HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE: AN APPRAISAL OF KOGI STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
The Civil Service as the machinery of Government performs the unique role of governance and National development as such government everywhere in the world have come to terms with the need to train and re-train it’s human resource for them to be better equipped to maximize productivity levels and meet the challenges of governance and management.
This work makes use of the system theory as the theoretical framework and data gathered from secondary sources. My chapter one began with the general introduction where we have the background of study, statement of problem, objective of study, significance of study, literature review, significance of the study, theoretical framework, hypotheses, method of data collection and analysis, scope and limitation of study, operationalization of concept. In chapter two, we looked at human resource and productivity in the Nigerian civil service: a historical perspective. In chapter three, we looked at how impediments such as corruption, faulty implementation of the principle of federal character, inadequate fund and experienced training staff all impede in productivity. Chapter four dealt with the strategies for human resource development and productivity in Kogi State Civil Service. Finally chapter five, ended this work with summary, conclusion and recommendation. Using Kogi State Civil Service as a point of appraisal, this work hopes to link human resources training and development to their productivity level.
In consequence I am of the view that lack of adequate training and re-training of staff has resulted to low productivity. In view of this I recommend that impediments such as godfatherism, corruption, nepotism should be repudiated in order to increase the level of productivity and quality service delivery.
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
The problem of human resource development and productivity in Nigeria civil service has become very severe such that the civil service is at the point of collapse due to challenges of civil service delivery, over centralization amongst others.
To Collins and Chan (2009) in addition to fixing many such other key problems of development, Nigeria state has an urgent problem of disposing her workforce to cope with the demands of the society.
The origin, structure and performance of the civil service dates back to the 20th century, with the introduction of the British colonial rule in Nigeria. By 1990, a decentralized colonial service with headquarters in each of the protectorate was established. By 1904, the colony of Lagos state was amalgamated with the protectorate of Southern Nigeria. This was followed by the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorate in 1914 bringing into existence a country called Nigeria.
By 1914, there were two civil services in the two Nigeria’s (Northern and Southern) headed by a Governor-general in the person of Lord Lugard and two lieutenant Governors each for the North and South respectively, while an administrator was in charge of Lagos. The British imposed a unified civil service in Nigeria, which was mainly concerned with the maintenance of law and order and the mobilization of enough local resources in order to ensure their administration was self sufficient. According to Ciroma (1988:5):
The Nigerian civil service began as a force of occupation designed to facilitate colonial rule and the exploitation of land and its people for the benefit of the colonial masters.
The 2nd World War and the attendant world wide depression left the civil service hopelessly depleted as the civil service played major role of being an essential tool and veritable source of men and material of the allied war efforts.
In 1936, the Walayns committee recommended a new policy of staffing the public service by indigenes and for the first time the administrative service which was the cream of colonial services was thrown open to Nigerians.
The Nigerianization scheme went a stage further with the appointment of the foot commission of 1948, the commission observed that the training and recruitment of Nigerians for senior post in the government services was not only necessary to enable Nigerians to take part in the management of their own affairs but also required to enable them keep pace with the constitutional development and programs in the country.
Richard constitution of 1946 marked a significant milestone in the history of the civil service in Nigeria, first, it marked the beginning of the regionalization of the hitherto unitary civil service as some attempts were made to regionalize the central department. Regionalization of the civil service took the form of transforming some of the central departments operating in the three regions into non-central departments headed by deputy directors responsible to the director in Lagos.
The Macpherson constitution of 1951 further extended the regionalization policy as more Central Departments were regionalized. The 1954 constitution provided for a full fledged regional civil services as well as the central (federal) civil service. It brought in the wake many structural changes which were of great significance in the public service commission in the regions as well as at the center. These commissions were granted full powers by the same constitution to appoint, promote, dismiss and discipline junior civil servants.
The nationalist agitation for independence brought about the introduction of the Nigerianization policy. The essence of this policy was to make Nigerian civil service entirely staffed, managed and controlled by Nigerians themselves (Omotosho, 2001). To Okunade(1990: 26):
The civil servants that occupied positions were unprepared. They lacked the necessary training initiative and administrative acumen.
Consequently, the level of productivity in the civil service waned dangerously. Also, Nicolson (1969) noted that Nigerians administrative legacy was one of chaos rather than order and tidiness. There was excessive centralization and absence of delegation. Above all, civil servants for the
first two decades after independence were corrupt, inefficient and unproductive.
In the face of this alarming decrease in productivity in the civil service, several steps have been taken by successive Nigerian government to strategically position and reposition human resource administration in the country. Such steps include but are not limited to the setting up of the various commissions for reforming the civil service including the Morgan constitution of 1963, Adebo commission of 1971, Udoji commission of 1974 amongst others.
