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1.1      Background of the study

Nigeria is a constructed state; the country is the product of a conglomeration of ethnic groups, which are heterogeneous in many respects. This according to Agbodike (2006) includes the diversity of pluralism of language, religion, social-political and economic formation as well as administrative styles, social norms and personality types. In effort to address these issues and also ensures structural balance of claims and gains by various groups and interests, the government formulated and put into use the federal character principle which is aimed at ensuring a peaceful, united, stable, prosperous and integrated Nigeria. Today, in Nigeria the use of federal character principle has became an instrument for recruitment into federal, state and local government civil service. In most federal system of government, the major issue is usually that of resources sharing among the federal units at horizontal and vertical level.
According to Elaigwu (2006) where the sharing arrangement are working well, there are less agitation and citizens have a filling of belonging and equity. On the other hand, where the sharing principles is not working well, the citizens agitates and makes all sorts of demands such as call for national conference etc. however in Nigeria, after a service of debate in 1975 the constitutional drafting committee was set up which established federal character commission as a body charge with the responsibility of implementing the federal character principle in order to ensure equitable sharing of posts in the public service. This was also enshrines in the 1999 federal constitution of federal republic of Nigeria. The Federal character as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria is to ensure equitable distributions 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 Nigeria a sense of belonging among other in the country. The federal character principle which is implemented under the federal character commission is therefore designed, initiated to correct adverse in act resulting from opportunities and resources provided by the federal government to the citizens of the country that appears neutral but have a discriminatory effect on a 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 belong if all Nigerian is still maintained. As laudable as the above policy may be, and the empowerments of the concept in the nations constitution, its application has remain a debatable topic to which some critics have claimed that the policy comprise the merit system which will create and enabling environment for those that are only qualify employed into the Nigeria Civil Service. However, this research work is centered on the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) as the case study. The Federal Capital Authority 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 Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja based on the Federal character commission been the commission established to implement Federal Character principle in Nigeria.


There is no doubt that every research work must have statement of problem to which this research work is not exception. There are many cases going on in Nigeria that the federal character principle has been unjustly implemented. Also the annual repeat form the publication of the federal character commission shows that a lot of compliant arises as a result of breach of federal character principles by some establishments, for example in the federal character monitor, of quarterly publication of the commission (2008:5) accused and surmount the Nigeria 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 Nigeria civil services. Furthermore, the Niger Delta crisis which arises as a result of compliant from the masses about marginalization by the leaders also signifies that the policy is unjustly implemented. Again, the poor performance of employee’s discovered by the past president Olusegun Obasanjo led administration was traced to poor manpower utilization and poor qualify of civil servants, also testing to this weakness. Thus, in view of the above problems, the needs to analyze recruitment process in government establishment are strategic and must be followed accordingly.


The objectives of the research topic are as follows:

i. To examine the extent to which federal character principles is strictly adhered to in the utilization of human potentials at FCDA.

ii. To determine the duties of the commission in charge of federal character principles.
iii. To assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal character principles in the recruitment of needed manpower of FCDA.

iv. To find out provable problems if any in the execution of the federal character principle as applied in this recruitment of manpower of FCDA.

v. To examine the implication of federal character principles on recruitment exercises at FCDA.


The following hypothesis will be tested

Hypothesis One:

H0: The application of federal character principles does not affect the quality of manpower utilization at FCDA

H1: The application of federal character principles affects the quality of manpower utilization at FCDA

Hypothesis Two

H1: There is no relationship between the application of federal character principle and merit system of in recruitment exercise at FCDA.

H0: There is a relationship between the application of federal character principle and merit system of in recruitment exercise at FCDA.


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 of the FCDA and assess the commission in charge of application of the federal character principle in the Nigeria Civil Service, also the study examines and review the implication of federal character principle on manpower utilization in public service at federal states and local government in Nigeria. Therefore, this research work meant to assist both undergraduate and graduate of social science and other future researches who may find this work beneficial in terms of planning, researching and rational decision making in regards to recruitment into public organization in Nigeria.


This research project focuses on the analysis of recruitment exercise of public servant at federal capital development authority (FCDA) based on federal character principle. Thus, this research work will be incomplete in analyzing the utilization of manpower capability at the FCDA without assessing the process of training, selection, motivation, compensation and evaluation. The work is centered on FCDA as a chosen case of study for the project work. FCDA has it employee’s recruited from all states of the federation based on the federal character principle been an organization that belong to the federal government. Federal capital Development Authority (FCDA) was established in 1990. Thus, this study focuses on the date of the establishment till date. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

 a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study 

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities. 


Some of the key terms in this research work are defined as follows:
• Federal Character Principle: A principle of representativeness in which recruitment, promotion and distribution of other state resource are aimed at establishing a fair balance of ethnic and regional representation in all Federal Government Agencies and parastatals.

• Federal Character Commission: Federal Character Commission is a body charged with the responsibility of implementing federal character principle in Nigeria to ensure compliance with state objectives concerning the distribution of public officers and even basis among various sections of Nigeria in all Federal Government Agencies and parastatals. The Federal character commission (FCC) is a federal executive body established by Act No 34 of 1996 to implement and enforce the Federal character principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructural among the various federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

• Merit System: Burbank (2010), sees merit system as the process of promoting and hiring government employees based on their ability to perform a job, rather than on their political connections.
• Human Resources Management: Human Resources Management is a process that relates to the training education and other professional initiatives in order to increase the level of knowledge, skills, abilities, values and social assets of an employee which lead to the employee’s satisfaction and performance and eventually lead to higher productivity in the organization (Michael Armstrong 2009).

• Public Recruitment: Public recruitment is defines as the process involves seeking and attracting in supply of people from which qualified candidates for job vacancies can be chosen. The magnitude of an organization’s recruiting efforts depends on the result of the personal planning process.

• Public Service: According to 1999 constitution, public service is define as the service of the state in any capacity in respect of the government of state and includes service as:

a. Clerk of the House of Assembly

b. Member of staff of High court, the Sharia Court of Appeal, the customary court of appeal or other established for a state by this constitution or by a law of house of assembly.
c. Member or staff of any commission or authority established for the state by this constitution etc.

Manpower Utilization: This refers to effective utilization of manpower capability available through the process of motivation, training, rewarding, evaluating etc in the organization.

• FCDA: Federal Capital Development Authority.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study  

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