Exploring the Capabilities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Improved Public Service Delivery in Nigeria


  • Ojogiwa Oluwaseun TEMITOPE University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Sokfa F. JOHN University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
  • Bongani Reginald QWABE University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa




Training and development, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Service delivery, Innovation, Technological advancement


The modern evolution of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) comes with new trends in technology that are altering the customary way of undertaking government tasks. The alterations appear in the form of both opportunities and threats, based on the strengths and weaknesses of extant practices and systems operating in the Nigerian public sector. Therefore, the government is faced with the challenge of coping with new demands and some unanticipated risks in incorporating and adapting to the 4IR. Although the 4IR is considered valuable, the extent of its influence on Nigerian service delivery and how to harness its worth has not been established. This article seeks to determine the existing level of the public sector’s service delivery in relation to innovation and technological advancements. It further investigates how the 4IR can influence and harness improvement in the delivery of public services in Nigeria. A review of secondary sources from reports, government documents and extant scholarly literature was undertaken and data were analysed thematically. While the Nigerian government has made some effort to provide the public sector with innovative technology, it is essential to improve on this provision to maximise the opportunities and strengths of the 4IR. Therefore, this article recommends the intensification of technological and digitalisation capabilities by providing suitable human and financial capital, necessary to improve service delivery, particularly in Nigeria.


Download data is not yet available.


Adejuwon, K. D. 2018. Internet of Things and Smart City Development: Is Nigeria Leveraging on Emerging Technologies to Improve Efficiency in Public Service Delivery? Journal of Public Administration, Finance and Law, (13), 7-20.

Ajibade, O., Ibietan, J., & Ayelabola, O. 2017. E-governance implementation and public service delivery in Nigeria: the technology acceptance model (TAM) application. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 7(4).

Amankwah-Amoah, J., Osabutey, E. L., & Egbetokun, A. 2018. Contemporary challenges and opportunities of doing business in Africa: The emerging roles and effects of technologies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 131, 171-174.

Amuta, E., Wara, S. T., Agbetuyi, A. F., & Matthew, S. 2018. Smart Grid Technology Potentials in Nigeria: an Overview. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 13(2), 1191-1200.

Ayentimi, D. T., & Burgess, J. 2019. Is the fourth industrial revolution relevant to sub-Sahara Africa? Technology analysis & strategic management, 31(6), 641-652.

Badimo, K. H. 2018. The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Public Service Delivery. Centre for public service innovation. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/impact-fourth-industrial-revolution-public-service-delivery-badimo/ Date of access: 14 September 2021.

Bertot, J. C., Estevez, E., & Janowski, T. 2016, March. Digital public service innovation: Framework proposal. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance. Montevideo, (pp. 113-122).

Bogdanov, D., Farfan, J., Sadovskaia, K., Aghahosseini, A., Child, M., Gulagi, A., ... & Breyer, C. (2019). Radical transformation pathway towards sustainable electricity via evolutionary steps. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-16.

Bose, B.K., 2017. Artificial intelligence techniques in smart grid and renewable energy systems—Some example applications. Proceedings of the IEEE, 105(11), pp.2262-2273.

Chen, J. S., Tsou, H. T., & Huang, A. Y. H. 2009. Service delivery innovation: Antecedents and impact on firm performance. Journal of Service Research, 12(1), 36-55.

Daglio, M., Gerson, D., & Kitchen, H. 2014, November. Building organisational capacity for public sector innovation. In Background Paper prepared for the OECD Conference “Innovating the Public Sector: from Ideas to Impact”, Paris (pp. 12-13).

De Vries, H., Tummers, L., & Bekkers, V. 2018. The diffusion and adoption of public sector innovations: A meta-synthesis of the literature. Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 1(3), 159-176.

De Vries, M. S., Dijk, G. V., & Chitiga-Mabugu, M. 2018. Public Administration: Reflection, Relevance and Readiness. Bratislava: NISPAcee Press, Slovak Republic.

Elmi, N., Broekaert, K., & Larsen, A. M. E. 2018, January. Agile Governance: Reimagining Policy-Making in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In White Paper. World Economic Forum, January. Pretoria: Government Printers.

Eneanya, A. N. 2018. Performance management system and public service delivery in Nigeria: Impacts, problems, challenges and prospects. Africa’s Public Service Delivery and Performance Review, 6(1), 1-9.

Faheem, M., Shah, S. B. H., Butt, R. A., Raza, B., Anwar, M., Ashraf, M. W., ... & Gungor, V. C. (2018). Smart grid communication and information technologies in the perspective of Industry 4.0: Opportunities and challenges. Computer Science Review, 30, 1-30.

Fatile, J. O., Olojede, I., & Adejuwon, K. D. 2015. Techno-bureaucratic governance and public service delivery: Indonesia and Nigeria in perspectives. Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review, 3(3), 149-176.

Guerin, B., Janta, B., & van Gorp, A. 2018. Desk-based research and literature review. Evaluating interventions that prevent or counter violent extremism. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation

Hajduk, S. 2016. The concept of a smart city in urban management. Business, management and education, 14(1), 34-49.

Ifijeh, G. 2014. Adoption of digital preservation methods for theses in Nigerian academic libraries: Applications and implications. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), 399-404.

Ilori, M. O., & Ajagunna, I. (2020). Re-imagining the future of education in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes.

Jones, R. W., & Hildreth, S. A. (2019). Modern Weapons and Third World Powers. Routledge.

Kayode, A., Adagba, S. O., & Anyio, S. F. 2013. Corruption and service delivery: the case of Nigerian public service. Wudpecker Journal of Public Administration, 1(1), 001-006.

