Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 145

Full Length Research Paper

Manpower development, capacity building and service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area, Osun State, Nigeria

AGUNYAI Samuel Chukwudi
  • AGUNYAI Samuel Chukwudi
  • Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 28 October 2013
  •  Accepted: 11 December 2014
  •  Published: 31 January 2015

 ABSTRACT

The essence of government and administration at local levels is to ensure effective service delivery to the people at the grassroots. By constitutional designs and norms, governance at this level draws more closely to the needs of the people. Effective dispensation of this responsibility depends largely on the capability, knowledge and expertise of the existing institutional actors and structures. Nevertheless, service delivery at this level of government in Nigeria is highly deficient because of the low capacity of staff.  Studies have shown that there is a close link between staff development, capacity building and efficient service delivery. Capacity building through training, seminars and workshops usually helps to ensure that local government workers possess the right knowledge and skills that equip them to take on new responsibilities, and adapt to changing conditions. Data for this paper were obtained from the primary and secondary sources. For the primary data, quantitative and qualitative methods were used. A total of one hundred and ten (110) respondents were selected for the quantitative data, while other seven (7) respondents were interviewed. Data from secondary sources like books, journals, newspapers/magazine and internet complement the primary data.  Chi square (X2) was adopted to test the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance, while content analysis was adopted for test of qualitative data. The result accepted the null hypothesis and rejected the alternate hypothesis. The acceptance revealed that staff training or their capacity building does not at all times translate to efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area. It was found that in spite of reforms in the training curriculum for manpower development and huge funding of local governments in this dispensation, majority of their staff are rarely trained and their performance in efficient service delivery is abysmal failure. The paper concluded that local governments should commit their efforts to building institutional and system capacity that produces the human capital that is committed to efficient service delivery and the principles of good governance.

Key words: Manpower, Capacity building, service delivery, local government, development.


 INTRODUCTION

Academic research in public administration and management, particularly in respect of capacity building, manpower development and efficient delivery of service at the local government level is stimulated mainly by poor training and low capacity of local government staff in dispensing these services for public good and sometimes by policy failure and non-commitment on the part of local government authorities to training and manpower development reforms among other things. The need for efficient service delivery has thus triggered studies aimed at improving low capacity and poor skills of local government staff given the immense role that can be played in service delivery by the local governments’ actors and structures. In Nigeria, series of personnel functions have been formulated and implemented in a bid to address certain perceived service delivery deficiency. Of all the personnel functions deliberately put in place to address poor service delivery at the grassroots by the local government, capacity building, training and manpower development occupies an important place. Irrespective of the nature and extent of criticism and defects that may characterize these personnel functions in theory and practice in Nigeria, it has, for quite some time, come to represent an important element in the country’s public service and administration.

Expectedly, staff training and capacity building of local government actors have been subjected to various critical analyses but notwithstanding, not much academic works or resources have been deployed in examining training and capacity building of local government staff as a vehicle to enhance efficient service delivery at the grassroots in the country. The core issue to which this paper addresses itself, is to, in a fact-finding manner; examine the interconnectivity between staff training, capacity building and efficient service delivery within the context of local government. Interconnectivity here, depicts the nexus or relationship between training of staff, developing their capacity on their job and rendering or delivering of efficient service, since one of the justification for local government is to provide efficient service at the grassroots. This view was aptly supported by Adamolekun et al. (1988), where they contended that local government can provide services to local needs far more efficiently and economically than the central government.

The paper is interested in knowing whether efficient service delivery can be enhanced through prompt training and manpower development of local governments’ staff in Nigeria. If yes, to what extent, if at all, has training and capacity development of staff been properly implemented? If not, what options are available in ensuring that local government staff are promptly trained to deliver efficient service at the local government level? To ensure a systematic approach to addressing these issues, they are discussed under several headings. Conceptual clarifications and theoretical framework, interconnectivity between manpower development and service delivery in Ife-East Local Government are discussed in the next section. In the subsequent sections, the strategies and challenges faced by local government in staff training and development as well as policy measures for proper training   and   development   of   staff  that  can  enhance efficient service delivery were discussed and lastly conclusion.


 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWOK

The concept of manpower development

The development of indigenous manpower to serve as the propelling force for national growth and development is no doubt a key to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development (Ake, 1989). This is quite indispensable considering the argument of the concept of transfer of technology as a propelling force for the development of the developing countries of which Nigeria is one (Ake, 1989). It is important to accentuate that the concept manpower development could be defined as “the existence of unskilled and/or skilled humans that need training or re-training to perform specific task in society” (Ekpo, 1989).

Thus, manpower development could be seen as organizational specific. This is because it is largely a function of organizational manpower needs or job specification. That is, it could be viewed as the adaptation of the human resources available in the country to the needs, objectives and orientation of a given organization (Omodia, 2009).It is also important to note that training and development helps to ensure that organisational members possess the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively, take on new responsibilities, and adapt to changing conditions (Jones et al., 2000). It is further argued that training “helps improve quality, customer satisfaction, productivity, morale, management succession, business development and profitability.”(http: //www. b u s i n e s s b a l l s. c o m /traindev.htm). In the same vein the International Labour Office (2000) affirmed that development and training improves their trainees’ “prospects of finding and retaining a job; improves their productivity at work, their income earning capacity and their living standards; and widens their career choices and opportunities.”

Conversely, the concept development of manpower could be viewed as a concept which is generic because of its focus on turning out human resource that is needed for the development of the State (Drucker, 1999). The paper notes that development of manpower views man as the most important asset in the society see (Chalofsky and Reinhart, 1988; Ekpo, 1989; Drucker, 1999; Muchinsky, 2000). Management experts also argue that a major function of a manager is to develop people and to direct, encourage and train subordinates for optimum utilisation. To Stahl (1986), training helps prepare employees for certain jobs that are unique to the public sector. Specifically in Nigeria, the Public Service Review Commission (PSRC) report in 1974 emphasised the importance of training and manpower development as thus:

A result-oriented public service will need to recruit and train specialised personnel. The new public service will require professionals who possess the requisite skills and knowledge...Training should be part of a comprehensive education planning programmes... Of all the aspects of personnel management perhaps the most important for us in Nigeria is training.

