Labour Unions and The Transformation of The Nigerian Civil Service: A Discourse
Since the political amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, labour unions have played increasingly powerful role in the formulation, shaping and implementation of public programmes. Trade union movements though primarily worker-centric have assumed a centre stage at fine-tuning the major policies of the government to the benefit of the poor masses. This they have been doing through the instrumentalities of industrial relations like peaceful demonstrations and strike actions. The Imodu led general strike of 1945, Kokori led NUPENG anti-June 12 election annulment strike of
1994, incessant ASUU strikes in Nigeria, Omar and Esele led anti-fuel subsidy removal general strike of 2012 are examples of protests against government policies by labour union movements in Nigeria. Following the history of labour crises and agitations in Nigeria, it is imperative to draw the attention of labour unions to the need to make efforts in curbing the persistent poverty of public service delivery which has culminated into the failure of various administrations in Nigeria. Labour unions have been doing their best which is not enough. This paper therefore utilizes secondary data to discuss factors that have hindered the involvement of labour unions in the transformation of the Nigerian public administrative system. It also examines the decadence that engulfs the civil service and why its reform has proved very difficult. The paper recommended among others that trade unions in Nigeria cannot perform this herculean task unless it transforms itself, making discipline as a watchword and design Nigerian peculiar theories to reform.