Dr. Tunji Olaopa’s Reforms, Governance and Development in Nigeria: Experiments in Reform and Reform Thinking published in 2017 by PAN-AFRICAN UNIVERSITY PRESS, Austin, Texas.
Aaron Ola Ogundiwin, Ph.D.
The book volunteers abundant information about the perennial underperformance of the Nigerian state and economy. The author began with problem identification that, with both theoretical and empirical evidences, located Nigeria in the epicenter of Africa as the most difficult administrative context in the world. The author asserted that this problem was created by the colonial administrative architecture which introduced and perpetuated ethnic representation as against merit and competence in civil service recruitment. As a consequence, the leadership of the Nigeria’s first republic inherited over bloated civil service and was conditioned to settle for compromise as against professionalism in public administration and civil service, six years after the Nigerian civil service was established in 1954. There are many other arguable reasons scholars adduce to explain Africa’s underdevelopment, this volume advances dysfunctional public service as a causal factor of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. He substantiated the foregoing with an empirical theory of Migrated Structures which offers lucid account of the migration of civil service across the Atlantic to Africa without a pivotal value-systems that makes it functional in the West. This explains why the state is lacking in the delivery of welfare services to its citizens and hence, the need for committed, issue-based and problem-solving reforms.