Major Administrative Problems in Developing Countries

Recruitment and promotion– Major administrative problem faced by developing countries is that of recruitment and promotion. Recruitment into the administrative class posses the most serious problem of all the other class of the civil service, whereas there are prescribed qualifications for entering into the professional class, there are no prescribed qualification into the administrative class.

All that is required is a good honorary degree in any discipline in addition to being successful in a competitive entrance examination. In other word, the administrative class is composed of all sorts of people drawn from different discipline. 

The majority of these people lack the basic concept and knowledge relevant to their area of administrations appropriate to their areas of responsibility.

In term of promotion, there is excessive dependence on seniority rather than merit. As a result many innovators and achievement oriented persons are over-looked and marginalized.

This situation where excellence and merit are sacrificed on the altar of seniority, cripples initiative and stifles morale in the civil service.

Remuneration: The civil service has been faced with unstructured remuneration since independence, although few attempts have been made to rationalize and harmonize salaries and wages and other conditions of employment in the civil service. The remuneration has in several occasions resulted in industrial action by public servant.

Corruption and tribalism: Another major administrative problems in a developing countries is corruption. Civil servants especially those in high positions are noted for asking for gratification to perform their official functions.

This really account for the artificial bottleneck in the public service. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the nation, especially the civil service such that even promotion can hardly be done on merit.

Relationship between politicians and civil servants: The relationship between politicians who are ministers and civil servants who are permanent secretary or director general in the Nigeria public service has always been controversial and worrisome.

In the case of politicians and civil servants, conflict always arises when the politician encroaches into administrative matters which are within the prerogative of the permanent secretary. Whenever there is such problem the general public is always the victim.

Political instability: Frequent changes in the leadership of the country affect the civil service adversely. In some cases, it causes premature retirement of the civil servant which sometimes contravenes the statute of the civil service.

The statute of the civil service states that a civil servant cannot be arbitrarily retired, job security is ensured.In other word, permanency which is one of the characteristics of civil service is usually eroded. In summary, the civil service has been criticized of the following:

  • Low productivity
  • Over staffing (ghost worker)
  • Indiscipline
  • Red tape or red tapism
  • Rigidity
  • Over centralization
  • secrecy

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