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1.1 Background of the Study

The problem of training and development as a tool for productivity in Nigerian Civil service has become very severe such that the civil service is at the point of collapse due to challenges of civil service delivery, over centralization among others. To Collins and Chan (2009) “in addition to fixing many such other key problems of development, Nigeria State has an urgent problem of disposing her work force to cope with the demands of the society”.

The origin, structure and performance of the civil service dates back to the 20th century, with the introduction of the British colonial rule in Nigeria. By 1990, a decentralized colonial service with headquarters in each of the protectorate was established. In 1904, the colony of Lagos State was amalgamated with the protectorate in 1914 bringing into existence a country called Nigeria.

In 1914, there were two civil service in the two Nigeria’s (Northern and Southern) headed by the Governor general in the person of Lord Lugard and two lieutenant Governors each for the North and South respectively, while an administrator was incharge of Lagos. The British imposed a unified civil service in Nigeria, which was mainly concerned with the maintenance of law and order and mobilization of enough local resources in order to ensure their administration was self sufficient. According to Ciroma (1988:5)

The Nigeria civil service began as a force of occupation designed to facilitate colonial rule and exploitation of land and its people for the benefit of the colonial masters. The 2nd World War and the attendant worldwide depression left the civil service hopelessly used up as the civil service played major role of being an essential tool and veritable source of men and material of allied war efforts. In 1936, the Walayns committee recommended a new policy of staffing the public service by indigenes and for first time the administrative service which was the cream of colonial service was thrown open to Nigerians.

The Nigerianization scheme went a stage further with the appointment of the foot commission of 1948, the commission observed that the training and recruitment of Nigerians for senior post in the government services was not only necessary to enable Nigerians to take part in the management of their own affairs but also required to enable them keep pace with the constitutional development and programmes in the country.

Richard constitution of 1946 marked a significant milestone in the history of civil service in Nigeria; first it marked the beginning of the regionalization of the hitherto unitary civil service as some attempts were made to regionalize the central department. Regionalization of the civil service took the form of transforming some of the central department operating in the three regions into non-central departments headed by deputy directors responsible to the director in Lagos.

The Maceherson constitution of 1951 further extended the regionalization policy as more central Department were regionalized. The 1954 constitution provided for a full fledged regional services as well as the central (federal) civil service. It brought in the wake many structural changes which were of great significance in the public service commission in the regions as well as at the centre. These commissions were granted full powers by the same constitution to appoint, promote, dismiss and discipline junior civil servants.

The nationalists agitation for independence brought about the introduction of the Nigerianization policy. The essence of this policy was to make Nigerian Civil service entirely staffed, managed and controlled by Nigerians themselves (Omotosho, 2001) To Okunade (1990:26): The civil servants that occupied positions were unprepared. They lacked the necessary training initiative and administrative intelligence. Consequently, the level of productivity in the civil service waned dangerously.

Also, Nicolson (1969) noted that Nigerians administrative legacy was one of chaos rather than order and tidiness. There was excessive centralization and absence of delegation. Above all, civil servants for the first two decades after independence were corrupt, inefficient and unproductive. In the face of this alarming decrease in productivity in the civil service several steps have been taken by successive Nigerian government to strategically position and reposition human resource administration in the country.

Such steps include but are not limited to setting up of the various commissions for reforming the civil service including the Morgan constitution of 1963, Adebo commission of 1971, Udoji commission of 1974 amongst others. Following the 1974 Udoji report, the civil service was reformed comprehensively, strategically readjusted and strengthened to respond effectively to the demands of developed. Abubakar (1992:42) opined that Human resource development is the sin-quo-non for the attainment of efficiency and effectiveness which are the two major goals/objective of a good civil service.

The implication is that, the government of the Nigeria civil service before 1994 had been very low. Therefore, utmost need was for qualified and motivated staff at the right place and at the right time to achieve the objectives to transfer paper plan into actual achievement of all aspect of personnel management. Accordingly, the Udoji reform of 1977 saw training and development as the main vehicle for enhancing efficiency in the civil service.

While the 1978 civil service reform favoured professionalism through training and development as a way of getting into the top cadre of the civil service. To Ayeni (1991:123): These reforms saw training and development for the professionalization initiative of government. This according to him is because, It is through experience, training and familiarity that an administration can build any measure of expertise that will set him apart from his colleagues in or outside administration.

