Nigeria and South Africa have established themselves as strong continental
players in the African region and wield a lot of power and influence.
Both countries have played and continue to play important roles in
international forums but have similarly sought to self improve their governance
processes through initiatives that focus on enhancing public service efficacy. It
can be argued that this is of primary importance because the improvement of
public service delivery will significantly contribute to and propel the countries
towards their desired changes and assist them in the attainment of their
The adoption of the Service Compact with all Nigerians (Servicom) and Batho
Pele philosophies signal a realisation that the public service could do better,
and needs to do better, in order to serve the public adequately. The Servicom
philosophy has five principles namely; conviction, renewal, consideration, avowal
and dedication. While South Africa’s Batho Pele Principles consists of eight
principles namely, consultation of users of services, setting of service standards,
increasing access, ensuring courtesy, providing more and better information,
increasing openness and transparency, remedying mistakes and failures and
providing value for money.
This article is a critique of these philosophies, their content and its
comprehensiveness as well as implementation. It also points outs critical issues
for consideration in an attempt to strengthen these initiatives.