1.1 Background to the Study
The quality of a nation’s economy is fundamentally dependent on resource identification, development and utilization (Okafor, 2006). Therefore, though these resources seem to abound, they are essentially neutral until they are given value by human beings. Thus, while all the factors of production are necessary in any productive endeavour, the use of human mental and physical abilities has attracted higher premium because it is the value added by man that actually represents the surplus that defines the much desired returns on investment (Umaga in Udeze 2001).
While this fact remains incontestable in relation to the realization of organizational goals, the emphasis of this study is on the public sector because of the huge challenges of nation-building bequeathed to the post-colonial states in Africa (including Nigeria). Given these enormous responsibilities therefore, Scholars of administrative reforms have continued to emphasize on the development of strategies for sharpening the states’ conscience by repositioning the administrative systems, including the character and behaviour of its human resources for effective delivery of the state’s objectives (Petrick, 2005).
According to Barney (1995), in Onah (2003), human resource include all the experiences, skills, judgments, abilities, knowledge, contacts, risk taking and wisdom of individuals and associates within an organization. From this position, Human resource covers the entire gamut of human abilities and willingness that are available to be harnessed for the realization of an organizational goal, subject to effective management. As the most critical of all resources therefore, it is required of any purpose-driven organization to accord adequate priority to the procedures that sufficiently guarantees the procurement, development and utilization (Onah 2003). In this work, Human Resource/resourcing shall be used interchangeably with manpower resource/resourcing in line with the common usage in most administrative literature.
Manpower/Human Resourcing refers to the entire process of recruitment, selection and placement of employees in an organization for the purpose of utilizing their skills, knowledge and experiences for the realization of the purpose of an organization.
According to Mohammed (2001), it includes the process and procedures of implementing the planned manpower programme of an organization. This description underscores the fact that manpower resourcing must be defined within the context of the purpose and process of manpower planning.
The purpose of manpower planning as identified by Mohammed (2001) includes the following:
(i) To attract and retaining the right number of employees with the required skills and competences both for the present and future use of the organization.
(ii) To develop a well trained and flexible workforce to enable the organization adapt easily to the changing environment.
(iii) To ensure optimum utilization of the current employees.
(iv) To reduce the cost of wasteful engagement of personnel, frequent personnel turnover and personnel withdrawal attitudes.
(v) To meet the organization’s programme of expansion and/or diversification.
(vi) To maintain sustainable industrial peace and stability.
In line with the above purposes, Ikeanyibe (2009:65) and Mohammed (2001:1-19) identified the following steps as being necessary for efficient resourcing programme.
(a) Identify the organizational goals.
(b) Determine the demand for manpower based on the current needs of the organization.
(c) Assess the possible manpower supply (or available in the organization.
(d) Match the manpower demand with the supply demand gap.
(e) Implement the programme of filling the identified personnel gap.
(f) Evaluate the success and failures of the process (audit and adjustment).
From the foregoing, while manpower resourcing is the process of providing the present and future manpower needs of the organization at the least possible cost, it must be carried out within the context of a clearly defined need of the organization.
Manpower utilization refers to the process and strategies designed to make the best use of its employees. Codjia (2011:2) described manpower utilization as the percentage (%) of productive (billable) hour versus the labour paid for. To him, utilization is obtained by dividing the total productive hours by the total hours of labour paid for. Accordingly per unit labour output should reflect optimal return on investment.
Though this may not be absolutely measurable in public service, Puke (2000) had identified the concept of effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery as instruments for measuring the return on labour investment in the public service. In his view, capacity (manpower) utilization in the public service is only guaranteed if the procedure for personnel recruitment, selection, training, discipline and motivation is valid and reliable.
Thus, while the entire process of manpower resourcing is aimed at attracting, engaging and maintaining the most competitive personnel in an organization, it is equally capable of balancing the psychological expectations of both the management and the employees. With these goals in mind, modern personnel management activities are centered on the development of the best method that maximizes fair labour practices while minimizing compromises that may undermine the organization’s competitive advantages.
The accommodation of the above virtues, perhaps constituted the cutting edge advantage Ayida Panel of 1994 had over other attempts at public service reforms in Nigeria. For instance, not only did this reform recommend comprehensive procedural justice, through rule-bound, process-driven and people-centered specified sphere of competence among the respective responsibility centres of the Public Service Sector but equally attempted a recreation of an integrated elimination of on and off-service frustrations for sustainable performance attitudes of the public servants in Nigeria. Thus, according to Ogunrotifa (2015), this reform recommended the following among others:
- Civil service should revert to the system that is guided relevant provisions of the constitution, the civil service rules, the Financial Regulation and circulars.
- The minister should continue to be the head of the ministry and should be responsible for its general direction but he/she should not be the accounting officer of the ministry.
- The title of Permanent Secretary should be restored. He/she should not be asked to retire with the regime that appointed him/her.
- The post of Head of Civil Service should be re-established as a separate office under the present and a career civil servant should be appointed to head of office.
