1.1 Background to the Study
Civil service is a wide organization that is controlled and funded by the government, it involves bureaucrats and technocrats of the state not of political or judicial office holders employed in civil capacity with their remunerations paid wholly from money voted in the parliament (Omoruyi, 1991). Civil service is the executive branch of the government machinery exists to effect government policies. The effectiveness of government machinery depends on the efficiency of civil service ability to policy decisions. Consequently, civil service is the custodian of government reputation to carry out policies efficiently, this undermine government position and stability in power. Civil service is structured into administrative class; executive class; professional class and junior cadre class. Civil service reform is the modification of government human capacity system to maximize administrative values. It is a colonial creation; this model was inherited in Nigeria from our colonial master (Britain) in structure (Adewumi, 1988). It was structured in a way that colonial masters extract the much coveted financial and material resources needed to control metropolitan powers. Nigerian state was in charge of administrative leadership in 1960 to restructure civil service to suit our development needs. The bureaucrats that occupied leadership position in civil service imbibed colonial mentality of wealth acquisition for self-aggrandizement and self-superiority (Tagowa, 1999). Instead of improving the lot of Nigerians, they were colonial masters in black man skin. This abysmal performance necessitated the clamour for civil service reforms in Nigeria. According to Anazodo (2009), the Harragin commission was the first commission set up to asses manpower problem in civil service and discontent among European members for poor financial reward, Gorsuch commission attempt regional administrative bureaucratic structure. After independence, Nigeria embarks on many reforms such as Adebo commission (1971), Udoji commission (1974), Dotun Philips (1985), Decree 48 reform (1988), Ayida panel (1995). According to World Bank (2002), developing nations struggle to better their existence through the process of reforms for efficient and effective service delivery. When Nigeria got independence in 1960, civil service structure was the way colonial master left it, no development or innovations in the system. Nigerians that take over from the colonial masters adopted their style of management to exploit the masses. Consequently, Nigerians clamoured for Nigerianzing the system to reduce expatriate predominance and introduce regionalization in the civil service. The Northern region was given much attention in recruitment whether qualified or not, it was the same in East and Western regions of Nigeria. This culminated sectionalism in Nigerian civil service, every region vigorously practiced regionalizing their respective zones. The military take-over in 1966 and 1983 was a big blow in the system. Nigerians experienced 35 years military rule with short periods of civilian rule. The military regime exhibit non skilled capacity expert to manage the economy and this development disbanded legislative and elected representatives from the people. Ogunna (1999) states that government functioned without elected legislative, yet policies made were implemented, laws enacted were enforced. The military co-opted politicians, academic experts and career civil servants for ministerial appointment; these initiate economic, social, and political policies at the same time breed unaccountability and probity in the service. Ogunna (1999) stated that military brought insecurity into the civil service, there was massive purge in the public service during Murtala regime of 1975 and 1976, Buhari and Babangida regimes retrench massively in the system retirement, termination and dismissal generated fear, insecurity, dehumanization and frustration in the service. The galloping inflation among civil servant left average bureaucrats in misery and apathy. The low morale, embezzlement, and corruption, ineffectiveness, low productivity; assume more political powers without responsible to the people. The selfish and sectional interests in the system impaired discipline to achieve goals, they are bent on feathering their own nests to neglect societal needs. Riggs (1974) assert that the result of civil service in Nigeria is poor performance, this has not been dealt with and so the problem still lingers. It is against this backdrop that the paper limits the review of previous civil service reforms from post independence era to date and examine the dynamics of transformational change that has shaped civil service in most of these reforms to proffer solutions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Afikpo North Local Government just like every other local government was created to bring development within the territorial boundaries.
The 1988 reform which was promulgated to restructure and change the local government in order to ensure and enhancement of effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. Therefore, the problems associated with Afikpo North local Government.
The crux of the development problem in Nigeria lies not in the absence of political authority, but in the existence of several legitimated authorities in the wider society which in various ways constrain the exercise of national political authority, as well as threaten the existence of political community.