Also, Adamolekun (cited in Okotoni and Erero, 2005) sees staff development as that which involves the training, education and career development of staff members. The purpose of training and development has been identified to include: creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organization; enhancing the company’s ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff; building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company’s competitive position and improves employee morale; and ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programs (http://www.zeromillion.com/business/ personnel/ employee-taining.html). It is of great utility to note that manpower development allows the staff to acquire relevant skills, and experience in carrying out their duties at the grassroots. Manpower development according to Jones et al. (2000) focuses on building the knowledge and skills of organisational members so that they will be prepared to take on new responsibilities and challenges.

As a way of summary, the purpose of manpower development is to improve knowledge and skills and to change attitude (Mullins cited in Okotoni and Erero, 2005). Mullins argues further that manpower develop-ment is capable of producing the following benefits:

1. Increase the confidence, motivation and commitment of staff;

2. Provide recognition, enhanced responsibility, and the possibility of increased pay and promotion;

3. Give feeling of personal satisfaction and achievement, and broaden opportunities for career progression; and

4. Help to improve the availability and quality of staff.

The concept of capacity building

UNDP (2003) defined capacity building to cover human resources development and the strengthening of managerial systems, institutional development that involves community participation and creation of an enabling environment. Capacity building in the context of development implies a dynamic process which enables individuals and agencies to develop the critical social and technical capacities to identify and analyse problems as well as proffer solutions to them. Azikiwe (2006a) defines capacity building as the process by which an individual, irrespective of sex, are equipped with skills and know- ledge they need to  perform  effectively  and  efficiently  in their different callings. The author also added that capacity building could also be defined as the ability to enable the people to make use of their creative potentials, intellectual capacities and leadership abilities for personal as well as national growth and development.

Capacity building therefore means planning for people to acquire knowledge and advanced skills that are critical to a country’s economic growth, its standard of living and individual empowerment. It is the planned programmes that will impart skills which will enable the recipient put the knowledge and skills acquired into productive uses to solve wide range of individual and national problems. Capacity building from the human capital point of view could be explained to mean when people possess the needed knowledge and advanced skills that are critical to individual growth as well as the country’s growth and development. The capacity needed by any country for sustainable development is primarily dependent on the adequacy and relevance of its entrepreneurship (Nwazor, 2012).

This paper notes that capacity building of staff cannot be over emphasized in the matter of service delivery. For efficient service delivery by local governments in Nigeria to be realized, local governments should be able to produce more skilled human capital and this would be achieved by the government that invest heavily on staff training and capacity building.

The concept of rural service

Rural services can be defined in terms of the availability of and access to markets, health care, roads, credit facilities, agricultural infrastructure, education, water, electricity and other rural services infrastructure (Okojie, in Moti, 2011). Rural services, including economic and social services are very necessary foundation for the growth and development of any country. Rural services enhance living standards and, by extension, motivate the productive capacity of the people (Moti, 2011). The availability and access to these services tend to contribute to the productivity of rural citizens (Bunlender and Dube, in Moti, 2011). Such access is regarded by the poor masses as a major way to alleviate poverty. It is expected that infrastructure benefits will trickle down to individuals to remove them from poverty. Two benefits can be expected: first, a significant reduction in the transaction costs to farmers and rural traders, and second, improvements in the health, education, and welfare of the poor (ADB, 1999).

The flow of the benefits depends on the services’ availability to beneficiaries. Road improvements can ease the transport burden on the rural poor. For example, new or rehabilitated roads can allow vehicles to reach the village level, allowing the transportation of farm inputs into villages and farm outputs from the villages directly to market centres. The farm incomes generated by this interaction of villages with market centres are known to have led to investment in education, which in turn raises rural incomes (Reardon, 2001). The literature shows that rural areas in Nigeria, however, remain characterized by inadequate and poor infrastructure and even where infrastructure exists; there is discriminatory access to services by rural dwellers (Moti, 2011).

The concept of local government

The term local government has been defined in different ways, depending on the orientation and experience of its users (Adeyemo, 2005). Local government was defined by Awa (1981) as “a political authority set up by a nation or state as a subordinate authority for the purpose of dispersing or decentralising political power”. From the angle of decentralisation, Wraith (1984) defined it as “the act of decentralizing power, which may take the form of deconcentration or devolution. Deconcentration involves delegation of authority to field units of the same department and devolution on the other hand refers to a transfer of authority to local government units or special statutory bodies such as school boards for instance (Adeyemo, 2005). From the above illustrations, it is how-ever important to note that local government is a lesser power and government at the grassroots in Nigeria. It is an administrative agency through which control and authority relates to the people at the grassroots or periphery.

In terms of rural community, Emezi (1984) perceived local government as “system of local administration under local communities that are organized to maintain law and order, provide some limited range of social amenities, and encourage cooperation and participation of inhabitants towards the improvement of their conditions of living. It provides the community with formal organizational framework which enables them to conduct their affairs effectively for the general good”.

