Comparative public administration: The dynamics of local administrative reform in Britain and Nigeria.

  • Gbenga S. Owojaiye

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The objects of this thesis are to examine the conditions which necessitated local administrative reforms in Nigeria and Britain. It also examines the process of administrative reforms in both countries in a comparative and historical context. Administrative reform is a continuous activity, a process, and the local government reforms in both countries have been treated in sequential trends: Diagnosis, Formulation of Objectives and Strategies of Administrative Reform, Implementation, Evaluation, and Recommendations. The study concentrates on socio-economic and political changes in both countries, and on changing contemporary views concerning the processes and purposes of local governmental administration. Local government became maladjusted because it did not keep pace with these societal changes, and hence the need for reform. We also examine the relationship between the theory and practice of administrative reform; and the origins of pressures for reform, the processes by which reform proposals were advanced, and the ways and means by which they were implemented (or shelved). The thesis is structured round a number of variables and hypothetical questions which were tested in the body of the thesis, such as: Was local government reform necessary in both countries because unchanging values could no longer be realised through an outdated administrative system? Or had values changed so that reform was needed? Can a developing country (Nigeria) and a developed one (Britain) have similar reform objectives and strategies? How true is Lee's hypothesis that time and leadership are two crucial variables in reform implementation? Answers to these and other hypothetical questions are provided in the thesis. The conclusion, based on empirical evidences, is that for any administrative reform to be successful in achieving its objectives - efficiency, democracy, socio-economic development and national unity - the citizens must be actively involved. And it is this observation that leads us to formulate hypotheses for local government reform, local development and participation through the use of the age-set institution in Nigeria and neighbourhood councils in Britain (though the latter are dealt with very briefly).
Date of Award1981
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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