Nigerian Civil Service

Nigerian Civil Service
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The Nigerian Civil Service consists of employees in Nigerian government agencies other than the military. Most employees are career civil servants in the Nigerian ministries, progressing based on qualifications and seniority. Recently the head of the service has been introducing measures to make the ministries more efficient and responsive to the public.[1][2]



The Nigerian Civil Service has its origins in organizations established by the British in colonial times. Nigeria gained full independence in October 1960 under a constitution that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country's three regions. Since then, various panels have studied and made recommendations for reforming of the Civil Service, including the Margan Commission of 1963, the Adebo Commission of 1971 and the Udoji Commission of 1972-74. A major change occurred with the adoption in 1979 of a constitution modeled on that of the United States. The Dotun Philips Panel of 1985 attempted to reform to the Civil Service. The 1988 Civil Service Reorganization Decree promulgated by General Ibrahim Babangida had a major impact on the structure and efficiency of the Civil Service. The later report of the Ayida Panel made recommendations to reverse some of the past innovations and to return to the more efficient Civil Service of earlier years.[3] The Civil Service has been undergoing gradual and systematic reforms and restructuring since May 29, 1999 after decades of military rule.[4] However, the civil service is still considered stagnant and inefficient, and the attempts made in the past by panels have had little effect.[5]

In August 2009 the Head of the Civil Service, Stephen Osagiede Oronsaye, proposed reforms where permanent secretaries and directors would spend a maximum of eight years in office. The reform, approved by President Umaru Yar'Adua, would result in massive retirement of Permanent Secretaries and Directors, many of whom are from the North.[6] Stephen Oronsaye has said that his goal is for the Nigerian civil service to be among the best organized and managed in the world.[7] Oronsaye retired in November 2010 at the statutory age of 60 and was succeeded by Oladapo Afolabi.[8]


The civil service is mainly organized around the federal ministries, headed by a minister appointed by the President, who must include at least one member of each of the 36 states in his cabinet. The President's appointments are confirmed by the Senate of Nigeria. There are less than 36 ministries. In some cases a Federal minister is responsible for more than one ministry (e.g. Environment and Housing may be combined), and a minister may be assisted by one or more ministers of State.[9] Each ministry also has a Permanent Secretary, who is a senior civil servant.[10]

The ministries are responsible for various parastatals (government-owned corporations) such as universities (Education), National Broadcasting Commission (Information) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (Petroleum). Other parastatals are the responsibility of the Office of the Presidency, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Federal Civil Service Commission.[11]

The service has six additional units which provide services to all departments on the Civil Service:[12]

  • Establishments & Record Office (E&RO)
  • Career Management Office (CMO)
  • Manpower Development Office (MDO)
  • Management Services Office (MSO)
  • Common Services Office (CSO)
  • Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR)


A sense of the relative expenditure on the different areas is given by the table below, which shows the 2008 budget for Federal ministries, departments and agencies.[13]

MDA (Ministry, Department or Agency) Budget (Naira)
Agriculture & Water Resources 113,673,666,845
Auditor-General 2,477,435,789
Code of Conduct Bureau 1,126,777,207
Commerce and Industry 7,758,202,700
Culture & National Orientation 11,655,900,664
Defense 151,940,617,034
Education 210,444,818,579
Energy 139,783,534,336
Environment, Housing and Urban Development 15,915,443,907
Federal Capital Territory 37,958,110,000
Federal Character Commission 2,366,945,741
Federal Civil Service Commission 925,690,890
Health 138,179,657,132
Transportation 124,444,316,123
Finance 11,777,469,168
Foreign & Intergovernmental Affairs 40,873,686,687
Independent Corrupts Practices Commission 3,588,338,165
Independent National Electoral Commission 12,693,517,785
Information & Communications 18,183,376,503
Interior 266,371,519,798
Justice 12,695,948,416
Labour and Productivity 6,142,634,383
Mines and Steel Development 6,592,555,334
National Planning Commission 6,400,000,000
National Population Commission 5,219,851,968
National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission 441,347,573
National Sports Commission 5,562,611,171
Office of the Head of the Civil Service 6,836,928,125
Police Service Commission 599,570,075
Public Complaints Commission 2,008,996,208
Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Allocation Commission 2,370,007,697
Science and Technology 16,306,271,658
Women Affairs 2,288,935,104
Youth Development 45,591,142,712

Note: As of January 2008, one Naira was worth about 0.0057 Euros, or 0.0084 US Dollars.[1]