Looking critically at the definitions given by Awa et al. the definitions have some colonial underpinnings. For instance, Emezi emphasized more on maintenance of law and order and provision of limited range of social services. In essence, the conceptual view of local government is basically a function of space and time factor. For example in colonial time, native administration was primarily established for maintenance of law and order. With the emergence of independence, emphasis shifted from law enforcement to the provision of social services. In his view of local government, Whallen (1976) views it as a given territory and population, an institutional structure for legislative, executive or administrative purposes; a separate legal identity, a range of powers and functions authorized by delegation from the appropriate central or intermediate legislative and within the ambit of such delegation, autonomy including fiscal autonomy. To buttress Whallen’s view, Gboyega (1987) contends that:

There   exists   two   basic   classes   of  theories  of  local government. The first class attempts to justify the existence or need for local government on the basis of its being essential to a democratic regime or for practical administrative (…) purposes like (…) responsiveness, accountability and control. While the second class of theories opined that an effective local government system contradicts the purpose of a democratic regime. This position is justified on the ground that local government institutions are neither democratic in their internal operations nor admit a responsiveness, accountability and control. It is important to state categorically that the local government in Nigeria is saddled with the responsibility of providing services to the people at the grassroots because they are closer to the people and the local councils tend to be more responsive to catering for local needs. However large observations have shown that service delivery at the grassroots is grossly deficient and sometimes not available to the local people because of shortage of experts who have the requisite skills in delivering the service caused by deficient or no lack of training programmes for the local government staff. Every local government in Nigeria is expected to train, build and develop the capacity of their staff to enhance efficient service delivery; certain amount of funds is set aside in the council’s annual estimate for the training and manpower development of the local government staff, but studies (Onah, 1995; Nwazor, 2012; Omodia, 2009) have all shown that in spite of the funds allocated to the local government staff training and development, the staff are rarely trained or developed. This view was corroborated by Onah (1995), who noted that in spite of the fact that the 1976 local government reforms granted greater autonomy, powers and functions to local governments, they still have a long way to go towards the satisfactory performance of their functions in many areas. The above statement is in consonant with the state of affairs in the local government system in Nigeria. Local governments have been receiving huge monthly allocations in addition to the internally generated revenue, yet there is no corresponding proof on the ground to show the receipt of such money.

The nexus between staff capacity building, training and service delivery

Service delivery is conceptualised as the relationship between policy makers, service providers, and poor people. It encompasses services and their supporting systems that are typically regarded as a state responsibility. These include social services (primary education and basic health services), infrastructure (water and sanitation, roads and bridges) and services that promote personal security (justice, police) (Berry et al., 2004). Arising from the dissatisfaction expressed by many nations with centralised approaches to local service delivery, a large number of these countries have resorted to   decentralising   responsibility to lower level elected governments for their provision. These elected local government authorities in bid to provide efficient services embarks on the training and capacity building of staff to acquire basic requisite skills in rendering the services to the people. Some services require specialised knowledge and skills in delivering or providing them and for such service to be delivered efficiently, there is need for expert to handle them, it is in the light of this, that most local governments’ authority have resorted to training and building of the capacity of their staff.

Formal training of the local government staff is, there-fore, aimed at enhancing their capacity and sharpening their awareness as well as managing the delivery of services and resources (Isah, 2013). It is important to note from above assertions that there is a link between staff training and service delivery. For instance, the delivery of health related services requires training of staff to handle such services like immunization of infants, the giving of oral vaccines to babies etc, also construction of infrastructures like shopping centres, motor parks and public library requires training of staff in works department of a local government. All these point to the fact that efficient service delivery to a larger extent is enhanced or related to training of staff.

Theoretical framework

Theoretically, the Efficiency Services theory was adopted as the theoretical framework for the study. According to the proponents of this theory especially from the Western Europe, the German School have tended to embrace the efficiency services school, particularly from Rudolf Von-Gueist to Georges Langrod who argued that the existence of local government is justified on the ground that it is an efficient agent for providing services that are local in character. Mackenzie (1954), one of the notable proponents, was of the belief that local government exists to provide services and it must be judged….by its success in providing services up to a standard measured by national inspectorate. Another theorist of efficiency service, Sharpe (1970) argued that, if the local govern-ment did not exist, something else would have to be created in its place. His view demonstrates the indispensable role the local government is expected to play at the grassroots level. That is why Sharpe (1970) went further to observe that:

Whereas the value of local government as a bulwark of liberty, or at least as a handmaiden of democracy, has been recognized, its role as an agency for providing services has evoked no comparable enthusiasm. More often than not, it has been attacked for its deficiencies in this sphere.

This discourse is of great relevance to this paper. This is because the theory believes that the vital function of local government is to provide services, and service is provided by local governments across the nation  through its structures of departments like works, land, survey and housing; agricultural and natural resources; health, education and social services; administration; budget and statistics and treasury. Each of these departments must interact together to keep the local government moving and effective. Besides, the interactions within the local government milieu, interactions with bodies like the federal government, states, local service commissions, local government councils, rural communities and others must be sustained in an atmosphere of intergovernmental relations aimed at delivering quality service in a timely, satisfactory, honest, effective and transparent manner. On the other hand, each department has staff that must possess the requisite skills and expertise knowledge in delivering the efficient service. The staff or local govern-ment officials’ capability must be built and developed to meet the need of efficient service delivery in local areas. It is important to note that the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery are appraised based on how successful the services are carried out by the local government through its work force, more so, that local government is only an institution that can act or perform through actors who must be well equipped and trained to take up the growing demand of efficient service delivery at the grassroots. These departments are inevitable as Almond aptly stated wherever there are functions; there must be structures to perform them (cited in Agba et al., 2013).

To justify the reasons for creating local governments, local government spending and functions performed by local governments’ workers, there is need for interactions between and among its component parts to deliver efficient service delivery and projects executed by local governments should be aimed at “providing the basic services to which each citizen is entitled in a timely, fair, honest, effective and transparent manner” (‘Servicom and the citizen’, www.servenigeria.com, cited in Agba et al., 2013). Nigerians have the right to be served right whether at federal, state or local government levels. So, ‘dysfunctionalism’ in the operations of local governments in Nigeria can be corrected through identifying factors that can help to develop the skills capacity, training and development of the local government workforce who are directly involved in delivering of services (health services delivery in health centres, maternity homes requires qualified nurses, doctors and community health workers and not quacks, workers in charge of road repairs, infrastructures and other works must possess adequate skills to deliver such service to the people).Thus, there is an urgent need to train and develop manpower at the local government level to catch up with modern and current trends of efficient service delivery in Nigerian Local Governments.

