Aim/purpose – This study aims at examining the contribution of government expenditure on service sector growth in Nigeria for the period 1970 to 2017. The service sector and government intervention are vital to economic growth of any country, hence this study. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilised the co-integration and the error correction modelling techniques. The study also conducted the stationarity tests. Findings – The regression estimates showed that government expenditure had negative and significant impact of service sector growth in Nigeria. Research implications/limitations – The implication of the findings of this study is that government expenditure over the years has not contributed positively to enhance the growth of the service sector; the study therefore recommends the need for completion of various abandoned and on-going infrastructural projects, such as road construction, water provision and electrification projects, which are vital to the growth of the service sector. Moreover, the government can through the monetary authority issue directives deposit money in banks to give loans at a reduced interest rate to investors in the service sector. Originality/value/contribution – This study has been able to show that there is the need for greater financial commitment of the government in order to improve the growth of the service sector.