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Representative Bureaucracy, Meritocracy, and Nation Building in Nigeria By Bola Daud ...

Chapter 1:  Bureaucracy and the Nigerian Nation-State
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Representative Bureaucracy, Meritocracy, and Nation Building in Nigeria

Chapter 1

Bureaucracy and the Nigerian Nation-State

Background to the Changing Roles of Bureaucracy

Issues such as the role of the state, ideal political structures, rights of individuals, power relations among the rulers and the ruled, etc. were the primary intellectual pursuits of Western philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Montesquieu, and Karl Marx. In 1887 Woodrow Wilson made an unequivocal distinction between politics and administration. Prior to this, the assumption within popular and academic literature was that “administration was a simple, nondiscretionary action.”1

However, since the end of the Word War II, in order to raise the quality of life for all citizens, the concern of most governments expanded to include initiating and managing social welfare and economic development programs. In addition, because administrative bureaus developed from the official duties of the treasurers and court clerks who collected taxes, fines, and fees and kept the records for monarchs, there was a mythical assumption about an artificial dichotomy between politics and administration—literally between the governance roles of the monarchs