an evaluation of performance appraisal system in the public service a case study of lagos state civil service
AN EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE CIVIL SERVICE
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The research provides an evaluation of performance appraisal system in the public service. It provides a structural study on performance appraisal and performance appraisal system. It elucidates the fundamental factors in performance appraisal since improved performances is a basic criterion for individual and organizational growth. The research proffers an analysis of types of performances appraisal systems and its significance while providing a case appraisal of performance appraisal system and the Lagos state civil service.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The civil service has always been the tool available to Nigerian government for the
implementation of developmental goals and objectives. It is seen as a pivot for growth
of Nigerian economy. It is responsible for the creation of an appropriate and
conducive environment in which the economy can perform optimally and it is this
catalytic role of the public service that propelled government all over the world to
search continuously for better ways to deliver their services (Amoako, 2003).
Civil Service is the instrument which government uses to regulate and manage all
aspects of the society. Thus, the condition of a society is largely determined by the
public service. Besides, it is from this government bureaucracy that all the other
institutions obtain various types of approval, license and permits which are critical to
their existence and operation. Also, government allocations of resources pass through
the bureaucracy to all other areas of the society directly and indirectly. Therefore, all
other institutions perforce have to deal with the civil service at one point or the other
in their existence and operations (Philips, 1990).
In many developing countries like Nigeria, the civil service is frequently too
expensive and insufficiently productive; and civil servants, especially those in
management positions get few incentives and poorly motivated (Nunberg., 1994).
Many low income countries have taken important steps in first generation reforms-that
is, based on restructuring and downsizing civil service. Yet, beyond a certain point,
cutting cost by squeezing real wages becomes counterproductive as skilled staff
members leave the civil service; those who remain becomes demoralized and
absenteeism, moonlighting and corruption increase (Lienert, 1998). Overemphasis on
cost-containment as an end in itself has by the way given civil service a bad name,
maximizing resistant to reforms and ultimately nullifying the very savings from costcontainment
itself (Schiavo-campo, 1998). To address these problems, countries have
been attempting to lead second generation reforms aimed at revamping pay and
promotion policies. Yet, the multiple objectives of first generation reforms can give
rise to conflicts, and little progress has been reached in second generation reforms
As a major instrument for implementing government policies, the civil service in
Nigeria is expected to be professionally competent, loyal and efficient. Nonetheless, it
is now denounced for being corrupt, poorly trained and poorly attuned to the needs of
the poor. Ironically, the civil service is expected to play the key role in managing and
implementing reform programs in the country. This has led to a number of complex
agency problems yet to be resolved. However, it is broadly acknowledged and
Nigerian experience attest to this, that when the incentive structure in the civil service
remain poor, its efficiency as well as ability to effect policy such as that directed
towards reducing poverty will remain very low (Salisu, 2001).
The federal government initiated reforms aimed at repositioning the civil service for
better efficiency and effectiveness. However, the factors affecting the efficiency of the
Nigeria civil service, (Ajayi, 1998) has noted the following: over staffing and the
closely related poor remuneration of employees in public service as the key factors.
Secondly, there are the issues of poor assessment of manpower needs and the use of
wrong criteria to appraise staff performance. These two have led to poor recruitment
procedures, inadequate training and ineffective supervision. There tends to be a lack of
qualified technical support staff as opposed to the abundance of general staff. The
failure to carry out periodic assessment of manpower needs of the various departments
leads not only to uneconomic system of compensation but also to inadequate job
description and poor physical working conditions. There has also been considerable
political interference in the process of personnel administration, leading to improper
delegation of power, ineffective supervision and corruption. The resulting apathy has
in turn led to unauthorized and unreasonable absenteeism, lateness, idleness and
notably, poor workmanship (Salisu, 2001).
Furthermore, the public service reflects the state of the nation and no nation has been
able to advance beyond its public service. In 1994, the Ayida Panel, which was
instituted to review past public service reforms in Nigeria with a view to proffering
measures of further re-invigorating the service, identified the major ills of the service,
which needed to be corrected to improve the dynamism and effectiveness of the civil
service as follows:
Politicization of the top hierarchy of the civil service
Lack of financial accountability and probity
Perpetual breakdown of discipline
Virtual institutionalization of corruption at all levels and segments of the
Disregard for rules and regulations
Loss of direction
General decline of effectiveness and efficiency (Adegoroye, 2005).
