Definition of Public Service
Public service can be defined as a service which is provided by the government or an authorised body for the benefit of all the people in a particular society or community.
Public service is also a body of government employees entrusted with the administration of the country, and mandated to carry out the policy of the government.
Basically, public services are provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction.
Public service is also referred to civil service, and people who work to provide the service are called civil servants or public servants. Examples of civil servants include: teachers in government schools, immigration officials, etc.
Note that Public Service does not excluding defence or judiciary sectors, i.e., military, judicial branches or elected politicians.
Public Corporation is business organisation established, managed and financed by the government with the aim of rendering important services to the members of the public and usually are not for profit making.
In another context, Public Corporation is a company whose shares are publicly traded and are usually held by a large number of shareholders. This is also referred to as Public Limited Company (PLC). Examples include: Nestle Nigeria PLC, Nigerian Breweries PLC, Access Bank, etc.
Importance of Civil Service
Civil service is the backbone of any society. A government can be conducted without Parliament for some time or even without ministers but it would be practically impossible for a society to manage its affairs without a well organised, efficient and honest civil services.
Also Read: Public Finance and Fiscal Policy
Functions of Civil Services
- They are implementers of government policies and projects
- They provide essential services to the citizens
- They assist the government in policy formulation and implementation
- They act as intermediary between government and the people
- They identify the new areas of societal concerns, inform the government and help them design the potential solutions in the form of various schemes and programmes.
Reasons for Short Comings in Nigerian Public Services
- Lack of expertise and poor capacity building
- Alienation from the public and they do not have good understanding of what people want.
- Inefficient incentive systems that do not appreciate upright and outstanding civil servants but reward the corrupt and the incompetent.
- Outdated rules and procedures that restrict the civil servant from performing successfully.
- Lack of performance culture and focus on outputs and outcomes and inappropriate performance appraisal.
- Systemic irregularities in promotion
- Lack of adequate transparency and accountability procedures. There is also no safety for whistle blowers.
- Political interference and administrative compliance.
- Negative attitude exhibited by public servants. Most civil servants regard their job as government work that does not require seriousness or major attention.
- Political Instability
- Tribalism and favouritism
- Waste of manpower and resources. Nigerian Public Service is known to employ more staff than is needed, leading to redundancy and wastage.
- Inadequate training facilities: The government needs to provide more training facilities to the staff so that they can improve in carrying out their duties and functions.
- Corruption: Bribery and corruption has eaten deep into some of the public servants, they expect to be bribed before they carry out their own duties.
The Federal Civil Service Commission is Nigeria's governmental advisory and executive body in charge of making recommendations to the necessary political leadership concerning promotions, transfers, dismissals and recruitment of personnel into the civil service.
An ombudsman or public advocate is an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or a violation of rights.
OMBUDSMAN was introduced in Nigeria in Oct 1975 during the military administration of General Murtala Muhammed. Other agency that performs related functions as Ombudsman is the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFFC),