The good, the bad and the ugly in the melting pot: the challenges of Nigerianising diversity management

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George, Olusoji ; Yusuff, Kolawole M. ; Cornelius, Nelarine (2017)

Taking a clue from the aftermaths of colonisation and the need to manage an 'unholy marriage' created by the British colonial masters, the review paper examines the peculiar challenges of managing Nigeria's unique diversity in the public sector through the critical lens of the Federal Character Principle (FCP) with specific focus on how this invented model of diversity management ended up creating more serious problems than it was meant to solve in the Nigerian public administration.\ud \ud The paper is essentially a review, and it relies on previous studies and real-world evidence on the subject. The paper systematically traces the evolution of diversity management in Nigeria’s public administration through the critical lens of the Federal Character Principle (FCP) with specific focus on how problematic it is to management Nigeria's unique diversity with more serious problems being created by the FCP application in the public sector.\ud \ud The paper reveals that the constitutional provisions of the ‘Federal Character Principle’ (FCP) ended up creating more problems than it set out to solve, reflecting in the 'melting pot' allegory. It reveals how problematic it is to manage the country's diversity, and highlights some of the problems created by the FCP. The review makes a case for an urgent need to intensify empirical research on the subject in order to fashion out a better way of managing Nigeria's diversity in the public sector.\ud \ud One major limitation of this paper is rooted lack of empirical research such as survey to further explore the topic. However, some real-life examples and cases were provided were drawn on the phenomenon. Thus, a call for more systematic and empirical research is made.\ud The implication of the finding is that the model for managing workforce diversity especially in the Nigerian public sector (not limited to the public administration) must be ‘Nigerianised’ such that the unique socio-cultural realities of the Nigeria's society as well as benefits accrued to diversity can be fully explored in driving the growth of the country and survival of the 'unity-in-diversity' goal.\ud \ud The paper will benefit the government, relevant stakeholders, and the Nigerian society at large. It offers some useful insights into public administration. It stimulates an interest to conduct further research on diversity management with a view to producing some useful findings that could lead to a better management of diversity in the country.
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