- The system be restored for those professional and sub-professional cadres that commonly exist in Ministries/Extra Ministerial Departments.
- Ministerial/Extra-Ministerial Departments should be structured according to their objectives, functions and sizes and not according to uniform patterns as prescribed by the 1988 Reforms.
- Recruitment into the Federal Civil Service should be based on a combination of merit and federal character but further progression should be based on merit.
- Decree 17 of 1984 which empowers government to retire civil servants arbitrarily should be abrogated.
- Retirement age in civil service should be sixty (60) years irrespective of length of service.
- Government should harmonize the pension rates of those who retired before 1991 and those who retired after 1991.
- Salaries, allowances and welfare packages of civil servants should be substantially reviewed upward and should be adjusted annually to ameliorate the effects of inflation and discourage corruption.
Though the public service institutions in Nigeria have over the years, expanded geometrically, the purpose of the service has continued to elude the Nigerians (Nwanolue and Iwuoha 2012). In the opinions of the these commentators, the story of Nigerian public service is that of growth without development or motion without movement, as many of its employees had continued to render services that raised doubts on their qualifications, experiences and commitments. These duo noted that even though sections of public service are well paid to maintain law and order or deliver quality services, everyday, thousands of illegal weapons are being smuggled into the country to fuel religious and ethnic conflicts; about half of goods (including drugs) imported into the country are smuggled and substandard; there are numerous cases of illegal bunkering of petroleum products pipe lines as well as siege of armed robbers and kidnappers etc. They therefore contended that the inertia of public service is not necessarily the absence of relevant structures or there operational rules but keeping to these rules by their operators.
Aganga in Ogidan (2011), posited that the characteristic violation of critical rules and procedure in this sector has given rise to costly over population of the service, burgeoned labour costs, recurrent industrial crises and withdrawal attitudes, etc, which constitute serious impediments to manpower utilization. According to him, just between 2009 and 2010, the personnel cost of the Federal Government had surged from N850 Billion to N1.3trillion and through implementation of just one phase of a three-phased Personnel and Payroll Information System (PPIS), a personnel auditing programme recently authorized by the Federal Government, 43,000 ghost workers with overhead cost of N2billion were removed from the Federal Government’s Payroll in just 7 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Emphasizing on the importance of the application of strong objective principles to the achievement of goals of public institutions, Labardi (2003) maintained that most organizations that have achieved the best capacity utilization, have most effectively maintained advance capacity for generating and managing data relating to their workforce at every stage of their resourcing. To him, this can only be guaranteed where the operators of the resourcing agencies are committed to strict application of the objective principles of the process.
While these qualities are evidently inadequate in most sectors of the Nigerian economy, those of the public sector seem to be more alarming, given the heterogeneity of its socio-political environment and the consequent moral dilemma of its operators. According to Ngwube (2010), the absence of honesty, strong moral principles and trustworthiness, have continued to weaken the capacity of government institutions to act responsively and responsibly. Weighing this against the position of Cascio (2003) “that the dollar gains in productivity, is a function of the validity of the resourcing procedure”, the Nigeria’s expenditure on man power resourcing is yet to approximate the expectations of her citizens. It is on this note that this study examines the nature and dependability of the manpower resourcing in the public sector, using Kogi state as a point of reference.
- Statement of the Problem
Though the idea of state has remained one of the most contested variables in social sciences, scholars, are to a large extent, united in their position that its conscience remains the effective and efficient delivery of public goods and services. Thus, Wilson (1887) in Shafritz and Hyde (1978), contends that the citizens perception of the state is defined by the degree of consistency impersonality and efficiency of its administrative system.
In Kogi State, successive regimes have described the public service as the engine room of the state’s transformation agenda. Thus, between 2004 and 2009, besides the enormous amount appropriated to administration (the expenditure head under which office building, staff training, staff welfare and pensions are accommodated in capital expenditure), the state government has appropriated over N132,545,935,450.00, representing 46.29% of the entire budgetary allocation on recurrent expenditure (which mainly comprises personnel salaries, overheads and other related charges (see appendix A).
Contrary to the expectations of the people of Kogi State, worrisome performance deficits have been significantly noted in the educational sector, the public works and public utilities over the years in addition to reported cases of frauds among the rank and files of these sub-sectors (Adejoh 2009).
In addition to the above, more revelations have emerged to underscore culpable compromises of the public personnel resourcing process.
From the staff strength of 23,344 inherited from the previous Administration in 2003, (Kogi State Transition Committee Report, 2003), the state government was confronted with a staff populating of 34,000 and a monthly wage bill of N1.2 billion at the commencement of staff verification/auditing through biometric data capturing contracted to Sally Tibbot Consulting Ltd in 2009 with neither any corresponding approval for such employments nor any valid procedure for competitive selection.
At the end of the four months exercise on the 24th July, 2009, 20,920 employees, spread across the 67 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were certified genuine while 13,080 others were declared otherwise (Sally Tibbot Report, 2009). The report equally identified series of procedural frauds such as falsification of age and academic qualifications as well as arbitrary placements, promotions and salary grade levels.