Permanent Secretaries

Permanent secretaries head the civil service departments. In August 2009, Stephen Oronsaye announced a major reshuffle where almost half of the permanent secretaries were assigned to new departments.[14] A partial list of the new line-up as of December 2009 follows:[10]


Name Ministry Joined
Mr Otaki Mijiyaw Oyigbenu Agriculture & Water Resources 1978-07-24 2005-12-21
Idris Adamu Kuta Aviation
Dr A.K. Mohammed Commerce & Industry
Sheidu Bello Ozigis Culture, Tourism & National Orientation 1976-11-30 2005-12-21
Ezikiel O. Oyemomi Defense
Prof. O. A. Afolabi Education
Dr. Safiya Muhammed Environment 1982-01-19 2001-01-01
Dr. Ochi C. Achinivu Finance
Amb J C Keshi Foreign Affairs
Linus Awute Health
Ammuna Lawan-Ali Information & Communication 1977-02-17 2001-01-01
Dr A.S Adegoroye Interior
Abdullahi Yola Justice
Dr. Haruna Usman Sanusi Labour 1977-07-01 2001-04-09
Suleiman D. Kassim Mines & Steel Development 1978-08-01 2005-12-21
Elizabeth B.P. Emuren Petroleum 1980-12 2005-12-21
I B Sali Power
Dr N A Damachi Science and Technology
A. S. Olayisade Transport
Dr D B Ibe Women Affairs
Dr. Tukur. B. Ingawa Works, Housing and Urban Development
Danladi I Kifasi Youth Development


Name Commission Joined
Dr Y.A Thorpe Federal Civil Service Commission
Dr. Yahaya A. Abdullahi Niger Delta
Bukar Goni Aji Police Affairs
Engr (Mrs) E.G. Gonda Police Service Commission
S. D. Matankari State House 1977-08-01 2001-11-01

theophilus erebho,unn, PALG

Internal departments

Name Department Joined
S.A.D Osuagwu OHCSF ---
T.O Iroche OHCSF ---
Dr. (Mrs.) E. A. Abebe OHCSF (CSO)
B. U. Maitambari OSGF SSO 1976-08-03 1999-06-14
Dr Alex Chike Anigbo OSGF-PAO
S. Oronsaye OHOSF 1995-12-18 2001-04-09
M. N. B. Danbatta OHOSF-ERO 1980-07-01 2001-01-01
Pius I Major OHOSF-MDO
Dr. Imoro Kubor OSGF (Ecological Funds)
Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed OSGF (GSO) 1978-08-16 1999-03-18
E. I. Ogbile OSGF -CS
Garba Buwai OSGF-EAO 1979-01-01 2001-01-01


Name Joined
Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu 1980-08-01 2001-01-01
Ibrahim Talba 1981-10-19 2001-01-01
Engr. S. M. Mahmood 1974-07-12 2002-07-15
Prof. Ignatius A. Ayua, SAN, OFR 1974-06 2003-03-05
Dr. (Mrs) Timiebi K. Agary 1980-04-18 2003-12-18
Engr. Raymond N. Okenwa 1981-07 2005-12-21

See also


  1. ^ Habeeb I. Pindiga (26 October 200). "New Service Tenure - Oronsaye, FCSC Boss Clash Over Exams". Daily Trust. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  2. ^ "FG to train 4600 civil servants -- HOSF". News Agency of Nigeria. Dec. 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-21. [dead link]
  3. ^ "BACKGROUND TO THE NIGERIAN CIVIL SERVICE". Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  4. ^ Ali Sani Mahmud BABURA (6th March 2003). "LEADING PUBLIC SERVICE INNOVATION: THE CASE OF THE NIGERIAN CIVIL SERVICE AND FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION". Federal Civil Service Commission. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  5. ^ "New Policy in The Civil Service". Daily Trust. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  6. ^ "Ripples of tenure system in the civil service". Nigerian Tribune. 18th Sept, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20. [dead link]
  7. ^ Atiku S. Sarki (JUNE, 19 2009). "‘Nigerian civil service‘ll be best in Africa’". Daily Triumph. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  8. ^ Daniel Idonor & Emma Ovuakporie (NOVEMBER 16, 2010 · in NEWS). "Jonathan appoints Afolabi Head of Service as Oronsaye retires". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Government Ministries in Nigeria". Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  10. ^ a b "Permanent Secretaries". Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  11. ^ "BOARDS OF PARASTATALS". Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  12. ^ "Organogram". Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  13. ^ "FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA 2008 BUDGET". Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  14. ^ Franca Ochigbo (13/08/2009). "Yar’Adua moves Perm Secs". The Nation. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 

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