Bola Tinubu

Former Governor
State of Lagos, Nigeria
Focus Area(s): 
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Building citizen support
Civil service corruption
Municipal centers of government
Overcoming corruption
Payroll delivery
Interviewers: 
Graeme Blair
Country of Reform: 
Nigeria
Town/City: 
Lagos
Country: 
Nigeria
Date of Interview: 
Friday, August 7, 2009
Abstract 
Bola Tinubu, former governor of the state of Lagos in Nigeria, reflects on his administration’s successes in reforming the civil service, reducing corruption, and improving state infrastructure.  He details the process he went through to reform the state government, from the waste management system to financial mismanagement within the public sector.  Tinubu lays out the steps he took to improve incentives for civil servants, including salary increases, improving quality and hygiene of working environments, and teaching investment principles and how to work toward home ownership.  His payroll-system reforms removed thousands of ghost workers from the system.  Tinubu explains how he applied principles he learned in the corporate world to the public sector reform effort.  Tinubu also details the steps he took in removing endemic corruption in the public sector, which included eliminating cash payments to the government.  He discusses how he brought back expatriates to improve the hospitals and transportation system.  He also touches on the difficulties in working with a federal government that sometimes undermined reform efforts.
 
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Full Interview: 
71 MB
Bola Tinubu - Full Interview
Profile: 
Bola Tinubu served as governor of the state of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, during which he initiated reforms that improved the efficiency of the civil service and improved infrastructure.  He served from 1992 to 1993 as a senator until the end of the Nigerian Third Republic.  Prior to entering politics he worked in the private sector for companies including Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, Haskins, & Sells.  He was also an executive of Mobil Oil Nigeria.  After Tinubu left politics, he became active in negotiations to unite Nigeria’s opposition parties and in pushing for electoral reforms.   He earned a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University in business administration in 1979.  He holds the tribal aristocratic title of asiwaju, given to him by the Oba of Lagos, who holds a ceremonial position as traditional leader of the state of Lagos.
Language: 
English
Nationality of Interviewee: 
Nigerian
Yes
Bola Tinubu
D
13
Keywords 
civil service reform
computerization
corruption
Discipline
Patronage
Pay Reform
performance management
Technical Assistance