In other to address these ills, the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, after his
inauguration as president of a democratic republic of Nigeria on May 29, 1999,
unfolded his vision of an ideal civil service for Nigeria and by inference, an ideal
public service with the following elements:
A competent, professional, development-oriented, public spirited and
customer-friendly civil service capable of responding effectively and speedily
to the needs of the society;
A civil service with the core values of political neutrality, impartiality,
integrity, loyalty, transparency, professionalism and accountability;
A civil service that is guided by equity where things are done in the right way
based on extant rules and regulations but with room for distractions, which
should be exercised in the public interest;
Creation of suitable environment where civil servants are assured of protection
and job security in the faithful discharge of their duties and responsibilities;
A competitively, well remunerated and innovative civil service (Adegoroye,
Interestingly, the need for reform, then, was driven by circumstance Which have
immediate resonance; the significant changes in the civil service composition with a
staggering (35%) thirty-five percent reduction in the permanent staff; a significant
change in the approach to people management taken place with a new- staff -appraisal
system linked to performance evaluation against predetermined objectives and targets
The reform of the public service therefore became the ultimate strategy for
repositioning the service for the realization of their vision as part of a multi-sectorial
approach to promoting good governance, ensuring sustainable democracy and
accelerated transformation. Various policy initiative and legal instruments have been
put in place for the effectuation of the multi-sectorial reforms of the present
administration, as encapsulated in the National Economic Empowerment and
Development Strategy, the medium term development strategy document of the
administration. Two of the core components of the strategy relate to public service
reforms and anti-corruption reforms through the inculcation of a culture of
transparency and accountability (Adegoroye, 2005).
In spite of the gradual and systematic reforms and restructuring since May 29, 1999,
after decades of military rule, the civil service is still considered stagnant and
inefficient, and the attempts made in the past by panels had little effects. One is bond
to wonder therefore, why so? Much the same question has been raised by Oxford
professor Christopher Hood, commenting on what he calls the civil service reform
We have seen this movie before-albeit with a slightly different plot line with a rash of
our attempt to fix up the bureaucracy with the same pattern of hype from the center,
selective filtering at the extremities and political attention deficit syndrome that works
against any follow-through and continuity. It is the pattern we have seen with ideas
Total quality management
Red tape bonfires
Joined-up policy making
Such initiatives come and go overlap and ignore each other, leaving behind
tombstones of varying sizes and style.
Many organization are using the above foundations to establish a
Policy based on quality. The Nigerian public sector enterprises cannot be an exception
and that is what this study tends to investigate with regards to Power Holdings
Company of Nigeria, Onitsha district.
Constant power supply is the hallmark of a development economy. Any nation whose
energy is epileptic in supply prolongs her development and risk losing potential
investors. Nigeria, a country of over (120) hundred and twenty million people has for
the past (33) thirty-three years of establishment of the National Electric Power
Authority (NEPA) – agency empowered with the electricity generation, transmission
and distribution, witnessed frequent and persistent outages (Okoro et al, 2011).
Presently, the federal government has embarked on a power sector reforms with the
intention of improving the above unpalatable scenario, and in turn reduces the scope
of monopoly control of the nations’ power industry.
Okoro.O.I ,P.Govender ,E.Chikuni, 2011) stated that, the call for power sector reforms
in Nigeria is primarily as a result of inadequate electricity supply, incessant power
outages, and low generating plant available and high technical and non-technical
losses that characterized the Nigerian electricity industry. The federal government in
2000 adopted a holistic approach of restructuring the power sector and privatizing of
business units unbounded into seven generation companies (Gen cos), one
transmission company (Transys co)and eleven distribution companies (Dis cos). This
arrangement is expected to encourage private sector investment particularly in
generation and distribution. This will definitely break NEPA monopoly and pave way
for the entry of independent power producers (IPPs). The structure has since come into
effect in January 2004 into what is called the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria
(PHCN). This structure is to be test-run for two years with down pruned management
team at the head quarter, while the industrial managers of the unbundled segment are
expected to enjoy some level of autonomy.
In the new arrangement, Transco will be government-owned and managed by System
Operators (SO) and Transmission Operators (TO). The reform bill approved by the
federal executive council (FEC) is intended to achieve five objectives:
Privatize the unbundle entities
Establish a regulatory agency
Establish a rural electrification agency and fund
Establish power consumer assistance and fund
In November 2005, the Nigeria electricity regulatory commission (NERC) was
Inaugurated, and charged with the responsibility of tariffs regulations and monitoring
of the quality of service of the PHCN (Okoro.O.I, P.Govender, E.Chikuni, 2011).