The Civil service today is a battered institution, which has virtually lost its attributes of anonymity, neutrality and security in tenure, an institution in which moral has reached its nadir, in which excessive caution, undue bureaucratic practice and in terminable delays have become the hallmarks. The institution is seemingly resistant to dynamic change, and has become the object of constant public criticism (FRN, 1988). The challenges posed for the civil service by its increased size complexity responsibilities in Nigeria’s’ economic boom and depression, and made it a subject of public inquiry and target of mass purges by successive governments, all in an attempt to tailor it towards the accomplishment of societal goals. Example of such inquiries in post- independence Nigeria include the 1971 Adebo Commission, 1974 Udoji Commission, 1985 Philips and the Ayida Commission of 1997 (Mimiko, 1999). Besides the aforementioned inquiries, in 1975, the Murtala/Obasanjo regime purged the Nigeria civil service of some 11,000 Civil servants and also in 1984, Buhari/Idiagbon administration further relieved about 3,000 federal civil servants of their posts.
Civil servants generally received low pay and several fringe benefits such as free housing, free vehicles and various other allowances that often led to waste and misuse of government resource. Weak management and oversight also meant that there were problems with ghost workers on the government pay roll; while personnel and pension registers often were unreliable. Moreover, a weak incentive structure in a civil service, which did not foster good performance, resulted in a weak work ethic and poor service delivery by many government ministries, often characterized by hidden or outright corrupt behavior on the part of many civil servants.
Reforms were therefore needed to re-professionalized the civil service and increase its focus on service delivery. And the impact which the implementation of these reforms had created in the national development in Afikpo North Local Government.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions guided this study:
- To what extent can proper implementation of civil service reforms achieve the desired growth in the Afikpo North Local Government economy?
- What are the challenges, of proper implementation of civil service reform policy?
- What strategy can be proffered towards achieving more sustainable reform outcomes for public services?
1.4 Purpose of Study
The major objective of this study tends to suggest ways by which civil service reforms will be properly implemented to achieve effective national development, while the specific purposes are as follows:
- To examine the proper implementation of civil service reforms achieve the desired growth in the Afikpo North Local Government nation economy.
- To identify the challenges, of proper implementation of civil service reform policy.
- To understand the strategy that can be proffered towards achieving more sustainable reform outcomes for public services.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research is of great relevance to the society at large. This is applicable to the government, the readers of this research work and to the researcher.
The benefit of this research work to the government is that by the end of the research, the weak-points and short – comings of all the sectors of the nation would be pinpointed and displayed based on findings, thereby proffering solution to the problem.
To the reader, they will be upgraded intellectually and also will be highly informed of the up and doings of the current administration. It will also give the reader’s insight on how the women participate in politics and policy making of the nation, also partake in the political affairs of the country geared towards the achievement of national development.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is restricted to the Impact of Civil Service Reforms and National Development: using Afikpo North Local Government.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Owing to time factor, academic stress and lack of financial support, the scope to be covered poses a limit to the generalization of the findings of this work. The study did not involves all the employees of the local government. The researcher was limited to the use of questionnaires method. During the process of writing this project the researcher encountered some problem such as financial difficulties. This undermines the researchers readiness to travel far and wide for fact findings. The cost of typing questionnaire was enormous and lack of financial difficulties led to the reduced of the questionnaire. Time factors also contributes to the reducing of the coverage of the study and the researcher had to attend lectures and also find facts for this research.
Finally, top on the list of problems encountered was limited to poor cooperation show by potential respondents. Some of the respondents are afraid that information revealed by them will get to the knowledge of the authority. This affected the study immensely and led to the draw back in the study. Despite all these, the researcher tried her best to put the work together as it expected.
1.8 Definition of Terms
For a better understanding of the issue discussed a definition of some terms is given as the key words that keep re-occurring throughout the study. By their definition it is hoped that the reader will be able to follow the discussion from the perspective of the researcher.
Civil Service: it refers to a services of federation or of a state in ministry or departments based on appointment by the civil service commission.
Civil Service Reform: It is an attempt to reconstruct administrative structure
and revamp operational machinery and techniques capable of improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Colonialism: It refers to economic and political domination of a country by a foreign state.
Development: A society is said to be economically developed when its members jointly increase their capacity to deal with the environment.
National Development: This is the ability of a country to improve the social welfare of the people e.g. providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, transportation, medical care etc.
Public Administration: It refers to both the activities concerned with the management of government business and the study of these activities.
Principle of Federal Character: It refers to the tendency for political leaders to reflects on the principles to ensure that at least one person from each state of the federation is appointed to represent the people in decision making bodies of the country.
1.9 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter. Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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