Strategies of training and capacity building in Nigerian Local Government

According to the revised guidelines for training in the federal civil service, a key goal of the extant staff training and manpower development policy is to “lend a systematic approach to training efforts in the service and, by so doing enable government to derive higher benefits from the massive investment in manpower development.” This is in consonance with the various public service reforms which have sought to use training as one of the vehicles for making the civil service professional, operationally effective and more result-oriented as well as using it as one of the criteria for assessing the suitability of officers for promotion  (Okotoni and Erero, 2005).

The strategies for manpower development in local governments across the country takes different forms, and it is largely determined by the objectives of councils, the idiosyncrasy of management staff or the council manager, the council policy, as well as the environment of the council to mention a few. Thus, it is a common feature to see strategies for manpower development almost similar if not the same among all the local governments in Osun State Nigeria, as a given local government can be tailored at adopting different methods at different times or a combination of techniques at the same time. However, some strategies for manpower development are stated below:

On the job method of manpower development

This strategy is basically different from the orientation strategy in that while orientation is at the point of entry into the organization or a new assignment; on the job method is processes through which knowledge and experience are acquired over a period of time either formally or informally. This process involves the following:

(a) Coaching: This is a strategy of on the job training and development in which a junior staff  is attached to a senior staff with the purpose of acquiring knowledge and experience needed for the performance of   efficient service delivery (Yalokwu, 2000).

 (b) Job Rotation: This strategy either involves the movement of an staff from one official assignment or department to the other, in order for the staff to be acquainted with the different aspects of the work process or through job enlargement – That is given additional responsibility to an staff who has been uplifted as a result of the acquisition of additional skill or knowledge (Yalokwu, 2000; Lawal, 2006).

(c) In House Training: This involves a formal strategy of on the job training in which skills and knowledge are acquired by staff through internally organized seminars and workshops geared toward updating the workers with new techniques or skills associated with the performance of their jobs (Lawal, 2006).This is commonly used in all the local governments in Nigeria to update staff on new trends of their job.

(d) In Service Training:  This  strategy  involves  training

outside the council in higher institution of learning or vocational centres under the sponsorship of the organization or on terms that may be agreed upon between the organization and the worker (Lawal, 2006).For instance, almost all the local governments including Ife-East Local Government in Osun State have some of their staff sponsored for training and diploma programme in local government administration in the Department of Local Government studies Obafemi Awolowo University. It is a two years diploma programme that is specifically designed to train local government staff for improved service delivery in their respective local government area.

Committee/work group method

This strategy entails manpower development through the involvement of staff in meetings, committees and work group discussion geared towards injecting inputs in form of decision making as regard solving the council’s problem. This strategy is quite indispensable, especially in the aspect of training employees for managerial functions or heading Departmental units.

Orientation

This strategy of manpower development could be said to be an integral part of the recruitment exercise in that once an employee has been found appoint able, it is expected that such an employee need to be positively oriented in line with the vision and aspiration of the council for effective discharge of function. And since staff function in the council is basically affected by his perception of the council vis-à-vis the rules and principles that exist in the council, it therefore follows that an employee undergoes formal and informal orientation in a place of work. While the formal orientation focuses on job specification and occupational demands placed on the employee, the informal orientation involve the social interaction that take place in the place of work which could either boost productivity or be detrimental to it (Koontz et al. 1980).  Orientation therefore, as a method of manpower development, is quite indispensable because it helps in boosting the productivity and efficient service delivery of council workers which is needed for rural development.

Vestibule training method

This is a strategy of manpower development through the acquisition of skills in a related working environment (Nongo, 2005). Under this method the trainee practices his skill with identical equipment that he uses or he is expected to use in his actual place of work. This method is most suitable for sensitive operations where maximal perfection is expected. The purpose is therefore to enable perfection at work place. This is mostly used for the training of staff in the Department of works, community development and finance, for example where account department staff is being trained on how to make use of computer and laptops and accounting software to transact the council’s business or funds (Nongo, 2005).

The roles of training agencies/organisations in manpower development in Ife-East Local Government

The Ife East Local Government was created in December 1996 out of the Ife Central L.G.A. Osun State, Nigeria. Its headquarters is in the town of Oke Ogbo. It has an area of 172 km² and a population of 188,087 at the 2006 census. And it has just seven (7) Wards namely: Okerewe (1, 2, 3,) Yekemi, Ilode (1, 2,) and Moore. The civil service commission is responsible for appointments, promotions and discipline of the senior local government workers in Ife-East Local Government, while the Bureau of Establishments and Training (BET) and Department of Local Government Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, are responsible for training, retraining and development of personnel in the council (Okotoni & Erero, 2005). The Bureau according to Okotoni and Erero (2005) came into existence with the inception of the administration on August 27 1991. The Bureau is headed by a permanent secretary. It has the following functions – to,

1. Promote job satisfaction, efficiency and industrial harmony within the public service;

2. Ascertain and coordinate the personnel needs of the various ministries/departments and agencies of government;

3. Ensure correct interpretation and enforcement of Government policies on the conditions of service for the various categories of staff in the council;

4. Improve the efficiency of officers in the state public service through regular staff development programme based on their qualification, working experience etc, as well as long-run needs of the service.

5. Ensure that officers who leave the service under pensionable circumstance continue to be rewarded for their past service through prompt payment of their retirement benefits;

6. Effect periodical review of the grading of posts in all sectors of the public service of the state in order to ensure equity and consistency;

7. assist in the development and installation of necessary administrative machinery required for achieving result oriented public service;

The department of personnel or administration is concerned with periodic review of the grading of posts in all departments of the council, “with a view to ensuring appropriate correlation between remuneration and job content” (Amoran, 2000). The unit is also responsible for the coordination and organisation of public service lectures, in-service training courses, conferences and workshops in the council. Some of the major problems confronting this department include poor funding, obsolete equipment, poor library in the training centre; unavailability of modern training facilities such as language laboratory, computers, electric typewriters, scanning machines, photocopiers etc.

