The Federal Character Principle and Manpower Utilization: (A case study of Federal Civil Service Commission).
1.1 Background of the Study
Today in Nigeria the use of federal character principle has became an instrument for recruitment into federal, state and local government service. The major issue is usually that of resources sharing among the federating units at horizontal and vertical levels.
According to Elaigwu (1992) where the sharing arrangement are working well there are less agitations and citizens have a feeling of belonging and equity. On the other hand, where the sharing principle is not working well. The citizens agitate and make all sorts of demands such as call for national conference, etc. However, in Nigeria, after a series of debates in 1975 the constitutional drafting committee was set up which established Federal Character Commission as a body charged with the responsibility of implementing the Federal Character principle in order to ensure equitable sharing of posts in the public services. This was also enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Federal Character principle as enshrined in 1999 constitution of Nigeria is to ensure equitable distribution of Bureaucratic and political posts in the public service of federal, state and local government levels. The objectives of the policy are to foster national unity and give every Nigerian a sense of belonging among others in the country. The federal character principle is implemented under the federal character commission is therefore designed, initiated to correct adverse impact resulting from opportunities and resources provided by the federal government to the citizens of the country that appear neutral but have a discriminatory effect on the protected group. The federal character principle is therefore, empowered to ensure strong and indivisible nation based on justice and fairness, while also ensuring that the sense of belonging of all Nigerians is still maintained. As laudable as the above policy maybe, and the empowerments of the concept in the nation’s constitution, its application has remained a debatable topic to which some critics have claimed that the policy comprise the merit system which will create an enabling environment for those that are only qualify to be employed into the Nigerian civil service, thereby fostering quality service that will bring development of the country. Therefore it is important to note that efficient manpower utilization is determined through effective credible recruitment.
However, this research work is centred on Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) as the case study. The federal civil service commission is responsible for the general administration of the Federal capital territory, Abuja and its environment. The selection of manpower potentials into the administration of Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) will no doubt have great impact on the achievement of the set objectives of the establishment.
Thus, this research will analyze the implication of the federal character principles on manpower utilization in the recruitment of personnel into the federal civil service commission, has been the commission establishment to implement federal character principle in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is no doubt that every research work must have statement of problem to which this research is not exception. There are many cases going in Nigeria that the federal character principle has been unjustly implemented. Also the annual report publication of the federal character commission shows that a lot of complaint arise as a result of breach of federal character principle by some establishments for example in the federal character monitor, a quarterly publication of the commission (2008:5) accused and surmount the Nigerian communication commission over breach of federal character principle. More so, the inefficient implementation of the policy in recruiting manpower potentials into the organization and the selection of employees not based on the federal character principles are some of the problems that affect the efficient performance of the Nigerian civil services. Furthermore, the Niger Delta crisis which arises as a result of complaint from the masses about marginalization by the leaders also signifies that the policy is unjustly implemented. Again, the poor performance of employees discovered by the past president Olusegun Obasanjo led administration was traced to manpower utilization and poor quality of civil servants, also testify to this weakness. Thus, in the view of the above problems, the need to analyze recruitment process in government establishments is strategic and must be followed accordingly.
In view of the above problems, the following questions shall guide the study:
- What are the duties of federal character commission?
- To what extent has the federal character principle adhered to in the utilization of human potentials at federal civil service commission?
- How efficient and effective are the federal character principles in the recruitment of the needed manpower at federal civil service
- What are the probable problems if any in the execution of the federal character principles in the recruitment of manpower at federal civil service commission?
- Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the research topic on federal character principles and manpower utilization are as follows:
- To examine the extent in which the federal character principles are adhered to in the utilization of human potentials at federal civil service commission.
- To examine the aims and objectives of the federal character principle.
- To access the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal character principles in the recruitment of the needed manpower at federal civil service commission.
- To identify problems hindering effective implementation of the federal character principles.
- To examine the implication of federal character principle on federal recruitment exercise.
- Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses shall guide this study
HO1: There is no significant relationship between federal character principles and effective utilization of manpower human potentials at the federal civil service commission.
HA1: There is a significant relationship between federal character principles and effective utilization of human potentials at the federal service commission.
HO2: Federal character principles has not promoted effective recruitment of needed manpower at federal civil service commission.
