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  1. Electoral Process | Week 1
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  2. Types of Electoral Process | Week 2
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  3. Electoral Process Continues - Proportional, Representation, Repeated Ballot, Direct and Indirect Elections | Week 3
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  4. Ballot Systems | Types of Voting | Week 4
    3 Topics
    1 Quiz
  5. Organization of Election | Week 5
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  6. Electoral Commission and Electoral Officers | Week 6
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  7. Public Opinion and Mass Media | Week 7
    6 Topics
    1 Quiz
  8. Civil Service | Week 8
    6 Topics
  9. Personnel Administration in the Civil Service | Week 9
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  10. Public Corporation | Week 10
    9 Topics
  11. Commercialization, Privatization and Deregulation of Public Corporations | Week 11
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz

Lesson 10, Topic 9
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Theory Questions – Public Corporation

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Topic Content:

  • Theory Questions & Answers – Public Corporation

Evaluation Questions – Public Corporation:

1. What is Public Corporation?

2. What are the reasons for establishing Public Corporation?

3. What are the functions of Public Corporation?

4. State the characteristics of Public Corporation.

5. Differentiate between Public Corporation and Civil Service

6. Describe the organizational structure of Public Corporation

7. How can Public Corporation be controlled?

8. What are the problems confronting public corporations?

9. How can Public Corporation be made more efficient?

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Evaluation Questions – Public Corporation

(1) What is a Public Corporation?


A public corporation is a government enterprise set up by an Act of Parliament to provide essential services to the people at a minimal cost. e.g. Federal Radio Corporation, Nigeria Television Authority, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, etc. State or Federal governments can set up Public Corporations, but they are organized like private business enterprises.


(2) What are the reasons for establishing a Public Corporation?


  • Essential services to the people at minimal cost to the general public.
  • The government may establish public corporations for the purpose of generating revenue.
  • It is an avenue to create Job opportunities for the citizenry.
  • It was established to prevent the exploitation of the members of the public by greedy businessmen whose main aim is to maximize profit.
  • It is set up to prevent foreign control of the economy.
  • It is also set up to ensure a constant supply of social amenities.
  • It is also set up to enhance the standard of living of the people.
  • It is also set up to undertake strategic projects which the government may not want private businessmen to venture into.


(3) What are the functions of Public Corporation?


  • Public Corporations provide essential services to the people at minimal cost e.g. Provision of water
  • It generates revenue for the government through the fees they charge for the service provided.
  • Public corporations are involved in the provision of some strategic projects for security reasons e.g. minting currency, Arm manufacturing, etc.
  • It provides some services that are capital intensive which ordinarily cannot be provided by individuals e.g. Electricity, Railways, Airports.


(4) State the characteristics of a Public Corporation.


  • Public Corporations are created by the Acts of Parliament of the Federal or State Government. These acts specifically spell out the powers, functions, and limitations of such corporations.
  • They are owned by Federal or State Governments.
  • Public corporations are financially independent, though they are set up with public funds, they generate their own funds.
  • Public corporations are legal entities. They have rights and obligations, have the capacity to enter into agreements, incur debts, sue and be sued and be held responsible for their actions.
  • Public corporations are usually administered by a Board of Directors usually appointed by the ministers.


(5) Differentiate between Public Corporations and Civil Service


  Public Corporation Civil Service
i. Public Corporation is managed by a board of directors. Civil Service is managed by a minister who is advised by the Permanent Secretary.
ii. The administrative head is the General Manager/Managing Director. The administrative head is the Permanent Secretary.
iii. It is expected to provide service break even and make a profit. It is to provide services with no profit maximization motive.
iv. It provides social services and amenities to the public. It assists the government in the initiation and implementation of policies.
v. The Chairman of the board acts as the political head (representing the ministers) The minister is the political head.
vi. They are established by acts of the legislature which spells out its scope, powers, and functions. It does not owe its existence to any statutes but the Constitution.
vii. Employees are called Public Servants. Employees are called Civil Servants.
viii. It is self-financing except for its taking-off Fund provided by the government. It obtains its finances from the government.
ix. It does not pay its revenue into the consolidated account. It pays its revenue into the consolidated revenue account.


(6) Describe the organizational structure of Public Corporation


  • Political Head: The political head of a Public Corporation is the Minister or Commissioner. The Minister or the commissioner provides board policy guidelines. He also appoints the Board of Directors. In addition, he approves policy decisions of the board as well as the budget, loans, and capital projects of the public corporation.
  • The Board of Directors: The composition of the board of Directors varies and it depends on the size of the public corporation. It can be between six to twelve members. The Board provides policies for administering the enterprise. They appoint top management of the enterprise.
  • The Management: The management is made up of the administrative head of a public corporation. The General Manager or Managing Director and other managerial staff. The management is in charge of the initiation and effective implementation of policies and programmes of the public corporation.


(7) How can Public Corporation be controlled?


  • Public corporations are set up by Acts of parliament: These acts stipulate their powers, scope, and limitations. Any excess in its exercise of power can be challenged in court and be declared null and void.
  • Secondly, the legislature can amend, modify or revoke the Act if necessary.
  • Thirdly, the legislature can through legislative debate influence the policies of Public Corporations.
  • Fourthly, it can invite the supervising minister and the management of an enterprise for questioning in the parliament.
  • Ministerial Control: The Minister exercises enormous control on the Public Corporation among which is the power to appoint and dismiss members of the board of directors.
  • Secondly, he gives broad policy guidelines to the board.
  • Thirdly,  he approves auditors to audit the annual accounts of the enterprise as well as any borrowing of the corporation.
  • The minister can withhold the subvention of a corporation for poor performance or even approval of some of its projects as a form of control.
  • Judicial Control: The court can declare the activities of Public Corporations null and void or unconstitutional if there is a breach of power that sets it up.
  • Public Control: The public and organized interests help to control enterprises. They can write petitions, and carry out demonstrations to force them to carry out their duties effectively.
  • Press Control: The press can exert some form of control by exposing cases of corruption and ineffective management of such enterprises.


(8) What are the problems confronting public corporations?


Political Interference: The executive or legislative arm of government may interfere in day to day management of a Public Corporation.

Poor Management of Resources: The management personnel may not be efficient. It may be ineffective in the management and utilization of the available resources to achieve the goals of the corporation.

Inadequate Funding: Most public corporations are poorly funded, and this hinders their ability to deliver efficient services to the public.

Corporation: Funds allotted to enterprises are either embezzled by the staff of the corporation or political officeholders.

Ethnicity and Favouritism play a major role in the appointment of board members, top management, and even staff appointments generally.

Wastages: Most Public Corporations are accused of wastage and carelessness.

Vandalization and Stealing of Properties and Equipment by Workers and Thieves is a major problem. A lot of money is spent on replacing and mending vandalized properties and equipment.

Poorly Trained Personnel: The staff members of these corporations are not exposed to regular training for the effective discharge of their duties. This has affected the quality of service they rendered.


(9) How can Public Corporations be made more efficient?


  • Effective supervisory rule of the Minister and commissioner will make it more accountable.
  • Adequate Funding: The availability of funds and resources will help the enterprise to provide its services efficiently and effectively.
  • Regular Staff Training: Regular training on techniques, skills, and strategies will improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Research: Public Corporations should embark on research, good research results will increase productivity.
  • Regular Audit of Accounts: Regular and proper auditing of accounts of corporations will stamp out fraud and mismanagement of funds.
  • Appointment, Employment, and Contracts should be based on merit. This will improve the quality of staff and service provided.

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