Following the 1974 Udoji report, the civil service was reformed comprehensively, strategically readjusted and strengthened to respond effectively to the demands of developed. Abubakar (1992: 42) opined that:
Human resource development is the sin-quo-non for the attainment of efficiency and effectiveness which are the two major goals/objectives of a good civil service.
The implication is that, the government of the Nigeria civil service before 1994 had been very low. Therefore, utmost need was for qualified and motivated staff at the right place and at the right time to achieve the objectives to transfer paper plan into actual achievement of all aspect of personal management.
Accordingly, the Udoji reform of 1977 saw human resource development as the main vehicle for enhancing efficiency in the civil service.
While the 1978 civil service reform favoured professionalism through human resource training and development as a way of getting into the top cadre of the civil service.
To Ayeni (1991: 123):
These reforms saw human resource training and development for the professionalization initiative of government.
This according to him is because,
It is through experience and training and familiarity that an administration can build any measure of expertise that will set him apart from his colleagues in or outside administration.
Furthermore, to him, the 1988 civil service made it imperative for every incumbent or office holder to possess requisite knowledge and skill and attitudinal tendencies in job activity was instructed and recommended in government services. Accordingly it is agreed that in order to enhance socio-economic development and facilitate efficiency and effectiveness in government business, the performance standard of employees must be uplifted to the minimum level of proficiency.
To this therefore ministries are to establish, operate and maintain programmes or plans for the training of employees in or under the ministry.
In the wake of democracy, after decades of military rule, the Obasanjo regime in 1999 set up a body to reform the public sector/services especially in the employment of qualified graduates.
The Bureau of pubic service chaired by Mallam El-Rufai was empowered to review the public service to ensure effectiveness.
The reform led to the retrenchment of about thirty thousand workers (unqualified, incompetent and dead wood) and the employment of about one thousand, five hundred graduates with first class and second class university degrees. Unlike in the past, it became dynamic and effective, as civil servants were allowed to perform their traditional duty which is to advice and to implement policies of government (The Punch, May 2, 2000).
The current administration has not done much to improve on what Obasanjo did during his time, except the eighteen thousand naira minimum wage for civil servants which has not yet been adopted by most states in Nigeria. Moreover, the civil service is still considered stagnant and inefficient as the attempts made in the past have had little effect on the promotion of sustainable human resource development and productivity in the civil service.
This study therefore attempts to assess the impact of human resource development on productivity in the civil service in Nigeria using the Kogi state civil service commission as a point of appraisal.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
At independence in 1960, so many British officials were replaced with Nigerians but in spite of this, the colonial method of doing things was still predominant in the civil service.
In order words, the whites were replaced by Nigerians, yet the West-Minister-patterned general orders and financial institutions remained the operational codes in the Nigerian civil service.
The emergent civil servants were inexperienced consequent upon the indigenization policy as most of them occupied positions that their abilities and capabilities in terms of experience, training and qualification can not cope with.
Thus, the quest to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil service has always occupied the attention of successive governments. This is because the civil service is the brain box of the modern governments yet the civil service in Nigeria has been characterized by poor performance and inability to translate government policies and programs to reality. Beginning from the period of indigenization of the civil service in 1960’s many things went wrong. For instance, Njoku (1984) believed that the indigenization exercise was done without regard to the interest of the services as the beneficiaries of the policy failed to adhere to the weberian principle that a bureaucrat
should neither appropriate his office nor the resources that go with it. On the contrary, the Nigerian civil servants under Gowon’s regime, according to Elaigwu (1986) used their positions to acquire wealth by irregular methods. They became corrupt and in the view of Balogun (1983), they could no longer hide under the cloak of anonymity, impartiality and economic neutrality.
Even in situations where the need for employee training and development is needed and a lot of time and money is committed to staff training and development, the exercise were often inappropriate, haphazard or premised on a faulty diagnosis of organizational training needs.
In other situations were training happened to occur, civil servants are deployed without regard to the skill acquired leading to frustration of personnel so trained and also general inefficiency in the system.
In Nigerian civil service, the workers are generally under-trapped, underutilized, poorly motivated and consequently perform low below their standard to ensure effective productivity.
It is against this background that this work seeks to provide answers to the following pertinent questions.
1. Is there any link between human resource development and productivity in the civil service?
2. Is corruption an impediment to human resource development in the Nigerian civil service?
3. Can merit-based recruitment, selection and regular staff training engender productivity in the Kogi State civil service?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the basic challenges facing human resource development and productivity in Kogi State civil service commission from its establishment to date.
Specifically however, the study aims at the following:-
1. To establish the link between human resource development and productivity.
2. To ascertain if corruption is an impediment to human resource development in the Nigerian civil service.
3. To determine if merit-based recruitment, selection and regular staff training can engender productivity in the Kogi state civil service.