HA2: Federal character principles has not promoted effective recruitment of needed manpower at federal civil service commission.
HA2: Federal character principle has promoted effective recruitment of needed manpower at federal civil service commission.
HO3: The principles of federal character has not been effectively implemented in the federal civil service.
HA3: The principle of federal character has been effectively implemented at the federal civil service.
- Significance of the Study
The important of this research work cannot be over emphasized. However, this study intends to examine the application of federal character principle in recruitment exercise at the federal civil service commission and assess the commission in charge of the application of federal character principle in the Nigeria civil service. Also the study examined and reviewed the implication of federal character principles on manpower utilization in public service at federal, state and local government in Nigeria. Therefore, this research work is meant to assist both undergraduate and graduate of management, social and other future researchers who may find this research work beneficial in terms of planning, researching and rational decision making in regards to recruitment into public organization in Nigeria.
- Scope of the Study
This research project focuses on the analysis of recruitment exercise of public servant at federal civil service commission (FCSC) based on federal character principle. Thus, this research work will be incomplete in analyzing the utilization of manpower capability at the federal civil service commission without assessing the process of training, selection, motivation, compensation and evaluation. The work is centered on federal civil service commission as a chosen case study for the project work. Federal civil service commission has it employees recruited from all states of the federation based on the federal character principle. Federal civil service commission was established in 1990. Thus, the study focuses on the date of establishment till date.
- Limitations of the Study
In the course of this research, the following problems were encountered; short time frame, financing problem, scarcity of information and data among others. This is due to mushily, the wide scope of this study which emphasize on a complex nation like Nigeria
The longer duration of the subject matter concerning federal character principles and its implication on manpower utilization (A case of federal civil service commission) also contributed. Implication is that the short time frame mapped out for this research work poses a problem of accessibility. These programs as a whole did not threaten the authentication and quality of this work.
Again financial constraints have been a problem in the accomplishment of this work, in sourcing and gathering of information.
- Theoretical Frameworks
The theoretical framework adopted by the researcher is the equity theory. The equity theory emphasizes the attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of resources within interpersonal group, ethnic cultural relationships. Equity theory was first developed in 1963 by John Stacey Adams, a workplace and behavioral psychologist, who asserted that employees seek to maintain equity between the inputs that they bring to a job and the outcome that they receive from it against the perceived inputs is that outcomes of others (Adams, 1965). The belief is that people value fair treatment which cause them to be motivated to keep the fairness maintained with the relationships of their co-worker and organization. The structure of equity in the work place is base on the ration of inputs to outcomes. Inputs are the contributions made by the employee for the organization.
“Equity” sounds like an important and worthwhile concept, but it can mean very different things to different people. In raising the term amongst a totally non-random sample of friends and acquaintances, a common reaction went something like. “Doesn’t it have something to do with finances?” or “Isn’t it something to do with the distribution of resources?” those with mortgages may have a vague notion of equity being the difference between what a property is worth and how much is owed on it and thus think equity must have something to do with finances or property. In addition, people may relate equity to taxation and government decisions as to where our tax Naira go.
Equity certainly has a policy and financial aspect to it, but it goes further than that there are calls for equity in education, employment and health, for example. What about a definition of equity as meaning treating people, groups equally? The problem here is that there is a slight difference between “equity” and “equality”. As Mary Guy and Sean McCandless (2012:5) explain:
To be clear, “equity” and “equality” are terms that are often used interchangeably, and to a large extent, they have similar meanings. The difference is one of nuance: while equality can be converted into a mathematical measure in which equal parts are identical in size or number, equity is a more flexible measure allowing for equivalency while not demanding sameness.
Part of the problem in trying to define the concept of equality is that it reflects ideas of “fairness” and “justness” which have a normative component in that they are based on moral values or considerations.
The concept of equity has also developed in the context of theories of public administration. In 1968, a number of public administration scholars including H. George Federickson, decided at a conference held in Minnowbrook, New York, to reject the notion that public administration was value neutral. In 2000, the National Academy of public Administration (NAPA) offered the following definition for equity in public administration. The fair, just and equitable management of all institution serving the public directly or by contract; and the fair and equitable distribution of public services, and implementation of public policy, and the commitment to promote fairness, justice and equity in the formation of public policy.