THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A VEHICLE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. A CASE STUDY OF DELTA STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY:
The historical Background of the civil service took two forms. These were the colonial period and the post independence period. The structure and tradition of the Nigerian Civil Service originated from the colonial period. The colony and the protectorate of Nigeria were amalgamated in 1914. However, there was nothing like a machinery of government until Lord Lugard left the country in 1921.
After the Second World War, there were about 14 British Administrators in the secretariat, 70 Nigerian support staff and one European stenographer. The headquarters of most technical departments were in Lagos, except for of the Railways, which was in Jos. The secretariat of the veterinary service was in vom while that of Agriculture and forestry were in Ibadan. Field Administration was co-ordinated from two centers, Kaduna for the South.
In 1939, Southern Nigeria was split into two regions. Eastern and Western regions respectively. The Richard constitution of 1947 further divided the country into three regions namely, the Northern, Western and Eastern regions. The Marchpherson constitution of 1951 introduced the appointment of ministers for the regions and at the center. At this stage, there was the struggle for the Nigerianisation of the civil service.
There was also the struggle for independence of the Civil Service between the politicians in offices and the authorities of the central government. The civil service later became regionalized in 1954. This regionalistion brought about the decentralization that led to the creation of various civil service organizations in Nigeria.
During the Lord Lugard era, the duties of all administrative officers were just that of maintaining law and order in the districts placed under their immediate administrative control. It was only at the end of World War II that efforts were made to achieve some social and economic benefits of Nigerians. It was at that time that such offices like the department of commerce and industry and the department of marketing and export.
The rapid Nigeiransation of the civil service and the executive councils brought about new conception of the role of the civil services. For instance, in the Western Nigeria, Civil servant, were told that policy making was the exclusive function of the legislature. So, civil servants were to do whatever the legislature wants them to do. In the Eastern state, the civil servants were to give sound advice to the political leaders, control the traditional aspects of governmental activities and were also to be efficient executives who could manage and direct all the complex operations of the modern state. In the northern Nigeria, the duties of administrative officers included to assist in the training of people to build up efficient institutions of local government, and finally to facilitate the emergence of an intelligent and responsible public opinion. The system of administration that emerged on independence was British in character. It was also English language that was used as a medium of communication in the conduct of government business.
The country fought a civil war six years after independence and this was quickly followed by another six years of oil boom, which brought about extreme materialism. This gave rise to great indiscipline, corruption and total contempt for order, honour and excellence within the whole society.
Having noted that the present civil service in Nigeria is defective and counter productive, there begins to loom the question as to what factors have been responsible for this epileptic performance of the system. This forms of course, the bond of this study with a view to fashioning out a system that is profit – oriented.
Clearly put, this study is intended to critically examine the role of the Nigeria civil service in National development and to find out how effective and efficient they have been in discharging their duties.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
Civil service as earlier stated is an organized institution responsible for carrying out day-to-day administration of government policies.
A responsible government has the duty of providing its citizens with their basic needs. While the citizen in turn owe the state some obligations. For instance paying taxes promptly and obeying rules and regulations of the state. The state also provides basic infrastructure like Electricity, good roads, pipe borne water, education etc. The government through agencies provides these infrastructures. Some of these agencies have various names like ministries, parastatals, commissions etc. One thing peculiar about the civil service is that once a decision is taken, the civil servant is Willynilly bound to loyally carry out the policy chosen without addition or subtraction of his own personal idea no matter how good.
Notwithstanding the peculiarities in the framework of the civil service, there still exist in the civil service inefficiency unresponsiveness to the need of the growing and dynamic economy. The inefficiency is as a result of corruption, which is almost in all facets of our society. Another point is the appointment of politicians into key positions of the civil service. Thus, the career civil servant abhors a situation where by a new and fresh political appointee who know little or nothing about the practical working of the department is giving a senior position immediately he is appointed. Consequently, it leads to redundancy, inefficiency and unproductivity. This is so because effective decision-making will be hampered, as there are now two captains in one boat, with the politician on top in the hierarchy knowing next to nothing.
This research work is therefore, directed towards injecting new life into the civil service machinery of Delta State with a view to making it more efficient and effective and better able to serve as vehicle for National development.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY:
The objective of this study is to identify the role of the civil service in National development with special focus on the Delta State Civil Service. This research work has the following objectives: –
- To evaluate the role of the present Nigeria civil service in respect of the changing demands of the society.
