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PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA, 1999 – 2011

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                                                      CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1   Background to the Study

With the coming of globalization era, government organizations around the world will face the challenges in the new century of complex governance from both internal and external environments.  The spillover effect of functions, the linking effect of issues and the involving of pluralistic actors have appeared in a number of new public issues and public affairs.  The effects not only increase the complexity of public governance but also cause public organizations, within the pluralistic governance ability to ensure the delivery of quality services. In this regard, the civil service is an institution saddled with the responsibility of designing, formulating and implementing public policy, and discharging government functions and development programmes in an effective and efficient way.  In many African countries especially Nigeria, development efforts and government policies are threatened by the incompetency and ineffectiveness of the civil service.  As a result of this, successive governments in Nigeria (from post-independence era to the contemporary times), have embarked on articulated patterns of reforms aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness in the civil service (Salisu, 2001:1).

Performance management has its roots in the early 1900s with special attention on this practice in the United States of America, and United Kingdom military for evaluating officers (Hartog et al., 2004). Performance management can act as a bridge between corporate strategy and concrete interventions in the process of goal achievement (Boselie, 2010). The gap between justification of pay and the development of skills and knowledge became a huge problem in the use of performance management. This approach of managing performance was developed in the United Kingdom and the United States much earlier than it was developed in Australia.

The New Performance Management approach  was adopted by American’s Vice President Al Gore’s National report, from Red Tape to Results: creating a Government that works better and costs less, explicitly sought “a new customer service contract with the American people, a new guarantee of effective, efficient, and responsive government” (Gore, 1993).

The American Vice-President, Al-Gore, called for the following steps, among others: putting customers first, making service organizations compete with one another, creating market dynamics, using market mechanisms to solve problems, empowering employees to get results, decentralizing decision making power, streamlining the budget process, decentralizing personnel policy, and streamlining procurement.  (Gore, 1995).

Armstrong (2008:4), pointed out that the application of performance management is to improve the organization member’s performance by developing the capability of the team and its members through a strategic and integrated system which can encourage organizations to operate successfully. Since 1980s, government reinventing movements around the world have initiated the ‘new public management’ trend. Therefore, various theories, definitions and methods based on performance management have eventually become significant political tools for improving the performance of public organizations and the quality of public services. Meanwhile, the performance-based government operation has become fundamental to implementing the essence of new public services and strengthening national competitiveness.

In order to realize the goals of social service delivery and development, capable workforce is required. These are products of employee recruitment and retention strategies of the civil service to achieve performance. According to Olowu and Adamolekun (2005), it is becoming more essential to secure and manage competent human resource as the most valuable resource of any organization, because of the need for effective and efficient delivery of goods and services by organizations, whether in public or private sector. Therefore, for an organization to realize its goals, appropriate strategies for employee recruitment and retention are sine-qua-non for enhanced performance.

According to Armstrong and Baron (1998), performance management is both a strategic and an integrated approach to delivering successful results in organizations by improving the performance and developing the capabilities of teams and individuals. The term performance management gained its popularity in early 1980’s when total quality management programmes  received utmost importance for achievement of superior standards and quality performance.

Organizations are established in both private and public sectors for some basic objectives, for which reason such organizations were established.  The basis for assessment of such organization’s success is on the achievement of the objectives. It is of note that the important role of the government is carried out by the Civil Service. Ofuebe (2005:1), quoting Abati (2005), states thus:

As a people, we must insist on the need for the state and its custodians to expand the role of the public sphere. This means making the governance process more transparent and accountable with less empty rhetoric that produces moral turpitude. The crisis of democracy does not point ultimately to the failure of democracy but to the failings of its managers. Every society faces its own crisis, how the crisis is resolved is where the difference lies. To retain legitimacy, the Nigerian government must do business differently.

 

Onah (2001: 8), emphasized the need for workers to be highly motivated in order to perform well. This assertion was made vivid when he was discussing the strategies for mass mobilization. He continued that mass mobilization will be a herculean task in a situation of abject poverty.

As Margret (1976: 55) pointed out, whether or not workers live up to expectations of their employers depends on management success in motivating them adequately at work. Adedeji (2001: 6) opined that Nigerian Civil Servants are the most demoralized in West Africa. He stated that a demoralized worker cannot perform optimally because he is faced with emotional and psychological trauma which affects his performance and unless and until he is induced, the organization he represents will continue to record minimal success.

Onah (2008:4), had observed that the efficiency with which an organization can perform will depend to a large extent, on how its human resources can be managed and utilized. Every manager must, therefore, be able to work effectively with people and also be able to solve the various problems the management of people may entail. He noted that most organizations are becoming more complex in nature and, therefore, leaders in these organizations are expected to have greater technical competence and a better understanding of human behaviour.