Staff development centre (SDC) is concerned with the training and development of junior staff in Ife-East local government, while Bureau establishment training (BET) is concerned with the senior staff training. An interesting phenomenon is the increase in the number of personnel trained between since 1999 under the civilian administration; an indication that the civilian administration gave more priority to staff training and development than the military regimes (Okotoni and Erero, 2005).

In Ife-East local government, the training and capacity development of staff (both junior and senior) is sometimes done in the Department of Local Government studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The old Institute of Administration in Ife is known to train various categories of public servants from local governments across the state including Ife-East Local Government (Okotoni and Erero, 2005). The paper noted that prompt training and development will help to ensure that staff of local governments in South-Western states, including Ife-East local government possess the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively, take on new responsibilities, and adapt to changing conditions after the completion of a two year diploma programme in the Department of Local Government studies of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

The foregoing notwithstanding shows strong affinity between training, developing the worker’s capacity and efficient service delivery, that is, if staff are trained and developed as stipulated and expressed in the white papers on various reforms in Nigeria, then service delivery can be enhanced. For instance, some staff of Ife-East Local Government are trained in Specialist/Technological programmes such staff as doctors, nurses, waste disposal officers and other specialists are trained and developed in areas such as Obstetric specialist course in Austria, theatre course in Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex; Ophthalmic Nursing Course at University College Hospital Ibadan, and waste management in Department of Local Government studies Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (Elugbaju, 2013). The paper however noted that these categories of workers experienced an improvement in their service delivery in their various departments after undergoing the training and this to some extent has positively impacted on efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government area as at that time. This view was buttressed by  Elusogbon (2013) when he contended that ‘service delivery in Ife-East Local Government area has gradually been improving and standardized as some staff are now being sent for training programmes and capacity building seminars to acquire the requisite skills and expertise knowledge required for efficient service delivery within the local government area.

The paper however noted that in spite of the few instances of training of some staff in Ife-East Local Government, manpower development and capacity building of staff in the council has been more of ruse and mis-placed priority, as only very few of the staff are indeed trained while the funds for training of staff are diverted to the heavy spending on recurrent expenditure with little or nothing reserved for staff training and development that can enhance in the long run, efficient service delivery. This necessitated the call by the government and stakeholders for increased manpower development and capacity building of local governments’ staff to enhance efficient service delivery at the grassroots across the country (Ikharehon, 2007).


 METHOD

This paper adopted both the quantitative and qualitative method of primary data. The quantitative method consisted of the use of questionnaire administered on staff of Ife-East Local Government, community leaders, market executives/representatives and youth leaders in Ife-East Local Government area. The reason for the selection of these categories of people was based on the fact that they have adequate knowledge of how services are provided and can also ascertain if service delivery is efficient or not. A total of 117 people were selected using the stratified random sampling. Ife-East local government council was stratified along junior and senior staff and in each rank, 20 people were selected. On the other hand, the council was stratified along existing 7 wards from which, 10 people Were selected in each ward to represent other categories of the study population. The remaining 7 people selected from each ward were interviewed using unstructured interview schedule. Quantitative data were analysed using bivariate analysis (chi-square test), while content analysis was employed for qualitative data.

Test of hypothesis

Hypothesis one

Ho: There is no significant relationship between training and capacity building of staff and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government

H1: There is a significant relationship between training and capacity building of staff and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government

To test this hypothesis, Chi square (X2) was adopted to test the hypothesis at.0.5 level of significance. The formula for chi-square (X2) is computed using this formula:

X2 = (FO- FE)2

             FE

DF = (R – 1) (C – 1)

FO = Observed frequencies

FE = Expected Frequencies

DF = Degree of Freedom

R =   Row

C =   Column

Computation of the expected values low column

 

Formula                        =         R x C

                                       E      

E:    Strongly agree   =    58 x 30           =          15.8

                                         110

E:    Agreed      =          10 x 30 =          2.7

                                        110

E:   Disagree     =          16 x 30 =          4.4

                                       110

E:   Strongly disagree  =        20 x 30     =          5.5

                                        110

E:  Indifferent    =          6 x 30   =           1.6

                                     110

Computation of the expected values average column

Formula                        =          R x C

                                       E      

E:    Strongly agree  =  58 x 23 =          12.1

                                       110

 

E:    Agreed      =          10 x 23 =          2.1

                                       110

E:   Disagree     =          16 x 23 =          3.4

                                       110

E:   Strongly disagree   =        20 x 23    =             4.2

                                        110

E:  Indifferent    =          6 x 23   =            1.3

                                      110

Computation of the expected values high column

 

Formula                        =          R x C

                                       E      

E:    Strongly agree   =              58 x 57 =          30.1

                                        110

 

E:    Agreed      =          10 x 57 =          5.2

                                       110

E:   Disagree     =          16 x 57 =          4.4

                                      110

E:   Strongly disagree =        20 x 57      =             8.3

                                       110

E:  Indifferent    =          6 x 57   =          31.1

                                      110

Total Expected value= 30 + 23.1 + 79.1= 132.2

Total Observation value= 110

c2=   (110-132.2)2    =   492.84      = 3.72

             132.2                132.2

Degree of freedom, 8; significance level, 0.05; table value =15.5; calculated c2= 3.72


 RESULTS

The result in the data analysis as presented in Table 1 showed that at 0.05 significant level with 8 degrees of freedom, the chi-square calculated value was 3.72, and is less than the table value of 15.5. In effect, there is no significant relationship between staff training, their capacity development and efficient service delivery. Therefore, we accept the null hypothesis and reject the alternate hypothesis. The reasons for a gap between staff training and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area were revealed and discovered through content analysis of interview schedule below.

 

 

Content analysis of qualitative data

The data collected from interviews form the major basis for achieving the objective of this paper. The objective here is to present, analyse and discuss the data collected from the respondents. As previously stated in the methodology, data for this study were collected from the seven existing wards. The reason for this is that Ife-East Local Government is fairly represented by these wards. This paper, for qualitative data utilizes data obtained through interview with 7 key informants/respondents who were either market women and men, youth leaders and top level management staff of Ife-East Local Government.

