INVESTIGATION OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES IN BAYELSA SATE CIVIL SERVICES
1.1 Background to the Study
Human resources development is the engine room of every organisation. It creates the platform through which organisation’s most valued assets (people) are improved for better performance and also pave way for the effective management of people in the workplace with the aim of achieving set objectives in order to ensure the survival and success of the organisation. This is why the importance of human capital development cannot be overlooked, as its major concern is to provide employees with learning opportunities to improve their capabilities, realise their potentials and enhance employability (Armstrong, 2003).
It is imperative to state that the Nigerian Civil Service was highly respected and recognised during the colonial era and prior to the oil boom because of its human resources development policies. At that time, the civil service was constituted by a body of men and women who were professionally and technically grounded and experienced in the running of government business. Besides, the best talents were attracted to work in the civil service and the primary interest of Nigeria’s colonial masters on human resources development was centred on the development of indigenous personnel for administration and maintenance of law and order (Iheriohamma, 2007).
The employees in the civil service in that era commanded a pool of experience and technical know-how in the implementation of government policies and programmes. However, this was made possible as a result of the favourable human resources development policies that were in place. Staff benefited from such policies as it enable them to acquire qualifications that were needed for administrative purposes. By virtue of their sound knowledge in heading government issues, the level of efficiency and productivity in the Nigerian civil service by then was commendable.
Regrettably, from the period of oil boom up to the present time, the image of the Nigerian Civil Service has fallen very greatly. The level of staff incompetence, corruption and indiscipline, negligence of duty and low capacity building are some of the indicators of this sad scenario. Most civil servants in this present day civil service have not experienced any form of training since they were employed. Whereas, only a handful of them were privileged to participate in capacity building programmes. The non-involvement of the majority of the workforce in capacity building programmes accounts for the scarcity of skilled manpower and shortage of professional planners in Nigeria. This however has made the enterprise managers to continue to depend on foreign sources for the supply of skilled manpower at a very high and unbearable costs (Anthony, 2005; Nwibere, Emecheta, Oshi, Eniola and Worlu, 2011).
Similarly, the experience in Bayelsa State Civil Service seems to indicate that much attention has not been given to capacity building, as there are series of compulsory retirement in public interest, suspensions and interdictions as a result of incompetence. It is a truism however that when civil servants lack the needed skills to perform effectively, they will certainly commit blunders and if such blunders are not properly handled, it might disorganise the civil service. Hence training and retraining should constitute an important component in the service in order to enable civil servants acquire the needed skills to perform optimally.
This study therefore intend to investigate human resources development strategies in Bayelsa State Civil Service, since development and utilisation of the human capital is very important in the civil service.
- Statement of the Problem
Human resources development is very vital in the successful operations of every organisation and the civil service is not an exception. It is the recognition of this essential fact that led the government to establish federal training centres, Administrative Staff College, civil service training institutes and other related bodies to ensure that there are adequate trained manpower in the society. Government effort in this direction had produced only little success as shortage of trained manpower is still on the increase. The challenges in most of those training centres include, poor staffing, inadequate training facilities and lack of fund. As a result of the aforementioned challenges, the training centres are unable to perform as expected, hence the quality of training given to the personnel that are sent there for training is not good enough to produce adequate trained manpower in Nigeria.
The continued complaints of low human resources development and the demonstrated faulty implementation of human resources development strategies in the civil service has been an issue of great concern. Over the years, the Nigerian civil service has faced a lot of challenges ranging from staff incompetence, non-committed civil servants, indiscipline workers and other gross misconduct in the system. As a result of the aforesaid challenges, it has become a common occurrence to notice civil servants who do not have the required skills to discharge their official duties properly. Most staff are found wanting and could not cope with the job challenges because they have not upgraded their knowledge for too long. This practice therefore exposes the Nigerian civil service to series of setbacks as stated ab-initio.
