The Role of Bureaucracy in Democratic Governance in Nigeria: Relevance and Evidence from Akwa Ibom State (1999-2017)

Victor E. Ita, David A. Titus


The paper examined how bureaucracy, as the legitimate organ for the implementation of state policies and programmes, has enhanced democratic governance in Nigeria using Akwa Ibom State as a reference point. The paper attempted to analyze the interplay between the political concept of democracy and bureaucratic practice in the State. The basic assumption of the paper was that democratic governance can be enhanced through effective and efficient bureaucracy. Based on documentary analysis with a tinge of survey (interview) method, it was observed that bureaucracy in Akwa Ibom has shown reasonable evidence of involvement in the implementation of government policies and programmes towards the welfare of the citizenry in demonstration of good governance. Moreover, the paper noted that the State bureaucracy needed to be repositioned to tackle some negative tendencies such as poor attitude to work, improper postings and placement of employees to positions of responsibilities and corrupt practices among public officials. Given these findings, it was recommended, among others, that the principles of transparency, probity and accountability should be made paramount as a norm and in praxis within and without the State bureaucracy; that meritocracy should constitute the basis for recruitments/appointments and postings within the civil service. These would enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the bureaucracy towards democratic governance.

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