Specifically, for the qualitative data, extracts of interviews conducted were presented and analysed using the objective of this study as a guide and it is restated thus:

1. Examine the interconnectivity between staff training, capacity building and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government.

In analysing this objective, relevant questions in the question guide were used. This was done to elicit rich and comprehensive data for this paper.

Analysis of the objective

“To examine the interconnectivity between staff training, capacity building and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government”

To analyse this objective, the following questions were used: 1, 2 and 3.

Question 1: Has provision of services like primary health care, road repairs, waste disposal been efficiently delivered for public good considering staff training in Ife-East LGA?

The aim of this question was to find out if there is connection between training of staff in acquiring expertise skills and efficient service delivery in Ife- East Local government. For most of the respondents, the training of staff or their capacity building has not necessarily in practical term translates to efficient service delivery. Almost all of them, if not all, agreed that training of staff  is good and can improve standard of service delivery, but majority of the respondents holds the view that efficient service delivery is rarely seen or experienced in Ife-East Local Government Area, in spite of huge resources allocated to training of staff and their capacity development.  On this issue, the response of Mr. Adedayo Ajayi, a youth leader in Moore, was particularly revealing. For him1

Training and capacity building of staff in theory and on book can be helpful in promoting efficient service delivery but in practice and reality perspective there have been gap between training or capacity building of staff and efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area. Service is efficient when it satisfies the needs of the local populace in terms of transforming people standard of living timely, easily accessible  to  people, and cheap.

The reverse has been the case in Ife-East LGA, as service delivery is still largely delayed, inefficient and inaccessible making life difficult for the poor masses.

The above assertion showed that training and capacity development of staff though may be helpful in improving the quality of service delivery that requires specialized skills, but in spite of training of staff, there are still evidences of inefficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area. The training and capacity building of staff in Ife-East Local Government Area though in theory is expected to enhance efficient service delivery, but in practical term the opposite is the case. Specifically, in Oke-Ogbo, Mukoro Ilode and some other areas within Ife-East LGA in spite of training of staff, gross inefficient of service delivery is still prevalent, for instance, there is continual display of hostile attitude from community health workers towards breastfeeding mothers and their children, also it has been confirmed that  there is always delay in distribution and giving of vaccines to infants from 0-5 years at the health centres in the areas mentioned above, all these and many others cannot enhance efficient service delivery even if the staff  are trained2.

Question 2: What are the causes of inefficient service delivery at the grassroots?

   

This question was intended to ascertain and identify the cause of poor service delivery at the grassroots. The question was asked to also determine if after training or capacity building of staff, the problem of poor service delivery can be resolved. From the data gathered, it was observed that trained staff is deployed to departments or units different from the knowledge or skills they have acquired. Corroborating this view was Mrs. Odeyemi Rose, a trader in old Ife market (Oja Ife), for her3.

Delivery of primary health care service such as the giving of vaccines to infants, immunization etc, and waste disposal services will have been fared better and highly efficient if staff trained to man such services were not deployed or transfer to other department, unit or local government council within the state making their training useless and services poorly dispensed.  

This view was further supported by Okotoni and Erero (2005), where they contended that after training, an officer is expected to be deployed to a post to which the training undertaken applies so that maximum use of the skills and knowledge acquired can be made and the local government council or the management can derive full benefits from the investment made in the officer. But observation has shown that the placement of the trained staff to areas of specialisation is rarely put into consideration (Okotoni and Erero, 2005).

To Mr. Okoro Uche a chemist, in Yekemi area of Ife-East LGA,4

The officers in charge of disposal of waste in Ife-East, has  not   been  doing  well  in  terms  of  discharging  this service promptly and efficiently. First, the officers in charge of disposing of waste have not been prompt and timely in the collection of waste from every household. Sometimes, they don’t even show-up for two to three weeks to collect and disposed accumulated waste. On the other hand, these officers tend to have monetized this service. They collect and disposed waste of those who offered them extra money, while those who don’t have kickbacks to offer them suffer from non-disposal of their waste promptly.

Majority of the respondents agreed that service delivery in Ife-East Local Government has not been efficient and provided as expected in spite of manpower development and staff training. However, some of them reported that staff training has paid off in the discharge of services like monthly environmental sanitation, cleaning of open places like slaughter’s slabs markets and road repairs and patches. This view was aptly supported by Adewole Adewusi, for him5

The training of staff and their capacity building has helped to improved services in areas like rescuing of accident victims, the officers are well trained to handle and console accidents victims. Today, in Ife-East LGA, hope is restored on the legitimacy of government at the grassroots, as some essential services are efficiently carried out because staff/officers are trained to handle such services efficiently.    

The assertion above showed that some respondents still believe that training or capacity development of staff enhances delivery of some services in Ife-East Local Government. This obviously point to the fact that there is nothing wrong with the training of staff but the problem lies in the deployment of the trained staff to areas of expertise, poor funding of training, selective means of training and diversion of training funds as well as deficient data or statistics on how to implement training programmes. Corroborating these factors are studies like (Okotoni and Erero, 2005; Omodia, 2009; Ovaga, 2009) contended that majority of Nigerian local governments lacked accurate data and statistics of staff and this has posed no small amount of problems to the training of the staff and manpower development. This assertion was further buttressed by (Baikie, 2002; Oku, 2003) who both argued that:

This problem is associated with the poor data base that is needed for manpower planning in Nigeria both in the rural and urban centres. This problem no doubt constitutes a major hindrance on effective manpower development, training and capacity building of staff in Nigeria.

What can be discerned from the above statement is that almost, if not all the local government councils in Nigeria lacks appropriate data and most do not have adequate records of staff let alone those that need to be trained and developed for efficient service delivery. In the same vein, some of the respondents argued that trained staff,   after training are not  provided  with  necessary equipment and tools to work with. Buttressing this view was a community leader in Ilode area who opined that,6

Most of the health centres in our communities do not have necessary equipment and tools to treat patients. The waste disposal vehicles are few, staff after training, are render idle because of no facilities, tools and equipment to dispense their duties efficiently. This is the cause of poor and inefficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government.   

