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MODELLING DISTRIBUTION OF APPOINTMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE IN NIGERIA USING FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLE

MODELLING DISTRIBUTION OF APPOINTMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE IN NIGERIA USING FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLE

 

Abstract: The question of fair and equitable representation of indigenes of the component parts of Nigeria in the Federal Civil Service, Army, Police and paramilitary institutions necessitated the establishment of the Federal Character Commission. The federal character principle has been criticized as a means of accelerating the promotion of mediocre and incompetent civil servants, military and paramilitary officers into top positions. Some authors, however, have eschewed restraint and warned that since Nigeria is an egalitarian society, the federal character principle should be seen as a necessary evil Nigerians should endure for the peaceful existence of the heterogeneous configuration of the Nigerian state. This paper however reviews the guiding principles and formulae of federal character, and highlights its shortfalls. It examines how competent the formulae adopted by the Commission are for the implementation of the federal character principle. Cases were used in examining the mathematical arguments and applying simple arithmetic rules to the formulae. The formulae were found to be highly inconsistent and lacked the basic mathematical definition of a formula or statistical definition of a model. The formulae provided grounds for the criticism of the federal character principle. The author therefore proposes a model formulated using fiducial limit having studied the Canadian example. The model incorporates the population of individual states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and local governments to ensure fairness and equity to all states, the FCT, local governments and geopolitical constituent units of the federation in matters of employment into federal or state establishments. The paper provides a quantitative comparison of the federal character adopted formulae and the one proposed by the author. The author’s model was more consistent and even proved to be applicable in all cases. The author therefore advocates its usage. If adopted, it would improve effective implementation of the federal character principle.

JEL classification: D73

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