Kolog, E. A., Devine, S. N. O., Egala, S. B., Amponsah, R., Budu, J., & Farinloye, T. (2022). Rethinking the implementation of artificial intelligence for a sustainable education in Africa: Challenges and solutions. In Management and Information Technology in the Digital Era (Vol. 29, pp. 27-46). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Lawan, B. M., Ajadi, I. A., Kayode, A. A., & Yaru, U. A. 2020. E-GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA. e-Bangi, 17(5).

Lenihan, H., McGuirk, H., & Murphy, K. R. 2019. Driving innovation: Public policy and human capital. Research policy, 48(9), 103791.

Li, G., Hou, Y., & Wu, A. 2017. Fourth Industrial Revolution: technological drivers, impacts and coping methods. Chinese Geographical Science, 27(4), 626-637.

Lou, K. k., Kreutzer, S., Sadeski, F., Lacave, M., & Merkl, F. 2019. Country case study Nigeria unlocking the potential of the fourth industrial revolution in Africa study report Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa / Study on unlocking the potential of the fourth industrial revolution in Africa. African Development Bank group, Abidjan. Côte d’Ivoire.

Lukman, I. B. 2021, July. Rethinking Public Sector Innovation in Indonesia. In 2nd International Conference on Administration Science 2020 (ICAS 2020) (pp. 59-67). Atlantis Press.

Ma, Y., Ping, K., Wu, C., Chen, L., Shi, H. & Chong, D., 2019. Artificial Intelligence powered Internet of Things and smart public service. 38(1), 165–179.

Malik, A., Budhwar, P. & Srikanth, N.R., 2020. Gig economy, 4IR and artificial intelligence: Rethinking strategic HRM. In Human & Technological Resource Management (HTRM): New Insights into Revolution 4.0. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Markowitz, C. 2019. Harnessing the 4IR in SADC: Roles for Policymakers. Occasional paper 303, October 2019. Pretoria: South African Institute of International Affairs.

Mathebula, N.E., 2021. Public administration in the fourth industrial revolution: Implications for the practice. Gender and Behaviour, 19(2), pp.18199-18205.

Martins, N., & Ledimo, O. 2015. The perceptions and nature of service delivery innovation among government employees: An exploratory study. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(1), 78-87.

Meijer, A. 2015. E-governance innovation: Barriers and strategies. Government Information Quarterly, 32(2), 198-206.

Myers, J. 2016, January. What new jobs will exist in 2035? World Economic Forum, Davos, February 29; OFE, 2015. Managing Change: Transforming Public services, Manchester, UK: Open Forum Events.

Nalubega, T., & Uwizeyimana, D. E. 2019. Public sector monitoring and evaluation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Implications for Africa. Africa’s Public Service Delivery and Performance Review, 7(1), 1-12.

Ndung’u, N. S., & Signé, L. 2020. Capturing the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Regional and National Agenda. Foresight Africa. Retrieved from https://www.africaportal.org/publications/capturing-fourth-industrial-revolution-regional-and-national-agenda/ Date of access: 18 October 2021.

Nel, D., & Masilela, L. 2020. Open governance for improved service delivery innovation in South Africa. International Journal of eBusiness and eGovernment Studies, 12(1), 33-47.

Nhede, N. 2018. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Novel Skills Needed for the Public Sector. PUBLIC AD R AN R, 201.

Nnaeto, J. O. 2017. Application of Emerging Technologies to Enhance Public Service Delivery: The Place of Nigerian Public Service. Covenant University Conference on e-Government in Nigeria (CUCEN). Sango Ota

Ojogiwa, O.T. & Qwabe, B.R. 2021. Leveraging on the Management of Organisational Cultural Change for an Improved Change Outcome in the Nigerian Public Health Sector. African Journal of Governance & Development, 10(1), pp.61-79.

Oladipo, K., Felix, A. A., Bango, O., Chukwuemeka, O., & Olawale, F. 2018. Power sector reform in Nigeria: Challenges and solutions. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. IOP Publishing (Vol. 413, No. 1, p. 012037).

Omotoso, F. 2014. Public-service ethics and accountability for effective service delivery in Nigeria. Africa Today, 60(3), 119-139.

Onyilo, I. R., Arsat, M., Latif, A. A., & Akor, T. S. 2020. GREEN AUTOMOBILE TECHNOLOGY COMPETENCIES IN NIGERIA AND THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(7), 2020.

Oyedele, S. O. 2015. The Nigerian public service and service delivery under civil rule. Journal of Public Administration, Finance and Law, (07), 33-43.

Paunova, E. 2016. The Global Platform: Launching the fourth industrial revolution. World Commerce Review, 10(1), 12-15.

Prisecaru, P. 2016. Challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. Knowledge Horizons. Economics, 8(1), 57.

Schwab, K. 2017. The fourth industrial revolution, first ed. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/. Date of access: 14 October 2021.

Serrat, O. 2017. Innovation in the public sector. In Knowledge Solutions (pp. 559-568). Singapore: Springer.

Shava, E., & Hofisi, C. 2017. Challenges and opportunities for public administration in the fourth industrial revolution. African Journal of Public Affairs, 9(9), 203-215.

Thani, X.C. 2020. Local Economic Development (LED) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Administratio Politica, 28(3) pp.91-107.

UNDESA, U. 2016. United Nations e-government survey 2016: E-government in support of sustainable development. United Nations, New York, NY, (2016).

Welsh, D. H., & Dragusin, M. (2013). The new generation of massive open online course (MOOCS) and entrepreneurship education. Small business institute journal, 9(1), 51-65.

World Economic Forum. (2016, January). The future of jobs: Employment, skills and workforce strategy for the fourth industrial revolution. In Global challenge insight report. Geneva: World Economic Forum.