- To examine the problem facing the civil service in Delta state.
- To anlayse the organizational structure of the civil service and how it has assisted in the achievement of set goals.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
This work will assist civil servants to re-evaluate their performance and level of efficiency and to develop good policies that will enhance national development.
The research is in tended to highlight the importance of the civil service in the modern political system and its role as an institution of government. The research is to enhance understanding the need to balance and stabilize development of all parts of the country by extending the economic progress to the less developed areas. In addition, the work is to help find solution to the existing problem on the progress of civil service.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION:
The following research questions will form the foundation for data collection, which are to be analysed at the end to determine how true or otherwise the civil service has contributed to national development especially in Delta State.
- How is Delta state civil service organized?
- What are the contributions of the civil service to national development?
- What factors affect the performance of Delta State civil service?
- How can the performance of the civil service be improved?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY:
The focus of this work is limited to Delta state Civil Service. For one to carryout a study of this nature, it would always require adequate provision of finance and accurate information. The in adequacy of these factor affected this study or research in the following ways.
FINANCE: These have been a major factor in any given project. It is true that one need to make some travel from one place to another in search for information,unfortunately the cost of transportation has increased greatly which obstructed the researcher to get to places he intend to for detail information.
ATTITUDES OF RESPONDENTS:
At the time questionnaires were distributed to some members of staff of the ministry of Health, some staff felt reluctant to accept them on the pretence that they were too busy with office work. Some workers even complained that because they were civil servants, they could not answer-every question.
However, the researcher told them that the research work was purely an academic exercise; moreover, there was no way a respondent could be identified after supplying answers to questions. In this way, many of them felt free and collected the questionnaires, while there were others who still maintained that they were too busy with office work and did not have time to till the questionnaires.
Some of the questionnaires distributed to workers could not be collected back. Some staff misplaced their copy and could not find them to deliver to the researcher. The lost questionnaires could have provided vital information.
Time: This was observed as one most important factor that affected this work coupled with my studies on other course, as I had to study for my final exams.
1.7 THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK:
The theoretical framework adopted in this research is the “ideal Bureaucracy”. This was propounded by Max Weber (1964-1920) a German sociologist. Weber held professorial chair in many German universities including the university of Munich where he died in 1920. He was a powerful thinker. According to chamber’s encyclopedia, vol. xiv (1970:446) “his life long ambition was the systematic and comparative study of the major civilization in term of their dominant beliefs and social structure. His basic concepts are contained in his “Theory of social and economic organisations”.
He set out his concept of behaviour in an organisation which if followed would systematize formal relationships in and lead to the achievement of organizational goals. Weber’s concept has been described as “Bureaucratic”. Bureaucracy is a social organization with specific functions or characteristics.
According to Peter Blau, Bureaucracy is an institutionalized strategy (behaviour) for the achievement of Administrative objectives. Specifically, the modern concept of Bureaucracy is mostly associated with human organization for implementing the policies of government which is usually called the civil service Delta State ministry of health being a Bureaucratic organisation is characterized by hierarchy of offices and positions and these positions are occupied by incumbents. The incumbents at the apex of the hierarchy supersed other incumbents that are directly under them. The arrangement continues down the hierarchy. In a hierarchy, every position is a cluster of Jobs. This cluster of jobs contains different skills. He conceded that Bureaucracy is a powerful and efficient form of administration.
Hence, Weber’s ideal Bureaucracy as an organizational system characterized by hierarchy of authority and a system of rules and procedures that if followed would create a most efficient system for large organization. Bureaucracy perform several function often considered as an advantage in organization. These include specification, structure, predictability, stability, nationality and practical democracy. It also brings some kind of order into an anarchic society and there by rationalizing human relationship that would otherwise be irrational and accidental.Ideally, civil service can only achieves it goal with the adoption of this theory. Twenty
2.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS.
CIVIL SERVICE: This refers to the engine room of the government made up of personnel of various ministries, which is charged with the day-to-day activities of the government. They advice the government on policy formulation and execution of policies.
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: This is the positive transformation in the quality and span of a person or group of persons with increase in their standard of living, per capital income and medication.
ROLES: This implies duties that are assigned to individuals, group of individuals, and agencies with a view to achieve them.