Furthermore, to him, the 1988 civil service made it imperative for every member of office holder to possess requisite knowledge and skill and attitudinal tendencies in job activity was instructed and re-commended in government service. Accordingly it is agreed that in order to enhance socio-economic development and facilitate efficiency and effectiveness in government business, the performance standards of employees must be uplifted to the minimum level of proficiency.

To this therefore ministries are to establish, operate and maintain programmes or plans for training of employees in or under the ministry. In the wake of democracy, after decades of military rule, the Obasanjo regime in 1999 set up a body to reform the public service especially in the employment of qualified graduates. The Bureau of public service chaired by Mallam EL-Rufai was empowered to review the public service to ensure effectiveness.

The reform led to the retrenchment of about thirty thousand workers (unqualified, incompetent and dead wood) and the employment of about one thousand, five hundred graduates with first class and second class university degrees. Unlike in the past, it became dynamic and effective as civil servants were allowed to perform their traditional duty which is to advice and implement policies of government (the punch, May 2, 2000).

Over the years, successive administration in Nigeria including Ebonyi State through different ministries, Agencies and Parastatals, have introduced and embarked on training and development programmes to improve on the quality  of its staff. These in term have had far-reaching effects on the productivity of the concerned ministry(ies). In other to perform a crucial role in the civil service the need for training and development of human resources came up. The world is dynamic and in order to keep abreast with the changes on the organization environment the government introduced in-the job service training. These includes:

(1) In-house training: This involves a formal method of on-the-job training in which skills and knowledge are acquired by employees through internally organized seminars and workshop. Lawa (2006) seminar and workshop geared toward updating workers with new techniques or skills associated with the performance of their job.

(2) Coaching: This is a method of on-the-job training; a young employee is attached to a senior employee with the purpose of acquiring knowledge and experiences needed for the performance of tasks.

(3) Job relation: This method either involves the movement of a employee from one official assignment or department to the other in order for the employee to be acquainted with the different aspect of the work process or through the enlargement.

(4) In-service training is on the job or off-the job training that is designed and performed to help an individual or group to learn to performed a job or task effectively. In-service training is given to employees so that they can quickly become part of the organization and start contributing meaningfully to its success. Hence training is also given to exist employees to re-orientate themselves after many organization changes.

In-service training according to Akinyele (1992) means “specific learning activities which are job oriented directed towards the improvement of the job holders present and future on the job performance and contribution towards the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. This in-service training is aimed at improving the qualities of civil servants in Nigeria which help various department, ministries, parastatals to function very well.

The current administration has not done much to improve on what Obasanjo did during his time, except the eighteen thousand naira minimum wage for civil servants which has not yet been adopted by most states in Nigeria. Moreover, the civil service is still considered stagnant and inefficient as the attempts made in the past have had little effect on the promotion of sustainable training and development and productivity in the civil service in Nigeria using the Ebonyi state civil service commission as a point of appraisal.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

At independence of 1960, so many British officials were replaced with Nigerians but in spite of this, the colonial method of doing things was still predominate in the civil service. In order words, the whites, were replaced by Nigerians, yet the west minister patterned general orders and financial institutions remained the operational codes in the Nigeria civil service. The emergent civil servants were inexperienced consequent upon the indigenization policy as most of them occupied positions that their abilities and capabilities in terms of experience, training and qualification cannot cope with.

The quest to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil service has always occupied the attention of successive government, this is because the civil service is the brain box of the modern government yet the civil service in Nigeria has been characterized by poor performance and inability to translate government policies and programs to reality. Beginning from the period of indigenization of the civil service in 1960’s many things went wrong. For instance, Njoku (1984) believed that the indigenization exercise was done without regards to the interest of the services as the beneficiaries of the policy failed to adhere to the Weber an principle that a bureaucrats should neither appropriate his office nor resources that go with it. On contrary the Nigerian civil servants under Gowon’s regime, According to Elaigwu (1986) used their position to acquire wealth by regular methods. They became corrupt and in the view of Balogun (1983), they could no longer hide under the cloak of impartiality, anonymity and economic neutrality.

