African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Nigeria’s experience in dealing with public service ethical dilemmas

  Gabriel A. Gundu
Teamspirit Consult Ltd, No. 15, 641 Road, Gwarinpa II, Abuja, Nigeria. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 February 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2011



The overarching thrust of this article is to share Nigeria’s experience in dealing with normative ethical dilemmas towards fostering sound public service fitness and better governance. The experience indicates that these dilemmas arise from critical relations involving “civil servants” and “political office holders”, “civil servants” and “citizens”, and “intra-civil service”. Also, the dilemmas could take the form of either personal cost, or right-versus-right, or even a hybrid of the former and the latter. Nigeria has adopted a framework of mechanisms for enthroning sound ethical fitness. These mechanisms are designed to prevent ethical misconduct, and enforce ethical principles. But challenges do arise, which can be surmounted if there exists a demonstrable commitment from the highest political authority level; and respect for public perception, because public functionaries are stewards of public confidence and trust. And this can be gained and maintained not only by consistently avoiding actual ethical misconduct, but also by the public perception of same.


Key words: Public service, better governance, citizenry, ethical misconduct.