Enugu State Government recognizes that in order to establish best practices in providing service to the citizens; the central focus should be the service provider who attends to the citizens at the service windows.  It was clearly identified that if the public servants are repositioned to deliver best service, the  citizen will not be shortchanged but will be assured of his or her rights with regard to receipt of government services.

 

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Since the inception of Nigerian public/civil service and before the efforts of the Obasanjo administration, there have been 14 previous major attempts through commissions, committees and teams, beginning with Hunt’s Commission of 1934, at addressing the state of the service, incorporating both conditions of service, staff performance and service delivery (Adegoroye 2006 and Salisu 2001). Underlying the various efforts is the need to create a holistic perspective in government management, one that would match the comprehensive outlook applied in economic planning, while at same time ensuring that the service is staffed with the right caliber of personnel.

Each attempt at ‘reforming the Nigerian public service has usually been premised on some justifications to portray government’s moves as altruistic. The Obasanjo administration almost immediately at inception initiated the reform process. The first step in this direction was the organization of a 10-day Seminar for Permanent Secretaries in the employment of the Federal Government. This was followed by a series of similar seminars organized for officers at the Directorate level. The communiqué issued at the end of the seminar raised issues that are being addressed by the reform measures. Some of them, highlighted by Adegoroye (2006) are:

  1. i) The need to address the massive expansion in the size of the service which had risen to 350 per cent between 1960 and 1999, compared with a national population increase of 160 per cent over the same period;
  2. ii) Dealing with the decline in the institutional capacity, efficiency, effectiveness and commitment of the service;
  • iii) Focusing more on ethical and moral issues, and in particular, addressing the popular perception that the civil service was corrupt;
  1. iv) Restructuring and streamlining the service.

According to Kerslake (2013: 3):

Improving our approach to performance management is about being the best that we can be, both as an organization and as individuals. Strong staff performance is crucial to the creation of a more efficient and effective civil service with the capability to deliver more for less, and ensuring that we are all delivering to the best of our ability is a big part of that. Achieving the civil service Reform Plan’s goals relies on a workforce that is constantly seeking to improve, at each and every grade or level.

 

        The most important part of improving performance is to receive honest feedback from our managers, our colleagues, our partners and our customers. Without this, it is hard to focus our efforts on the right areas to improve. The new performance system rightly focuses on both ‘what’ we do and ‘how’ we do it. As with all new systems, we are taking stock of how it has worked and where it can be strengthened.

The rising expectations coupled with spending cuts means the civil service needs to change to meet the long term challenges that all economies are facing. Civil servants themselves want change: better performance management; more active development of careers; and better leadership of change. At the same time, the economic and financial challenges, public service reform and rising consumer expectations mean government needs to operate differently.

Robinson and Robinson (1995) reiterated that the most significant direct benefits of training and manpower development are clarity in job duties and responsibility as well as increases in employee’s competence among others. Also, Onuoha (2000) pointed that the best way of managing depends on the specific circumstances and environments. He maintained that training and manpower development are the products of given situations, such that no training method, technique or style is the best for all trainees under all conditions.

The basis of the public sector’s effort to improve its efficiency and effectiveness is performance measurement, or what some analysts prefer to call “performance indicators”, on the grounds that the term “measurement” implies an ability to precisely measure policy outcomes, even though such precision is rarely attained in the messily human arena of policy implementation (G. Gaither et al. 1994). If resource allocation questions were the only use of public programme evaluations, they would provide more than adequate justification for conducting then, but there often are deeper motivations for initiating programme evaluations. As Riecken (1977 page 5) noted:

Evaluation research can be invoked for a variety of purpose, not only as a means of improving programmes. Sometimes evaluation is undertaken to justify or endorse an ongoing programme and sometimes to investigate or audit the programme in order to lay blame for failure, abolish it, change its leadership, or curtail its activities.

 

Also, performance appraisals have gained greater attention as governments at all levels have been under public pressure to be more efficient, economical, effective, and responsive.

Obi and Chukwuemeka (2006: 12) observed that it is obvious that inefficiency of civil service is a discredit to the democratic government in Nigeria. They are caused by the strict adherence to the bureaucratic rules by the civil service thus, leading to poor and belated policy making and subsequently Methuselah age to be implemented, all in the name of due process, while the populace which consumes the outputs suffers at the end. This obviously differs from military administration, where the military administrator gives order to the civil service and it shall be carried out. Example was the military regime of Mike Torey in Enugu State.

