Military Destroyed Civil Service, Says Retired Bureaucrat
•Leadership a challenge to Nigeria’s development, by Aig-Imoukhuede
Military Destroyed Civil Service, Says Retired Bureaucrat –A former head of service in Imo State, Mrs. Ijeoma Umez Eronini, has blamed military interregnum for the country’s lack of socio-political development.
She spoke at the launch of her book: “The Nigeria Civil Service and Service Delivery,” which attempted to identify problems in civil service and how to revamp the system.
According to her: “The civil service was very effective at independence but was only tarnished by the interregnum of the military in the country’s process of governance, first between 1966 and 1979, and later between 1984 and 1999.”
She said the military was responsible for the country’s inability “to rise above mediocrity and deliver cutting-edge service.”
According to her, the military destroyed the capability, professionalism and integrity of a civil service bequeathed to the nation by British colonial masters.
Eronini, who was also a commissioner at the Federal Civil Service Commission after retirement, said: “The entire civil service structure needs an overhaul to restore it to an effective organ of government that it used to be.”
The retired bureaucrat said the very first thing to do is to prevent untrained personnel from picking up jobs in the civil service, stressing: “If you are not properly trained as a bureaucrat and you find your way into the service, then you are a usurper.”
Meanwhile, a former Managing Director of Access Bank, Aigbojie Aig-Imoukhuede has blame the country’s dysfunctional system on the disconnect between policymakers and progressive policy implementation.
He said without capable people in the position of leadership, Nigeria will not overcome the many challenges that constrain the nation’s development.
He disclosed this while delivering the University of Benin (UNIBEN) 48th Founder’s Day lecture titled: “It is all about the human capital…stupid.”
According to him, the disclosure by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) ranking Nigeria 159th position, on global living standards and dignity of people across the world are too profound to ignore.
An alumnus of the University of Benin, he said the civil service remains the pivot of reforms that are required to drive development and growth in Nigeria.
He said if anything falls short of the expectations, the nation would continue to struggle and experience the challenges of the past.
“It is a simple reality that without capable people in positions of leadership, we will not overcome the many challenges that constrain Nigeria’s development,” he said.
Aig-Imoukhuede, who is Chairman, Coronation Capital, challenged tertiary institutions in the country to produce a talent pool, capable of making Nigeria globally competitive and relevant to the industry.