The public sector in Africa has come under severe criticism over the past few decades, particularly since the mid-1980s when many countries in sub-Sahara Africa were forced to adopt structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) to address fundamental economic problems confronting them. The public services of these countries were variously accused of inefficiency, ineptitude and even of constituting a clog in the wheel of development. This is the background against which these countries were forced to embark on reforms of the public sector. The impression created then was that once these reforms were in place, all would be well.

The six chapters in this book represent a critique of the Public Sector Reforms in Nigeria that were initiated by the Olusegun Obasanjo regime in the late 1990s. The book examines the various components of the reforms that were implemented at the behest of the Bretton Woods institutions and exposes their inadequacies. They also question the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings on which the reform programmes were based.

The conclusion of this book is that the reforms had only further deepened poverty levels among the vast majority of Nigerians. Essentially, through the privatisation and commercialisation of public enterprises, and the mass lay-offs of thousands of public servants, Nigerians have been denied of some of their citizenship rights. It is the contention of the contributors, therefore, that there is a need to put in place public policy and institutions that would champion alternative development strategies which put people, and not markets, at the centre of development.

This book is a very useful companion for students and scholars of development, administration and management, as well as policy makers, trade unionists, political activists and those involved in development work.


This Book is a product of The CODESRIA Guy Mhone Conference on “Public Sector Reforms in Africa”


Funmi Adewumi is a Professor of Industrial Relations at the College of Management and Social Sciences, Okuku Campus, Osun State University, Nigeria. He is currently the Editor, Nigerian Journal of Industrial Relations.

William Idowu is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.



ISBN: 978 286978 538 0


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