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The availability of a competent and effective labour force does not just happen by chance but through an articulate recruitment and selection exercise. However, recruitment and selection procedures in the Nigerian public service have been severely politicized by both politicians and top bureaucrats. This research work examined politicization of recruitment in the Enugu State Civil Service 1999-2010. The data used in this study was collected from both primary and secondary sources.
The data analysis revealed that; the recruitment and selection procedures in public service in Nigeria are not strictly followed during employment of staff; politicization and other informal processes dominate the established recruitment and selection procedures during employment of staff; merit principle do not always count to secure employment in public service rather the use federal character, quota system, indigeneship, son of soil syndrome, etc. are mostly considered; there is an established relationship between inefficiency of the Nigerian civil service and weak recruitment and selection processes.
1.1Background to the Study
The efficiency and effectiveness of any work place (whether the private or the public sector) largely depend on the caliber of the workforce. The availability of a competent and effective labour force does not just happen by chance but through an articulated recruitment exercise (Peretomode and Peretomode 2001). Recruitment is a set of activities used to obtain a sufficient number of the right people at the right time from the right place (Nickels et al; 1999), and its purpose is to select those who best meet the needs of the work place, and to develop and maintain a qualified and adequate workforce through which an organization can fulfill its human resource plan (Biobele, 2007). Recruitment of personnel for the civil service is one of the crucial tasks of modern government and lies in the heart of the problem of personnel administration (Basu, 1994). The state and federal civil service commissions serve as employment against for the civil services in Nigeria and they do the recruitment without a fee (Nwachukwu, 2000). Specifically, the authority for recruitment into the Nigerian federal civil service is the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC). However, the commission delegates power to federal ministries and extra-ministerial departments to recruit junior staff to posts grades GL 01-06 (AL-Gazali, 2003).
The Nigeria federal civil service system as well as that of the state level, emphasizes uniformity, standardization, and transparency (Babaru, 2003) in recruiting competent applicants. Despite these emphases, it is perceived that the recruitment process lacks equity and transparency, making it difficult if not impossible to recruit the best qualified applicants for the available jobs in the service. Okotoni (2008) noted that inspite the optimism that ushered in new the civil service at the Nigeria’s independence, today the Nigerian civil service has failed as a veritable agent of national development. Regrettably, the recruitment and selection of staff in the Nigerian civil service system has been characterized by unabated political interference, nepotism and favoritism rather than on merit principle. From the view point of Olowu (1996) Nigeria civil service has performed dismally as the veritable agent of development, and according to him, the poor performance of Nigerian civil service is mainly human cause. In a further analysis, Olowu noted that personnel management and administration in the civil service has been politicized leading to employment of amateur (ie less qualified, and less experienced employees). In other words, we cannot understand why this is the case outside the context of politicization of recruitment and selection of staff in the system. This study is therefore an attempt to investigate how politics of recruitment is carried out in the Enugu State Civil Service from 1999-2010.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Civil services in developing countries have been confronted with a number of problems which militate against the effective performance of their functions. One of such problems as identified by Ozor (2003) is the politicization of recruitment, selection and placement in personnel management and administration. This problem has been noted by Orewa and Adewuni (1983) and Onah (2003) among others as one of the factors responsible for inefficiency civil service in Nigeria Orewa and Adewuni (1983).
Furthermore, most Senators, Ministers, Governors, House of Representative members and state houses of assembly, Commissioners, and Local Government chairman recruit and place their relations, friends and political sympathizers or party members into civil service without due regard to rules and regulations or in keeping with manpower requirement of the civil service system in Nigeria. The implication of the above is that the ramshackle inefficiency that characterized general poor service delivery in Nigeria civil service system especially in some states like Enugu state stems largely from the politicization of staff recruitment which results in the emergence of wrong candidates.
Okoli (2003) noted that in most of public bureaucracies in Nigeria, the incumbents at the lower positions may be more qualified than the incumbents of higher positions. This may be true considering the level of inefficiency of the civil service following incompetent manpower in the Nigerian civil service. It is on this note that that this study is structured to investigate the politics of recruitment in the Enugu State Civil Service from 1999-2010.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives are grouped into general and specific.
The general objective of this study is to examine the politics of recruitment in the Enugu state civil service.
Other specific objectives of the study are to:
1. Determine and examine if there is a significant relationship between politicization of recruitment of staff and ineffective performance of Enugu State Civil Service.
2. Examine if Bureaucratic corruption in Enugu State Civil Service induces politicization of recruitment processes.
3. To determine if Politicization of recruitment of staff in Enugu State Civil Service leads to poor service delivery
4. Suggest practical measures in order to reduce politicization of recruitment of staff in Nigerian civil service particularly in Enugu state.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses have been formulated to guide this study:
Hi: There is a significant relationship between politicization of recruitment of staff and ineffective performance of Enugu State Civil Service.
Hi: Bureaucratic corruption in Enugu State Civil Service induces politicization of recruitment processes.
Hi: Politicization of recruitment of staff in Enugu State Civil Service leads to poor service delivery.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study presents the value or contribution which the research will make to the existing knowledge. Obasi (1999:73), asserts that research is most important tool for advancing knowledge and enables man to relate more effectively to his environment. The significance of this study is categorized into theoretical and empirical significance.
Theoretically, this study has the potential of contributing greatly to the growth of existing theories in social science particularly in public administration by helping to enrich the bank of knowledge through its reliable findings on politicization of recruitment of staff in the Nigerian civil service system and its effect on administration of civil service in Nigeria. This is to say that our study would assist in improving frontiers of knowledge especially in the personnel management and administration in the Nigerian civil service system. This is important because it is only a viable manpower that can provide quality service delivery for grassroots development. This study also has the potentials of contributing immensely to the existing body of literature on this subject matter.
Empirically, this study will serve as a foundation or base for future researchers who may in due course of time wish to embark on the assessment of politicization of recruitment of staff in civil service in Nigeria. In other words, this research will serve the academic as a useful and veritable bibliographical reference which will stimulate research for other related studies in relation to politics of recruitment in the civil service in Nigeria and particularly in Enugu state.
1.6 Scope of Limitations of the Study
This study focuses on politics of recruitment in the Enugu State civil service from 1999-2010. In other words, this study will unveil the effects of politicization of recruitment and selection of staff in civil service.
Some information were said to be classified information and out of bound for non-staff. However, the researcher did not rely entirely on the information rather supplementary information were sourced from textbooks, journals, magazines and other materials found to be relevant to the study.
1.7 Definition of terms
Effectiveness: In a generic sense, effect means results or outcome. In this study, effectiveness is defined as the degree to which an organization realizes its goals. The effectiveness of an organization in this study implies the degree to which it attains it goals or the ability of the system as a whole to effect intended result.
Inefficiency: This means the inability of the council to cope with the societal demand on it. Inefficiency may be determined from the low quality of services rendered by an organization and incompetence of its manpower to achieve the organizational goals and objectives.
Merit: This means the criteria set up, which permit a reasonable and objective judgement of an applicant ability to perform a job.
Public Service: Public service is a term used to cover all the organizations, institutions or bodies owned by the government. It also includes all the employees of government that work to execute its policies.
Recruitment: Is the process to which organisation solicit, contact interest potential appointees, and establish whether it will be appropriate to appoint any of them.
Selection: Selection is the processing and rank ordering of the applications and interviewing applicant in order to determine the offer of jobs.
Bureaucratic Corruption:- Bureaucratic corruption is seen as any form of inducement or gratification “given and taken” in order to do some official work or assignment which ought to be done as a normal routine, or to jump some official protocols or bend some rules and regulations.
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