hard work should be rewarded while officers found to be corrupt shall be severely punished to deter wrongful acts.
(vii) There must be a succession plan. Senior officers must offer mentorship and guidance to the young officers.
(viii) Promotion of officers shall be as at when due and shall be based on actual performance. Promotion should not be stagnant to encourage and motivate officers.
(ix) Anti-graft Agencies e.g. EFCC, ICPC shall probe and prosecute corrupt officers.
(x) Ministries and Departments’ accounts shall be audited regularly by both internal and external auditors.
(xi) Ethics and Values of the Civil Service should be upheld. This will restore the glory of Civil Service.