Even in situations where the need for employee training and development, is needed and a lot of time and money is committed to staff training and development, the exercise were often inappropriate, premised on a faulty diagnosis of organizational training needs.

In other situation were training occur, civil servants are deployed without regards to the skill acquired leading to frustration of personnel so trained and also general inefficiency in the system.

In Nigerian civil service, the workers are generally underutilized, poorly motivated and consequently perform low below their standard to ensure effective productivity.

The continuous decline in the productivity of staff of Ebonyi State Ministry of Commerce and Industry despite their exposure to different training and development programmes, necessitated this research.

It is against this background that work seeks to provide answers to the following questions.

  1. What is the relationship between training, development and productivity in Ebonyi State ministry of commerce and industry?
  2. What are the factors that militate against effective and efficient training in Ebonyi state ministry?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to determine how training and development as a tool, can promote productivity in the Nigerian civil service using Ebonyi state ministry of commerce and industry.

Specifically however the study aims at the following:

  • To ascertain the relationship between training and productivity in Ebonyi State ministry of commerce and industry.
  • To identify the factors that militates against effective training in the Ebonyi, state ministry of commerce and industry.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

This is a tentative generalization whose validity maintains to be tested. Meanwhile, below are the hypothesis raised in the course of study.

(1) Hi: There is a relationship between training, development and productivity.

H0: There is no relationship between training, development and productivity in Ebonyi State ministry of commerce and industry.

(2) H1: Factors such as politics, lack of fund etc militates against effective training and development in Ebonyi state ministry of commerce and industry.

H0: Factors such as politics, lack of fund etc, do not militate against effective training and development in Ebonyi state ministry of commerce and industry.

1.5 Significance of the Study

Considering the strategic importance of training and development as it concerns productivity both in public and private sectors, the relevance of this research cannot be overemphasized.

However, the significance of this research include the following:

  • This research will serve as a contribution towards finding and fighting the factors that militate against effective training and development in organization.
  • It will serve as a relevant material to the personnel managers of public or private service organization to have an understanding of the relationship between training, development and productivity.
  • It will also serve as a beam light to both public and private service organization in understanding the need for training and development as it concerns productivity.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This work covers areas like the impact and effect of training, development and productivity in the civil service as it posses a threat in Ebonyi State and Nigeria as a whole.

Thus, it will focus on all effort of government to increase training, development and productivity in Ebonyi state civil service.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this research work, the researcher will not be able to research into detail because of the following terms:

  1. Time: Due to limited time given for the research to be done and submitted, the researcher was left with a very limited time to conduct the study in full debt.
  2. Lack of Materials: Materials needed for this work were lacked in various centers visited, hence making the research work somehow difficult for the researcher.

1.8 The Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this work is “the scientific management theory” the scientific management theory propounded by Fredrick Winslow, Taylor (1915). Through his theory he developed the ideas of scientific selection to the best person for the job, and training the workers thoroughly in the task and procedure to be followed as well as industrial motivation which have formed the basis of today’s reward system in civil service. It is his assumption that the workers can be economically motivated by higher wages based on his level of production; and his assumption about people was:

  • The people try to satisfy only economic need at work.
  • That the sole reward workers need is money and
  • That the emotional needs is do the enter the picture.

He concluded that the workers would be motivated by higher salaries and the chance for advancement is conditioned by continuous and efficient performance in a mechanically pre-determined manner.

The ideas of this theory is that employment into civil service work should maintain efficient selection process because, the performance of any ministry is largely depends on the quality of its staff. That efficient selection process, training and induction of new employees, with the current minimum wage, will improve work performances and consequently productivity in the service.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Civil Service: Civil service is a body of government or government machinery that is responsible for carrying out the administration of government day to day activities.

Training: Training is a process of developing certain skills, knowledge, habits and attitudes in the employee for the purpose of increasing effectiveness and efficiency for future governmental positions.

Productivity: Productivity is the volume of goods and services produced for work within some specific unit of the day, hour, month, week, year etc.

Motivation: This is a engineering force that induces person to behave in a particular way. Thus, it is a system whereby employee, are given moral and material incentives in order to make them increase their performance in the discharge of their functions.

Development: This is concerned with teaching the employees more general skills that will assist them in career growth.


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