1.1 Background of the Study
The problem of human resource development and productivity in Nigeria civil service has become very severe such that the civil service is at the point of collapse due to challenges of civil service delivery, over centralization amongst others.
To Collins and Chan (2009) in addition to fixing many such other key problems of development, Nigeria state has an urgent problem of disposing her workforce to cope with the demands of the society.
The origin, structure and performance of the civil service dates back to the 20th century, with the introduction of the British colonial rule in Nigeria. By 1990, a decentralized colonial service with headquarters in each of the protectorate was established. By 1904, the colony of Lagos state was amalgamated with the protectorate of Southern Nigeria. This was followed by the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorate in 1914 bringing into existence a country called Nigeria.
By 1914, there were two civil services in the two Nigeria’s (Northern and Southern) headed by a Governor-general in the person of Lord Lugard and two lieutenant Governors each for the North and South respectively, while an administrator was in charge of Lagos. The British imposed a unified civil service in Nigeria, which was mainly concerned with the maintenance of law and order and the mobilization of enough local resources in order to ensure their administration was self sufficient.
According to Ciroma (1988) The Nigerian civil service began as a force of occupation designed to facilitate colonial rule and the exploitation of land and its people for the benefit of the colonial masters.
The 2nd World War and the attendant worldwide depression left the civil service hopelessly depleted as the civil service played major role of being an essential tool and veritable source of men and material of the allied war efforts.
In 1936, the Walayns committee recommended a new policy of staffing the public service by indigenes and for the first time the administrative service which was the cream of colonial services was thrown open to Nigerians.
The Nigerianization scheme went a stage further with the appointment of the foot commission of 1948, the commission observed that the training and recruitment of Nigerians for senior post in the government services was not only necessary to enable Nigerians to take part in the management of their own affairs but also required to enable them keep pace with the constitutional development and programs in the country.
Richard constitution of 1946 marked a significant milestone in the history of the civil service in Nigeria; first, it marked the beginning of the regionalization of the hitherto unitary civil service as some attempts were made to regionalize the central department. Regionalization of the civil service took the form of transforming some of the central departments operating in the three regions into non-central departments headed by deputy directors responsible to the director in Lagos.
The Macpherson constitution of 1951 further extended the regionalization policy as more Central Departments were regionalized. The 1954 constitution provided for a full fledged regional civil services as well as the central (federal) civil service. It brought in the wake many structural changes which were of great significance in the public service commission in the regions as well as at the center. These commissions were granted full powers by the same constitution to appoint, promote, dismiss and discipline junior civil servants.
The nationalist agitation for independence brought about the introduction of the Nigerianization policy. The essence of this policy was to make Nigerian civil service entirely staffed, managed and controlled by Nigerians themselves (Omotosho, 2001). To Okunade(1990), the civil servants that occupied positions were unprepared. They lacked the necessary training initiative and administrative acumen.
Consequently, the level of productivity in the civil service waned dangerously. Also, Nicolson (1969) noted that Nigerians administrative legacy was one of chaos rather than order and tidiness. There was excessive centralization and absence of delegation. Above all, civil servants for the first two decades after independence were corrupt, inefficient and unproductive.
In the face of this alarming decrease in productivity in the civil service, several steps have been taken by successive Nigerian government to strategically position and reposition human resource administration in the country. Such steps include but are not limited to the setting up of the various commissions for reforming the civil service including the Morgan constitution of 1963, Adebo commission of 1971, Udoji commission of 1974 amongst others.
Following the 1974 Udoji report, the civil service was reformed comprehensively, strategically readjusted and strengthened to respond effectively to the demands of developed. Abubakar (1992) opined that; Human resource development is the sin-quo-non for the attainment of efficiency and effectiveness which are the two major goals/objectives of a good civil service.
The implication is that, the government of the Nigeria civil service before 1994 had been very low. Therefore, utmost need was for qualified and motivated staff at the right place and at the right time to achieve the objectives to transfer paper plan into actual achievement of all aspect of personal management.
Accordingly, the Udoji reform of 1977 saw human resource development as the main vehicle for enhancing efficiency in the civil service.
While the 1978 civil service reform favoured professionalism through human resource training and development as a way of getting into the top cadre of the civil service.
The current administration has not done much to improve on what Obasanjo did during his time, except the eighteen thousand naira minimum wage for civil servants which has not yet been adopted by most states in Nigeria. Moreover, the civil service is still considered stagnant and inefficient as the attempts made in the past have had little effect on the promotion of sustainable human resource development and productivity in the civil service.
This study therefore attempts to assess the impact of human resource development on productivity in the civil service in Nigeria using the Kwara state civil service commission as a point of appraisal.