Scope of public administration in Nigeria
Scope of public administration in Nigeria

Public administration is a cooperative effort of a group of people to achieve specific objectives through Scope of public administration in Nigeria. Its a systematic process that involves people working in the private sector and public for the purpose of administering policies, provision of human rights and equal distribution of resources.

Scope of public administration in Nigeria highlights some of the core functions of public administration, hence could be seen as a cooperative effort of groups/individuals to achieve aims of the general public and government. Public administration is more related management and its important for good governance to the activities of government.

Williams (1985) emphasized the point when he defines public administration as the technical knowledge of the field which enables the administrator to perform his duty. Public administration deals with mobilization, deployment and management of men and materials to achieve the purpose of the government. Public administration sector jobs consists of establishments of Federal, State and Local Government agencies that administer, oversee, and manage public programs and have executive, legislative or judicial authority within a given area (Nwosu, 1985).

Public administration as the techniques of management and principles to which operative programs are carried through to success (White, 1986). In essence, public administration is the sum total of all the activities of organizations or groups that are directed towards the accomplishment of the interests of the general public.

Scope of public administration in Nigeria

Public administration is a broad and encompassing area of study; and as a result, one cannot with sense of certainty point up the specific focus and scope of public administration. The field of public administration today transcends government circles and includes other areas, namely, schools, churches, mosques, markets, postal services, transportation, international relations, etc. However, further insight into the scope of public administration can be understood using the following schools of thought:

1.The Integral School

2. The Managerial School

3. The ‘Body of Knowledge’ School


4. The integral school


To the Integral School, public administration is a sum total of all the activities undertaken in pursuit of and in fulfillment of public policy. These activities include not only managerial and technical but also manual and clerical. The central argument of the integral scholars is that public administration is only concerned with all the activities of government, undertaken whether by one or all of the three arms of government.

This argument is reflected in the definition of public administration provided by one of the integral scholars, Leonard White who defined the public administration as consisting of all those operations having to their purpose the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy (Tout, 1927).

Thus, public administration covers the three core activities of organization which include accomplishing goals, maintaining organizational vitality, and defending the organization. The integral view, therefore, shows the vastness and multiplicity of the Scope of public administration in Nigeria in any other nation or state.

1.The Integral School

In Nigeria, for instance, public administration is carried out within different categories of public organization: Federal, State and Local Government. Civil Services, and within them are multiple tasks that fall within the domain of public administration. While delivering a Public Lecture on the English Civil Service, Tout pointed out the reason for the vastness of the scope of public
administration, when he said that “however much we may gamble, this growth of the bureaucracy is
inevitable” (Gulick, 1937).


2. The Managerial School


The Managerial School sees public administration as an area that is specifically concerned with only those
persons engaged in the performance of managerial functions in an organization. This implies that only those who plan, programs and manage the activities of an organization are the main focus of public administration. The functions of these people are numerous, and are geared towards the achievement of certain goals. Gulick et al. (1980) comprehensively outlined these functions using the acronym POSDCORB,
meaning:

  • P – Planning
  • O – Organizing
  • S – Staffing
  • D – Directing
  • CO – Coordinating
  • R – Reporting
  • B – Budgeting.

3. The ‘Body of Knowledge’ School


As a body of knowledge, public administration is directed towards the understanding of government and administration. Public administration is therefore viewed as an academic field of study that is concerned with the workings of government in the pursuit of some set objectives. It is best considered as a branch of social sciences that has a strong root in political science and borrows ideas, methods, theories, frameworks and tools of analysis from economics, sociology, psychology mathematics, business administration, physical and biological sciences (Balogun, 1983).

4. The integral school


Within this context, public administration promotes the use of human cooperative action, at the theoretical or practical level, to solve the practical problems that affect government performance. It therefore, examines and studies all actions relating to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policy and the search for the productive, efficient and effective use of money, materials and men in the public realm.

References

  • Simon, A. (1970), Public Administration, New York, Vikas Publishing House.
  • Nwosu, H. (1985), Problems of Nigerian Administration, Enugu, Fourth Dimension.
  • Balogun, M.J. (1983), Principles of Public Administration, Ibadan, Malt House.
  • Mbah, M. (2007), Foundations of Political Science, Onitsha, Rex Charles and Patrick.
  • Williams, D. (1985), Public Administration, The People’s Business, Toronto, Little Brown and Co.
  • White, L. (1986), Introduction to the Study of Public Administration, London, Oxford University Press.
  • Tout, C.B. (1927), Third World Politics: A Comparative Introduction, London, The John Hopkins University
  • Press.
  • Gulick, W. (1937), The Rudiments of Public Administration, New York, Orange Publication.
  • MacRea, S. and Douglas, P. (1980), Public Administration: An Introduction, New York, Pitman Publishing