Book review: Goke Adegoroye, Restoring Good Governance in Nigeria (Vol. 2): Leadership & Political Will

AuthorJohn Olushola Magbadelo
Publication Date01 December 2020
Date01 December 2020
SubjectBook Reviews
Book Reviews 611
Goke Adegoroye, Restoring Good Governance in Nigeria (Vol. 2): Leadership
& Political Will. Lagos: Prestige Imprint, Kachifo Limited, 2015, pp. 186,
DOI: 10.1177/0019556120976589
The Nigerian public sector was a major casualty of the several years of the mili-
tary dictatorship that resulted in the erosion of public service values and the con-
sequent underdevelopment of its institutions. It is no exaggeration to say that the
Nigerian public sector had lost every sense of service to the long-suffering citi-
zens of the country as they were buffeted daily by frustrating and unsatisfactory
conduct of so-called public service institutions. But, with the emergence of demo-
cratic government in 1999, steps were immediately taken by the Obasanjo admin-
istration to address the rot in the country’s public sector through the introduction
and implementation of numerous reforms. The policies, processes and effects of
the reform programmes of the Obasanjo years have long been the subject of an
appreciable number of publications.
This book by Dr Adegoroye is an explicit account of the series of reforms in
the public service of Nigeria since the era of Obasanjo administration (1999–2007)
to the administration of President Jonathan (2015) with particular emphasis on
the Federal Civil Service. This book under review is the second volume in a two-
volume compendium which focuses on the question of leadership and political will
which the author considered as vital requirements for driving the initiated reforms
in the country’s public sector. The book is unique in the sense that it is a detailed
narration of the politics and the web of intrigues in the implementation of requisite
reforms in Nigeria’s public sector, especially in the Federal Civil Service.
The author’s objective of writing the book was to make available to the new
administration some essentially valid information on the ground situation in the
country’s Federal Civil Service. In an attempt to prevent the newly elected admin-
istration of President Buhari from being misinformed by those who might want
to take advantage of the transition. The author has given a detailed account of
the processes, context and atmospherics of the numerous reforms, introduced by
the Obasanjo administration and spanning two other administrations as well. The
public sector reforms in question include budget and public expenditure reforms,
public procurement reforms, accounting and audit reforms, tax reforms, pension
reforms, information technology, and e-government, ports, and customs reforms,
reforms of the Nigerian immigration and prison services, anti-corruption, banking,
and insurance reforms, privatisation and commercialisation, and service delivery
initiatives, among others (pp. 11–26).
Dr Adegoroye decried the pathetic decline in the commitment of successive
administrations after the Obasanjo years to the implementation of reforms. He
remarked that the ‘commitment, and doggedness that drove the political will
for public service reforms under President Obasanjo had disappeared with that
administration’ (p. 53).
To x-ray the tenure of each of the past Heads of the Civil Service of the
Federation (HCSF) since the exit of Yayale Ahmed who was in the saddle as
HCSF under President Obasanjo, the author appeared to be deeply fascinated by

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