Oscillation of Public Administration Paradigms and the Management of Public Service in Nigeria: Trajectory and Lessons

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Jide Ifedayo Ibietan


This paper chronicles various Public Administration paradigms and juxtaposes them with the management of Public Service (as an institution) in Nigeria. Attempts at making the public bureaucracy an effective instrument of development in Nigeria can be located in Public Service Reforms, and it is observable that the country has a long history in this. This study adopts the qualitative approach with a reliance on secondary data which were textually analysed, using the Neo-Weberian State Model as the theoretical framework. It is obvious that Nigeria’s experience with administrative reforms typifies an obsession with the traditional Weberian practice, as well as a half-hearted romance with SAP-induced/NPM reforms which labelled the country as a “hesitant reformer”. The paper emphasises a re-discovery of the values of Public Service in Nigeria based on the tenets of the NWS model. Other recommendations can also address the issues raised by the paper.

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