Servicom policy intervention: Improving service quality in Nigerian public sector
In this case study we examine the raison d’être and implementation of a policy intervention, which was promulgated in 2005 for the purpose of eradicating inefficiency and corruption, and inculcating customer orientation in the Nigerian public sector. The policy goes by the acronym ‘SERVICOM’ -‘service compact with all Nigerians’. We draw on existing information in describing workplace behaviours in the Nigerian public sector that necessitated this policy intervention, the extent of its implementation, and in enumerating related interventions that are being implemented concurrently with SERVICOM. Our findings suggest that the objectives and delivery mechanisms of SERVICOM are appropriate remedies for poor service delivery in the Nigerian public sector. SERVICOM units are being established in government departments, workers are being trained, among other strategies for achieving the aims of the intervention. Other actions, however, must be taken to achieve the desired improvements. For instance, improvements in physical infrastructure must be undertaken, since changed work attitudes cannot substitute for inadequate infrastructure. A properly functioning public service is indispensable to good governance, institutional capacity building, and private sector development. SERVICOM policy must be sustained, alongside other related initiatives, until Nigerian public life is truly transformed. Continued support of the international community will really help.