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THE OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE POLICY IMPLEMENTATION BY THE PUBLIC BUREAUCRACY IN DEVELOPING NATIONS: THE CASE OF NIGERIA
The need for enhancing the development process in the developing nations is ever becoming more critical and urgent. The pace at which this can be realized is hinged essentially on the ability of the government to formulate appropriate policies and, very importantly, on the capability of the public bureaucracy to effectively implement the formulated policies. Over the years in Nigeria, numerous brilliant policies have been formulated and implemented. Yet there is no apparent and significant development to show for that as evidenced by the fact that Nigeria has continued to remain in the category of the Least Developed Countries of the world. This suggests that mere formulation of policies should become not the major issue in Nigeria but rather their effective implementation as it is only effectively implemented policies that can bring about national development. Against this background, the study explored the importance of public policy in governance and public administration-generally, deeply discussed public bureaucracy and its role in policy implementation, critically examined and analyzed the key obstacles inhibiting the public bureaucracy in Nigeria from effectively implementing policies. In carrying out the study, the secondary sources of information or data gathering were mostly relied on and consequently, content analysis technique was adopted in the analysis. The basic finding is that there exists, indeed, some factors and circumstances that constitute serious obstacles to effective policy implementation by the public bureaucracy in Nigeria. These factors, among others, include the ineffective and corrupt political leadership under which the public bureaucracy in Nigeria thrives, the pervasive and deep rooted corruption within the public bureaucracy and the pressure and influence of primordial demands and values on the bureaucracy which negatively effect implementation activities and processes. Recommendations offered to overcome the obstacles and challenges and to reposition the Nigeria public bureaucracy for effective implementation of policies include, basically, that government should work towards ensuring the evolvement of both purposeful and responsible political and bureaucratic leaderships as well as work towards further realization of politics and administration dichotomy in Nigeria in order to create room for the bureaucracy to operate and implement policies essentially on the basis of laid down ideal bureaucratic rules and principles. The bureaucrats need too to strongly de-emphasize primordial considerations and to resist primordial pressures and demands for special favours in policy implementation activities and processes while government also need to constantly develop appropriate programs for improving the working conditions, and other incentives for the public bureaucrats in order to build their morale and commitment to public service. This, too, could reasonably diminish the propensity among the bureaucrats to misappropriate funds allocated for implementing development policies.
Key words: Obstacles, Policy, effective policy implementation, bureaucracy, bureaucrats, development, developing nations.