Civil Service is a body of employees in any government agency asides the military.
In the late 1980’s, the Civil Service was one to dive into at the first call. The employment conditions were favorable and fair; each Civil Servant was treated with utmost respect as much as his/her profession allows. Allowances were paid in earnest and after years of service retirement benefits were also paid immediately; Corruption was less. Unfortunately, this is not the case in recent times.
An average Civil servant begins his/her years of service in his/her mid 20’s and has to spend at least 35 years of service before considered for retirement or he/she could be retired at age 65 (i.e. the statutory maximum age for a civil servant serving in Nigeria). An early retirement means one does not qualify for the retirement benefits given. During this 35 years of service, the civil servant is expected to work at his/her peak for a minimum of 8 hours a day, the remaining hours is used to recuperate.
The Problem however, is Civil Service in recent times is going to hell in a hand basket. The work is not taken seriously anymore, lives and ambitions are wasted, salaries are no more paid in earnest and the government hardly has guts to make things right. Why? I’d say because corruption and politics has eaten deep into the sector that everything is biased, from employment to promotion to retirement processing; it’s just a giant bag of spoilt potatoes.
I met a retiree recently who served in the health sector, he complained sorrowfully for the depreciating quality of services rendered in the civil service. In his opinion;
“The civil service is not as it used to be anymore, in the 80’s when I was employed it was considered a hot cake but now it is exactly the opposite. Imagine, I had to split my gratuity three parts with corrupt government officials just so I get paid early; otherwise, only God knows how many years I’d have to wait for it, not to talk of the pension or how my salary was paid in parts after months of arrears. Honestly, right now I’m full of regret, because the Civil Service took away my best years and I have virtually nothing to show for it. I should be resting but I’m still struggling.”
Apparently, many other civil servants, both those still in service and those retired share the same opinion, they all wish to be treated better.
It is of great pleasure however, that some Nigerians, especially the youths have seen the light and are quickly turning to entrepreneurship. It clearly has more to offer than a hypocrite government who pretends to care about the interest of its citizens, but still stands on a minimum wage of 18,000 Naira, when they know for a fact that it is hardly enough to keep body and soul together. Hopefully a time will come when the voices of the masses will be heard; hopefully a time will come when things will be done right from the latter to the top; hopefully a time will come for a better Nigeria. As for now, Civil Service in Nigeria is failing and unless something is done about it, recent generations will be moving to Entrepreneurship.