A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Tuesday said it was "irresponsible and selfish" for the federal government to spend more on civil service rather than building infrastructure.
He equally frowned at the over bloated workforce, adding that the public service was too individual and idle.
The former minister made the disclosure at the Governance and Sustainable Development Initiatives (GSDI) annual roundtable held in Abuja.
The theme of the roundtable was 'Integrity in Public Service'.
El-Rufai wondered why the payroll of the civil service rose from N600 million to about N1 billion less than five years their administration left office.
He said in the last two years, the bad had advanced than the good in the public service.
The former minister noted that the most dangerous of the failure of public service was "the loyalty to those in power rather than the system."
According to him, "We have a public service which is unsure of its role, the public service is still searching for its soul. We have a civil service that refused to let go in certain privileges, the permanent secretaries want to eat their cake and have it, the appointment of permanent secretaries is no longer on merit but political appointment."
El-Rufai, however, suggested the restoration of the system by coming up with strong public service in whatever circumstances.
"We need to reduce the quantity of people that work for government, we need to reduce them to get high quality and pay them well. The current level should be up to four or five times of what they are earning.
"We must define federal character only at the point of entering public service, promotion should be based on performance.
"We need to ensure the practise in the civil service conform with the constitution, permanent secretaries are not careers because it is stipulated in the constitution," el-Rufai averred.
He called for the injection of new blood from the private sector into the public service, adding that anybody who was not abreast with information technology should leave the service.
The former minister opined that young people should be given the opportunity to grow in the public service for the sake of the future.
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer, Governance and Management Service International (GMSI) United Kingdom, Prof. Victor Ayeni, noted that the problem of integrity was not peculiar to Nigeria, saying it was a societal problem.
He observed that "Nigeria is notorious for misusing funds meant for infrastructure," adding that infrastructure in the country had collapsed.