Ethnic and Nepotic Issues in Nigeria: Exploring the Bane to Public Sector Performance in the Fourth Republic

Proceedings of The International Conference on Social Sciences in the 21st Century

Year: 2019


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Ethnic and Nepotic Issues in Nigeria: Exploring the Bane to Public Sector Performance in the Fourth Republic

Amobi P. Chiamogu and Uchechukwu P. Chiamogu



Stolen and abused opportunities abound in countries with weak administrative/governance institutions where people largely and inappropriately rely on sub-optimal indices such as blood/family ties, ethnic affiliation, kinship linkage, friendship, race, gender and religious links in the creation, allocation and distribution of values. In such countries, Nigeria inclusive, competence and meritocracy are completely or partially ignored. Although this is a form of corruption, it is almost generally accepted but for those who cannot derive gains at the time of need. Even the current anti-corruption narrative is yet to beam investigative insight into the menace. This paper thus seeks to explore and analyze the dimensions of parochial attachments in recruitment and selection processes in the Nigerian Public sector. It also traces the debilitating implications of championing sub-optimal indices in value/resources allocation/distribution with regard to service delivery. It further observes in apposition to the study problematique that determination of most forms of relationships amongst Nigerian citizens follow ethnic and nepotic constructs which are not unconnected with poor performance of the public sector. The paper adopts a qualitative research strategy using comprehensive document review in tune with critical examination of extant literature. The paper thus submits that skewed quota system and zoning arrangement as consociational approaches in the Nigerian federalism negate national unity and massively impinge on public sector performance. It therefore recommends best practice in forms of integrity, accountability, adherence to competence and meritocracy, discipline, professionalism, patriotism, and impartiality in the observance of the federal character principle in Nigeria.

Keywords: Ethnicity, Nepotism, Preferential Treatment, Public Sector Performance, Corruption.