The worrisome aspect of the above challenges is how it affects the present and future productive capacities in Bayelsa State Civil Service. The state civil service finds it difficult to perform as expected, since most civil servants keep committing blunders while performing their official responsibilities. The reason for such blunders could be that most of the employees lack the needed skills to perform effectively. The prevailing problem in Bayelsa State Civil Service is inefficient service delivery. This however has reduced productivity in the civil service and as such, the image of the civil service is reducing rapidly. It has been observed that human resources devleopmnt strategies in the state civil service is yet to receive the appropriate attention it deserves. The reason for this statement is because of the faulty implementation of such activities. The human resources development strategies which are the plans that define the way human resources can be improved to achieve high performance in the civil service appears to be excellent in theory only, whereas the practical aspect is something else. The leaders in the state civil service are expected to be impartial in their dealings as regards the implementation of human resources development strategies but from observation, the opposite is always the case. This act and other reasons might account for the inadequate staff training and development in Bayelsa State Civil service that have caused inefficient service delivery.
When government activities and programmes are been carried out to its citizens by unskilled workers, it is certain that the above problem will come into existence and this is what the civil service is facing today. A sad situation that needs urgent solution. However, it is pertinent to note that there are key existing researches that have offered solutions to this problem. The research by Okereka and Igboke (2011) examines perception and relevance of influence of training and manpower development on employee performance. After an in depth research on the subject matter, the report underscored that the aim of training and manpower development might not directly gear towards job performance, as 60% of the respondents in the study were of the opinion that the primary aim of training and manpower development was rather to meet statutory requirements as against improvement on the job that received only 31.2%.
Indeed, the study focused more on the reference and influence of training and manpower development in the civil service by providing meaningful insights to solve the problem.
From the foregoing, it was observed that the above study did not ascertain the conditions within which human resources development could improve productivity in the civil service. Similar research by Ebimobowei, Felix and Wisdom (2012) examines human resources development on the performance of public sector accountants’ in Nigeria. This study also emphasised the relevance of human resource development practices to achieve and sustain employee performance in contemporary organisations and as such, the findings indicated that training, performance appraisal, career planning and reward and employee welfare positively and significantly affect the productivity of public sector accountants’ in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the aspect of ascertaining the conditions within which human resources development could improve productivity was not dealt with. This research is therefore poised to investigate human resources development strategies in Bayelsa State Civil Service.
- Research Questions
- What are the human resources development strategies in Bayelsa state civil service?
- Can human resources development enhance productivity?
- What are the problems associated with inadequate human resources development?
- Can skill development be achieved through effective and efficient human resources development structure?
- What are the obstacles to human resources development in Bayelsa state civil service?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to investigate human resources development strategies in the civil service. Specific objectives are:
- To ascertain the conditions within which human resources development can enhance productivity in Bayelsa State Civil Service.
- To assess the challenges associated with inadequate human resources development in Bayelsa State Civil Service
- To find out the obstacles to human resources development in Bayelsa State
- To find out how an effective human resources development structure can trigger skill development in Bayelsa State Civil Service.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research study proves the following significance:
- It gives insight into the importance of human resources development in the civil service.
- Apart from contributing to the “body of knowledge” in social sciences, this study also serves as a reference guide to prospective researchers who intend to conduct research on similar issues in future.
- It offers useful information to stakeholders, developmentalist, government, students, teachers and even as an individual in the society.
- It helps an organisation review its approach to issues of human resources development.
1.6 Statement of the Hypotheses
This study tested the following hypotheses:
Ho: There is no relationship between human resources development and productivity.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between human resources development strategies and skill development
Ho: There is no significant relationship between poor performance and inadequate human resources development.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between the obstacles to human
resources development and development of unskilled workforce.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers Bayelsa state civil service and focuses essentially on human resources development efforts of the state civil service. However, the search light was focused on the capacity of personnel of the state civil service, in terms of their skills, qualifications, experiences, and know-how for implementing government policies. Nevertheless, some selected ministries, and extra – ministerial departments in Bayelsa State civil service was covered, in order to elicit detailed and appropriate information for this research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
To avoid confusion and for clear understanding, some words as used in the work have been defined.
In this context, civil service is an establishment of government through which government policies and programmes are implemented and transformed into output for the citizens. It consists of ministries and extra – ministerial departments. It is an organised body of permanent paid staff of ministries and extra – ministerial departments that are charged with the responsibility of implementing government policies and programmes in accordance with the laid down rules and procedures.