Considering the above statement, it can be inferred that efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government is lacking and grossly scarce because of working tools and equipment. Generally in Nigeria, only few local governments provide trained officers with appropriate tools, documents and materials to work with. It is expected that every local government provide the necessary equipment, materials and facilities for trained officers to perform as trained. In practical terms, this is grossly lacking in most ministries and departments.

Where some of the equipment and materials are available, they are in dilapidated conditions. Also poor consideration for training needs affects manpower development and training such that many times, public servants are sent for training without consideration for the relevance to present job or future posting (Okotoni and Erero, 2005).

Question 3: What are the challenges of efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area?

The aim of this question was to identify the challenges of poor service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area. This question was inquired to determine why service delivery is still very deficient and poorly provided in Ife-East Local Government Area.

From the data gathered, the challenges identified varied. While almost all respondents believed that the service delivery has challenges with its implementation in Ife-East Local Government, many claimed that the problem range from poor funding of service delivery/ provision by government, lack of prompt maintenance of services already on ground, poor monitoring of how social services are distributed and corruption in terms of diverting monies meant for providing services to the local area. To these groups of respondents, service delivery in Ife-East Local Government needs to be efficient and highly standardized, and the provider or government still have a lot of ground to cover as regarding providing efficient services to the benefit of people at the grassroots. Few of the respondents however, believed that monetization of selection of staff to be trained at the local government council is also the cause why service delivery is poor or deficient. These respondents argued that when staff pay bribe to be trained, after the training such staff will be requesting kickbacks from the people before rendering service to them. According to them, this attitude has been noticed in the way and manner waste disposal officers, community health workers, cleaning/ environmental sanitation officers’ demands money from people before services are delivered or rendered. But speaking on the condition of anonymity, top management staff in Ife-East Local Government opined that7,

The nature of training and manpower development in Nigerian local governments, particularly in the past, has been utterly based on favouritism and nepotism. Spoilt system, sometimes extreme spoilt system, has been a noticeable feature of manpower development in Nigerian local government. It has also been seen that training and manpower development at the local government level involves much of kickbacks and bribes which only very few staff (most of whom may be influential and connected) can provide. It is, therefore, reasoned that given these facts manpower development and capacity building of staff for improved service delivery is based on the training of the few staff that are highly connected and very rich to buy their way into training institutions.

In the same vein, Okotoni and Erero (2005) lamented that:

There are officers that are sponsored for training based on their connection to some powerful and influential individuals in the service or/and in the society. The issue of systematic and progressional training is still lacking both in the federal and the state civil services. The idea of organising induction course for newly recruited officers in the service is hardly adhered to.

It can be reasonably inferred from the above assertions that training of staff to acquire expertise skills that will in the long run promote efficient service delivery is rather based on “who you know” syndrome, bribe and spoilt system. It has been noticed and observed that these staff after undergoing training resorts to demanding of bribes and gifts before rendering their statutory duties. This attitude cannot in any way promote efficient service delivery.


 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

In this paper the objective and hypothesis earlier stated were analysed and tested with data collected from the field through interview and questionnaires administered on key respondents. Having analysed the objective of the study and tested the hypothesis, the first null hypothesis was accepted while the alternate hypothesis was rejected; it is imperative to discuss the findings further. The objective and hypothesis was confirmed by respondents’ responses gathered from both the qualitative and quantitative data “that staff training, their capacity development has not significantly promote efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government”. Results from these analyses (chi-square and content analysis) have shown that as far as Ife-East Local Government Area is concerned, there is no interconnectivity between staff training or their capacity building and efficient service delivery. It is believed that such idea only exists in theory and on book because in reality, it is not that easy or simple to say that training of staff will promote efficient service delivery because of challenges such as poor funding of training programmes, corruption, demand for money or bribe from people by officers in charge of service delivery (waste disposal, community health, sanitation and road traffic control officers), bad leadership and governance at the grassroots7. Theoretically, except in some instances training of staff or their capacity building can promote efficient delivery of services. But statistical and content analysis results have both shown that training and capacity building of staff or work force most times does not translate into efficient service delivery.

Baikie (2002) corroborated this view when he con-tended that poor political leadership which has further deepening the problem of manpower development in Nigeria has manifested itself in poor funding of training programmes and seminar or workshops fees over the years. And this has manifested in little or no training and manpower development in Nigerian Local Governments across the nation. Large observations have shown that because of predominant tendencies of bad governance at the grassroots, local government chairmen are not interested in the training of staff. They instead diverts funds for training of local government staff to personal aggrandisement leaving large portion of the staff largely untrained (Omodia, 2006). It is important to note that as part of challenges of efficient service delivery in Ife-East Local Government Area, some of the respondents from the interview session revealed that the use of quack and party members or friends of politicians at the local government level to implement training seminars or workshops has been responsible for weak or inefficient service delivery. In bid to buttress this point, Okotoni and Erero (2005) observe that:

The use of quack consultants by government has grossly affected the quality of training of public servants. In many instances, government prefers to contract train-ing programmes to party loyalists rather than competent and experienced specialists in the higher institutions and consulting firms. This affects the quality of service delivery in areas where these staff are deployed.

It has been observed through national dailies, news press and findings from both quantitative and qualitative data employed in this paper that local governments (including Ife-East Local Government) in Nigeria have not justified reasons for their creation through the delivery of cutting edge services to the rural people. This is obvious in the following expression of ex-president Obasanjo in 2003: 

What we have  witnessed  is  the  abysmal  failure  of  the local government system. It is on record that at no time in the history of the country has there been the current level of funding accruing to the local governments from the federation account, yet the hope for rapid and sustained development has been a mirage as successive councils have grossly under-performed in (their assigned responsibilities).  Almost all the areas of their mandate…, yet the clamour for the creation of more LGAs have not abated (Obasanjo, 2003).

