Problems of Manpower Development in Nigeria.

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Omotosho Fatimah Olamide
Department of Economics, University of Lagos


The development of indigenous manpower to serve as the propelling force for national growth and development is no doubt a key to Nigeria’s socioeconomic and political development. Manpower utilization could be defined as “the existence of skilled and /or unskilled humans that need training or re-training to perform specific task in society”. Thus, manpower development could be seen as organizational specific. This is because it is largely a function of organizational manpower needed or job specification. That is, it could be viewed as the adaptation of the human resources available in the country to the needs, objectives and orientation of a given organization.

There are organizational tools that can be used to achieve manpower development. The first method an organization has to adapt towards achieving this goal is by ensuring that a new employee is given the best orientation of his/her job functions and environment. This method is an integral part of recruitment exercise in that once an employee has been appointed, it is expected that that such an employee need to be positively oriented in line with the vision and aspiration of the organization for effective discharge of function. Other effective tools are on-the-job training, apprenticeship and vestibule training methods. This is a process through which knowledge and experience are acquired over time either formally or informally. On-the –job could take different forms such as coaching, job-rotation, in-house training and in-service training. Apprenticeship method involves acquisition of skills through extensive practice for over a period of time by the trainee .Under vestibule training method, the trainee practices his skill with identical equipment that he uses or he is expected to use at work.

However, it is important to state that the lack of adequate emphasis on manpower development as a tool of development in Nigeria on the part of government as well as the organized private sector could not be far-fetched from the lack of understanding of both concepts and methods for manpower development in a Nigerian State. The focus of this paper is to unfold problems of manpower utilization and suggesting solutions to alleviate it in Nigeria.


Poor Manpower Planning: Planning can be defined “as a process for providing a frequently updated framework of information decision making, with the object of improving the utilization of resources “ Manpower planning is the process of collecting data about manpower, analyzing it to help the decision makers to take more rational and applicable decisions. The data or information to be collected is usually about the supply sources of manpower as well as the demand, which is the most important and lasting element in the production process.

This problem is associated with the poor database that is needed for manpower planning in Nigeria both in rural and urban centers. This problem no doubt constitutes a major hindrance on effective manpower utilization in Nigeria. The probable future risk of having either surpluses or shortages, or both in particular kinds of manpower skills, can be reduced by good planning so the balance between demand and supply can be achieved and then maintained through readjustments and reassessment of both demand and supply sources.

Poor Reward System: In Nigeria, youths are usually underpaid for their skills because there is excess supply of labour in the labour market. If employees are not adequately rewarded for their jobs, it will serve as disincentive to work and development. In quest to get highly paid job and good working conditions, employees will switch to any kind of job.

For instance,...
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