Nigeria's Public Service Reform Process: Human Resource Issues

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 100
  • Published : January 2, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Nigeria’s Public Service Reform Process: Human Resource Issues By M J Balogun

2003

1

Contents Table
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Abstract .................................................................................................. 3 Human Resources and National Development ...................................... 4 Problems in Human Resource Development and Utilization: a Review of Policies and Practices...................................................................... 10 Human Resource Development and Utilization: Short- and MediumTerm Measures..................................................................................... 14 Long-Term Measures ........................................................................... 16

2

1.

Abstract

That Nigeria is going through a phase of rapid transition is beyond doubt. Variability in any case, is a constant feature of human societies. There was a time not too far in the past when the Nigerian economy was based on agriculture. Then for a few fleeting years, petroleum resources transformed the outward appearance of the economy. In recent years, oil wealth has proved to be so fickle and elusive a partner in development that frantic efforts have been, and are being, made to search for alternative sources of wealth. Looking at the vicissitudes in the life of a nation, as we have just done in the case of Nigeria, it is tempting then to suggest that the single determinant of a nation’s growth is the quantum of resources it possesses. To put it in another language, a nation waxes or wanes depending on its natural resource endowment. If this hypothesis is not totally false, it is also not exactly true. The experience of the last forty or so years has demonstrated that one factor that has proved decisive in Africa’s development effort is the caliber of the available human resource. It is this factor, rather than any other, that has pushed the continent farther on the path of dependence, recession and economic decay. It is the only energy source that has the potential of igniting the engine of recovery and growth. If we are keen on a serious debate, we may even advance the proposition that of all the variables crucial to an understanding of the development process, the human resource stands out as an independent variable. It is the variable that operates on, and transforms, other variables to produce a given development scenario. If the human resource is presumed to be so important, what then is its true nature, and in what ways can we support its development and growth? As argued in this paper, human resource is more than the complements of staff required to implement a specific policy or programme. It is even more than the “training” and “development” of manpower. We are getting close to the true character of human resource when, in addition to the preceding components, we look at the morale and motivation of the work force, the tactics and strategies adopted in deploying the workforce on agreed assignments, as well as the internal (management) and the external (socio-cultural) influences operating on the behaviour of employees. Much as one would like to be “practical” and down-to-earth, the preceding attempt to define the scope of human resource management raises a serious but unavoidable conceptual problem. We began with the a priori assumption that the human resource is strategic. We even went to argue that the sub-optimal behaviour of this strategic resource is the fortes et origo of Africa’s troubles. It is

3

on the basis of its importance that we classified it as an independent variable. But then, the definition of the variable leads us to believe that its behaviour is also subject to the behaviour of other variables – notably, the methods and policies affecting the recruitment, training, motivation, deployment and utilization of personnel. Thus, within the twinkle of an eye, an independent variable has become very much dependent. This raises the question,...
tracking img