One of the essences of local government creation is provision of efficient service delivery to local people. The efficiency school of thought argued that local government is created to render efficient service to people in the local area. It is imperative to state that this aim has been defeated in almost all the local governments in the country partly because of corruption, poor training of staff that can effectively and efficiently dispense services to the people, mis-management, and bad leadership. Agba (2006) noted that, the provision of basic social services such as education and health, as well as maintenance of roads and public utilities within the jurisdictions of local government is both a myth and mirage. As a consequence of the failure of local governments in service delivery, the citizens are beginning to loose trust in government as an institution established to address the needs of the masses.

On how corruption affects social service delivery, local government chairmen and other politicians at the grassroots conspires with the career officers to loot and divert public funds allocated to the council from federation account to provide social services to the masses. This view was in connection with that of the respondents in the interview session. Majority of them attributed the reason for poor service delivery in Ife-East Local Government to sharp corrupt practices displayed by politicians and career officers who are in charge of delivery or distribution of social services.  The effect of corruption in the local government council is somehow negative in the sense that it destroyed culture of accountability and transparency and development at this level is hindered.  Corroborating the view of Agbo, Farida Waziri the EFCC boss quoted in Adeyemi et al. (2012) observed thus: 

Unfortunately, local government officials have not left their hands unsoiled in this regards. It is with regret that I am forced to observe the local government of the good old days has become a mere memory of times gone by. The paralysis that pervades local governments today is widespread. Local government have become so far removed from the lives of people to a point where some chief executives of local councils no longer reside in the domains they were elected to administer. They drive to council headquarters in their jeeps from the State capitals of Federal Capital Territory, pay salaries and share other monies and disappear until it is time to share the next subversion It is obvious from the above statement, that the life  style  of  local  government  officials  hinders  and affects efficient service delivery because the money meant for training and manpower development to enhance high quality of service at the grassroots has been shared and used to buy sophisticated cars and houses by stakeholders in Nigerian Local Governments.


 RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION

Recommendation

The world is developing in an unprecedented speed and the rate of poor or deficient service delivery caused by poor skills and expertise knowledge of local government staff on one hand and poor training programme by the government on the other hand is growing fast which Nigerian local governments may not be able to cope with.

1. There is need to put in place monitoring and supervisory committee to monitor field officers in charge of service delivery. Specific attention should be paid to monitoring of waste disposal officers, community health workers, officers in charge of accident rescue service, road traffic control officers. This will avoid the request for kickbacks or bribe from the people. Also, the monitoring team should beam their monitoring lights on newly provided services like bore-hole, infrastructures (town halls, shopping centres, lock-up shops or kiosks etc.).

2. More funds should be given to manpower development and capacity building because through this process, staff can be equipped with requisite skills and abilities for rendering adequate and efficient service delivery in Nigeria. If Ife-East Local Government is to achieve efficient service delivery that will promote rural development as well as make its staff more specialised and professional her training procedures and manpower development curriculum must be designed to be functional and productive rather than obsolete. The option of an enhanced regulatory capability on the part of government for effective enforcement of manpower policies should not be taken for granted. This is quite indispensable based on the need to ensure quality manpower development irrespective of sex, class, ethnic affiliation to mention a few. This point could best be appreciated considering the liberal nature of most government policies which tend to snowball into elitist benefit in terms of policy outcome.

3. The need for federal and state government to be persuasive in making local governments embraces well designed policies of manpower development and capacity building. This could be done both internally and externally. Internally, local councils should be made to see reasons why a careful manpower development plan should form part of their plans and objectives for the financial year. As a matter of fact, the success of local governments should not only be measured in terms of the magnitude of trained staff, but, basically on  the  contribution of the local government in enlarging and enhancing efficient service delivery through manpower development. The external factor involves the contribution of local government councils to the development of manpower through financial support meant to boost staff training, off- the job training, and specialized research institutes to mention a few.

4. Local governments in Nigeria exist to provide political - social –economic services to local people and help both the state and nation to develop, the working relationship between the state and local governments should reflects these and allows the local rural people to enjoy the dividends of democracy in the country. The working relationships between the federal, state and local government should be transparent, accountable and complement each other for the benefit of the people they serve. To ensure probity and accountability, there should be branches of ICPC, EFCC in all the 774 local governments and 36 states of the federation, as the fear of EFCC could be the beginning of good governance and efficient service delivery.

5. There is also the need to address the character of Nigerian politics dominated by prebendal politicians which have affected negatively the way and manner in which social services are rendered in Nigerian local governments. As rightly observed by (Bowman and Kearney 2002, in Agba et al., 2013), people (nay Nigerians) want public institutions and leaders to govern honestly and wisely. Manpower development and building the capacity of the human resources that is committed to the principles of good governance briefly summarized as transparency, accountability, honesty, foresightedness, equity, justice, prudent management of public funds, strong leadership inspired by vision and direction that is beneficial to the masses can be used to ameliorate poor service delivery at the grassroots. 

Conclusion

The employees in any organisation remain the most invaluable asset for growth and development. Training and re-training are essential components of manpower development. Manpower development and training play a major, if not decisive, role in promoting efficient service delivery at the grassroots as services will be rendered by competent and skilful personnel; these personnel functions (manpower development and capacity building) benefits individuals, enterprises, and the economy and society at large; and they can make local governments function better in carrying out their duties to the people in local area.

It is contention of this paper that if local governments in Nigeria, Ife-East Local Government inclusive embarks on effective and efficient manpower development and capacity building, it will enhanced skills acquisition of their staff, hence, service delivery  at  the grassroots  will be improved and be more efficient and quality of life in rural area will be better. Nevertheless, some caveats were observed and solutions were proffered to them.

Finally, the paper holds the view that for an effective and efficient service to be rendered and delivered in Ife-East Local Government a fast approach requiring a combination of training strategies need to be adopted. To this end, emphasis should be laid on, inter alia; efficient service delivery and rural development through proper training of staff and manpower development.


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The author has not declared any conflict of interest.



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