Other irregularities noted in the report include haphazard employment where the critical needs of service institutions were given the least consideration. It must be recalled at this juncture too, that within the same period, the state government had witnessed series of industrial actions on the grievances of poor office accommodation, non-implementation of minimum wage, lack of cash-backing for promotions, and non-payment of leave bonuses, etc. On each occasion too, the state government had called for the understanding of the labour union on account of strained financial capacity from the personnel overheads. The questions raised by this study therefore included the following among others.
(i) To what extent had the personnel procurement and placement in the state public service adhered to the extant rules and procedures?
(ii) How effective was the state’s Civil Service Commission in the enforcement of personnel resourcing guidelines in the State?
(iii) What were the socio-political factors that had interfered with workforce resourcing (recruitment, selection and placement) in Kogi State Public Service? And
(iv) What are the effects of such interferences on the manpower utilization in the state’s Public Service?
- Objectives of the Study
The broad aim of this study is to examine the manpower resourcing procedures and utilization in Kogi State. Within this broad objective, the specific objectives of this study are to:
- examine the extent to which the workforce resourcing activities in Kogi State Public Service 2004 – 2009 had adhered to the extant guidelines;
- asses the effectiveness of the State’s Civil Service Commission in the enforcement of the extant guidelines for workforce resourcing (recruitment, selection and placement) in the state’s Public Service; and
iii. evaluate the influence of socio-political (ethnics, religious, political and family) factors on staffing decisions in Kogi State’s Public Service; and
- assess the effects of procedural defects of manpower resourcing on effective utilization of the state’s workforce.
- Significance of the Study
The importance of Human Resource to the realization of organizational goals is underscored by the enormous attention it has attracted from scholars of diverse traditions. The importance of this work is therefore inherent in its theoretical and empirical contributions to the practice of Human Resource Management in Nigeria in general and Kogi State in particular.
Theoretically, the study tried to validate the high premium the existing theses have placed on human resources above others such as land, capital, technology, information etc. Accordingly, identifying the qualities of the resourcing process that guarantees the realization of optimal manpower utilization was of great interest to the study. The study therefore devoted expends specific efforts to critically analyze the various scholarly positions on recruitment, selection and placement of public sector’s personnel and bridge any identified intellectual gap.
From this study, it has been discovered that availability of rules and standards do not automatically translate to universal predictability of structures and institutions. As encountered in the study, environmental factors (prismatic effects) more often than not, interfere with the functioning of these structures and institutions. This fact has unlocked the puzzle of weak performance of public service institutions in Nigeria, despite the abundance of rules and procedures. More so, this work is expected to serve as a point of departure for further studies. Thus its findings are expected to serve as a referee material to researchers are students in relevant field of study.
The empirical significance of this work was tied to the application of the knowledge drawn from theoretical and empirical backgrounds to solve practical problems in manpower resourcing and utilization in Kogi State Public Service in particular and Nigeria in general as follows:
(i) The recommendations of this study are expected to conscientize critical decision makers in Kogi State public service on the imperative of divorcing private interests from official responsibilities in matters relating to personnel recruitment, selection and placement.
(ii) To equip policy maker with the needed facts to develop more proactive institutions for effective regulation of personnel resourcing organs in Kogi State.
(iii) To stir interests of critical stake-holders on the need to demand for accountability on the resourcing procedures within the context of the citizen’s rights and national policy on employment.
On the whole, the study was designed to recommend ways and means of improving the manpower resourcing process in Kogi State in order to facilitated optimal utilization of human resource in Kogi State public service.
- Scope and Limitations of the Study
1.5.1 Scope of the Study
Though there is virtually no aspect of the citizens’ lives that is not affected by the daily decisions of government, its institutions and their personnel, it is still proper to define the universe of this study for more incisive analysis of the observable behaviours of the critical variable of this research.
Consequently, even though this study may draw some relevant inferences from the period before 2004, its specific focus is on the character and procedures of recruitment, selection and placement of workers in the state’s Public Service between 2004 and 2009. Though the focus of this study covered the entire Kogi State Public Service, given their direct bearings on the life of an average citizen of the state, the units of analyses were limited to the selected MDAs such as the state’s Hospitals Management Board, (HMB) Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Science, Technology and Technical Education Board (STTEB), Sanitation and Waste Management Board, Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Environment and physical Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Office of the Accountant General, Office of the Head of Service and Civil Service Commission.
1.5.2 Limitations of the Study
The limitations of this study were inherent in the methodology of the study. The work depended heavily on the use of primary and secondary data. From the secondary source, there were challenges of sifting relevant ideas from the wide range of opinions on the subject matter of the study. This was in addition to the difficulties encountered in an attempt to access documents that were considered very critical to the empirical decisions of this research as a result of official secrecy.
From the primary source on the other hand, some respondents were either too skeptical or evasive to give the much needed objective views on relevant issues, given the diversity of interests on the matters under investigation.
The above notwithstanding, the researcher made use of every possible scientific means of investigation to overcome these obstacles in order to achieve the objectives of the study.