According to a guide to Enugu State Service Compact (SERVICOM) and Performance Improvement Bureau (PIB), Service Standards and Operations, the Enugu State established it in conjunction with British Government during Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s tenure for the improvement of the lapses in the civil/public service.

Governor Sullivan I. Chime highly favoured a 4-point agenda for development.  These include: physical infrastructure, economic expansion and empowerment, rural development and service delivery.  Governor Chime’s led administration as captured in the 4-point agenda (2012) on encouraging service and accountability asserts:

“The public service must provide services  to the people of the state; and every public

servant, including political office holders,  must be accountable to the people for the services for which he has been employed to render.”

 

The Enugu State Government 4-point agenda which is “Service Delivery and Good Governance” was the driving force that propels the Government determination to having a model and functional public service. Enugu State was poised to give immediate attention to ensuring re-orientation, training, retraining and development of her staff including training on legal issues and Internet Communication Technology (ICT). Government was also concerned on how to organize retreat for political office-holders on Public Service Rules and Financial Instructions. Government was also poised to consider the improvement of the condition of service of civil/public servants. The Enugu State government had also the problem of improving the work environment to sustain confidence and trust of the citizens. The resuscitation of housing and car loans were considered. Government of Enugu State is making an effort to stem favouritism in the service and entrench a transparent reward system in the service.

The following key performance indicators are germane to any public enterprise.  These include: Elected administration leaders who are able to improve the political control in the civil service system through carrying out performance management; Establishment of the principle of accountability in the democratic system through performance management; Having managers within the civil service system who could utilize performance management to strengthen the efficient management of administration processes, to improve the quality for administration services and increase the competence of public organizations; For civil service officials who carry out policies, performance management may have a steering navigation effect and ensure that associated members understand the work requirement and essential responsibility required by managers.

As a result of these key performance indicators, we pose the following research questions:

  • What are the problems of performance management of civil service in Enugu State?
  • Does performance appraisal impede performance management of civil service in Enugu State?
  • What measures can be employed to enhance performance management in Enugu State civil service?
    • Objectives of the Study

The general objectives of this study were to examine the performance management of civil service in Enugu State 1999-2011. The specific objectives were to: –

  • ascertain the problems of performance management of civil service in Enugu State;
  • find out the effect of employee performance appraisal on performance management of civil service in Enugu State;
  • examine the measures that can be employed to enhance performance management in Enugu State civil service.

 

 

1.4    Significance of the Study                                                    

This study has both theoretical and empirical significance that served as justification for the study. This work uncovered the causes of poor performance management system of Enugu State civil service.  It will also help students of Social Sciences and other disciplines in understanding relevant issues in performance management system in organizations.

Empirically, this work will enable managers of organizations to translate organization and project objectives into individual contribution. It will enable managers to assess delivered performance against targets. It will also help job holders to clarify understanding of objectives and identify issues pertaining to their schedule of duties. This project will enable managers of organizations for performance planning which is pivotal for effective performance reviews and assessments. It is with good quality, agreed objectives can the management of performance be fully effective. The scripture categorically stated that: ‘my people perish because of lack of wisdom’. (Hosea 4: 6).

This research will enable managers of organizations to give out the new civil service competency framework to all civil servants across all grades. This will set out how the people in the civil service are to work. This work will enable policy makers to make policies that will communicate rewards, rationale and criteria to the workers. This work will be of immense help to the workers themselves as this will enable them do what they ought to do. It will bring to limelight that fact that they are stakeholders of the organizations and as such their success to meet the organizational goals will invariably determine the success of their own personal interest or needs.

In addition, this work would enable government and private or non-governmental organizations to treat people as unique individuals that had varied needs that should be met in the work place. Human behaviours are determined by what motivates them. Since an individual’s performance is a product of motivation, a concerted effort should be made by government to provide the driving force that would enhance job satisfaction.

1.5   Scope and Limitations of the Study

Scope:

The study centered on performance management with particular reference to Enugu State civil service. The areas of performance management to be investigated include training, motivation, performance appraisal and competitive pay. The period of study covered 1999 to 2011 – the period covered Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s tenure (1999-2007) and first tenure of Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime (2007-2011).

 

 

Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this work, some difficulties were encountered. For instance, some of the documents that were collected from the Enugu State Civil Service Commission were not easily released to us by the workers. They were unwilling to do so because the documents were tagged “official documents”. The workers were also reluctant to give us some detailed information for this work as they were afraid of being victimized. Nevertheless, we applied to the Permanent Secretary of the Commission who approved the release of some of the documents needed for this research.  Knowing the importance of this research to the enhancement of performance of workers in Enugu State, he sympathetically ordered the release of the documents needed.

 

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