Power sector reforms in a developing economy such as Nigeria poses great challenges
not only to the government that initiated the program but also the populace who are
the consumer of energy and to the new born PHCN which parades itself as better
alternatives to the moribund NEPA
The historical poor performance of the power sector in Nigeria has been a significant
barrier to private investment of the country. In 2005, the government of Nigeria
enacted legislation intended to restructure fundamentally the Nigeria electrical power
sector. The electrical power sector reform Act,2005 was designed to move the
electricity sector in Nigeria from government controlled, heavily sub-seized system to
privatized largely market based Endeavour. Implementing the 2005 reform Act has
been challenging for the Nigeria government and largely seems to have stalled in
However, the process of implementing the 2005 reform Act was revitalized when
President Goodluck Jonathan established the presidential taskforce on power and
published a roadmap for power sector reforms in August 2010, potentially opening the
door to significant private investment in the Nigerian power sector (Firm publication,
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Nigerian civil service has been oversized and poorly remunerated resulting in
poor service delivery. Rapid public sector recruitment under military administrations
had resulted in an oversized and under skilled workforce in which employees often did
not have the appropriate technical skills needed for their assignments. For example,
about 70 percent of workers in the ministry of finance were low-level staff clerks,
cleaners and administrative staffs with a secondary school education or equivalent, 13
percent were university graduates and only 8 percent had degrees related to economics
or accounting. More broadly, the government estimated that about 70 percent of
federal civil servants had a high school diploma or lower with less than 5 percent
possessing modern computer skill.
Civil servants generally received low pay and several fringe benefits such as free
housing, free vehicles and various other allowances that often led to waste and misuse
of government resource. Weak management and oversight also meant that there were
problems with ghost workers on the government pay roll; while personnel and pension
registers often were unreliable. Moreover, a weak incentive structure in a civil service,
which did not foster good performance, resulted in a weak work ethic and poor service
delivery by many government ministries, often characterized by hidden or outright
corrupt behavior on the part of many civil servants.
Reforms were therefore needed to re-professionalized the civil service and increase its
focus on service delivery. And the impact which the implementation of these reforms
had created in the Nigerians economy is called for.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
This study tends to suggest ways by which civil service reforms will be properly
implemented to achieve growth in the nations’ economy
The challenges, of civil service reform to policy Implementation
The strategy towards achieving more sustainable reform outcomes for the public
service as an institution and for the government and people of Nigeria for whom the
effect of the public service would be beneficial
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions guided this study:
To what extent can proper implementation of civil service reforms achieve the desired
growth in the nation economy?
What are the challenges, of proper implementation of civil service reform policy?
What strategy can be proffered towards achieving more sustainable reform outcomes
for public services?
The study was guided by the following null hypothesis:
Proper implementation of civil service reforms does not contribute to the growth of
There are no challenges in the proper implementation of civil service reform policy.
The strategy proffered cannot achieve sustainable reform outcomes for public service
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
As Nigeria wends its way towards democracy, it confronts daunting challenges,
persistent ethnic and religious tensions, growing religious conflicts, shallow political
institutions, an assertive military, a deeply depressed economy and a cynical and
increasingly despairing populace. No problem, however, is more intractable and more
threatening to the future of our nascent democracy than political corruption.
According to Chinua Achebe, political corruption has grown more “bold and
ravenous” with each succeeding regime (Musa, 2001).
The public and private sector business organization particularly the Power Holdings
Company Abuja Nigeria, which is the focus of this study, will find the results of this
research very useful to their originations
Another group that will find this study useful is researchers, teachers and students of
management sciences. While the topic: “ Assessment of civil service reforms in the
Nigerian public sector” may not be strange to them, its application to the public sector
business organizations will definitely arouse their interest, which can be in the area of
knowledge or adoption of this research for further study.
The civil servants who are the central to policy formulation and thereby fully
responsible and accountable for the success of government program and projects will
find this research work useful so also are the politicians in the Nigeria society.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
The scope of this study will be on civil service reforms with a focus on Power
Holdings Company Abuja, Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The study is limited by time and resources available to the researcher.
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an evaluation of performance appraisal system in the public services a case study of lagos state civil service