It is not news to say that the image of public service is fraught with red tapism, tribalism, nepotism, quota system, ethnicity and geo-political zone concept. In fact, the issue of federal character (1999 Constitution, S. 14(3) which is a deliberate policy of federal government aimed at ethnic balancing in public sector (Inyang, 2000:142) has resulted in the sacrifice of professionalism, quality service, merit, and standard for a myopic, selfish and patronage public service. It is widely expected among the people that a political officer or top career officer in public service must ensure that his kith and kin are given “plum jobs” and juicy contracts even when such persons are neither fit nor qualify to be able to deliver the goods. There is constant reminder of being ostracized after leaving the office if such political office holders do not play ball as expected. The Nigerian factor can be described as the incidence of subjective influence of government policies and programmes. Ethnicity, bribery, corruption, nepotism and favouratism are invariable consequences of this “factor”.
Since the focus of any Total Quality Management (TQM) is quality and customer driven, ideal typical TQM model needs to be put in place for public service to be efficient and effective. In view of this transformation of TQM, government are too slow to make the commitment to quality improvement, and they are unwilling to embrace the concept that it takes an investment of time and money to improve a system as large as government. The truth of the matter is that Total Quality Management (TQM) and politics do clash. TQM initiative is viewed by public officers as a threat to their interest and status-quo; and so everything will be used to scuttle its proper implementation. TQM is based on their personal idiosyncrasies and this determining the way in which the tenets of TQM are to be implemented.
Total Quality Management As a tool for Organizational Effectiveness in the Nigerian Public Service