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Problems Of Management In Government Owner Corporations

Chapter one of Problems Of Management In Government Owner Corporations


Management is said, to be the heart and engine of any organization.

Campbell and Gregg (1957) defined Management as a “distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling the work of others performed to determine and accomplish objectives”.  It is pertinent to state that no worthwhile organization can grow beyond the managerial competencies of the said organization.

Nigeria, being one of the developing countries in the world is yet to provide enough social amenities to her citizenry inspite of the abundant human and material resources at her disposal.  Specifically, all the efforts of government towards the provision of water to all the nooks and crannies in the country have not yielded any good fruit principally because of lack of ineptitude, law technological progress, low labour productivity, lack of unity of purpose and under funding in our public corporations.  The most worrisome of all these is that the management cadre which is a sine qua non for any organizational success is lacking in Nigeria.

The 1999 constitution on the Federal Republic of Nigeria Stated that,

The State shall control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.

A cursory look at this citation from the constitution reveals that the government owes it as a duty to provide functional social amenities to its citizens.  A situation whereby a good number of Nigerians live without safe water is an aberration and shear mockery of an ideal democratic government.  Water is essential to human progress, happiness, industry and soon.  The efforts of our dear Enugu State Water Corporation leaves much to be desired when it comes to the issue of quantity and quality distribution of water to the corporation needs to sit up and face the challenges with dispatch.

The corporation should as a matter of public urgency understand and work towards the popular Maxim which says that water is life and life is water.  Life without Safe Water is misery.

It is against this background that the research intends to investigate the perennial management problems in Enugu State Water Corporation with a view to finding lasting solutions to them.



Just like any public corporation globally, Enugu State Water Corporation was established to render essential services to the people.  It is charged principally with the responsibility of generating and supplying water to all the inhabitants of Enugu State.  The Corporation was established to serve the water needs of the populace.  Its major target was never profit making.

Historically, Enugu State Water Corporation was established by Edict No. 16 of 1978 with the following zones:  Onitsha, Abakaliki, Awka, Nsukka, Udi, Aguata, Nnewi, Ihiala and the headquarter – Enugu, Enugu state Water Corporation has its root in the Olde Anambra State from which Enugu State was later carved out in August 27th, 1991.

The corporation should aim at:

(a)         provision of pipe –borne water to all the pants of Enugu State:

(b)        provision of materials necessary for its operation;

(c)        generation of revenue for the government and for the up keep of its plant and staff.

(d)        Installation of pipe-born water system to deserving customers;

(e)         Maintenance and service of burst pipes and the like.

However, for the corporation to achieve the above stated loft objectives it requires efficient and prudent management so as to be able to utilize effectively all the  available human and material resources.  The importance of a well articulated managerial machinery in any given organization cannot be underestimated.  Management in the corporation includes staff personnel administration, piscal policies, plant management, recruitment, discipline, retention, promotion and placement of staff.  Consequently, Ojo (1990) defined administration as a process of directing, planning, organizing, co-ordinating and supervising the activities of members of an organization such as the water corporation so that the aims and objectives of the organization will be achieved. Absence of administration in any social group invites anarchy and disaster.

The Enugu State Water Corporation has its headquarters at No. 3 constitution Road, G.R.A Enugu.  It receives monthly subvention from the Enugu State Government.  Some of the statutory organs of the corporation include:  commercial Department, Finance and Supplies, Engineering, Administration, maintenance, public relations.

Though, the corporation is  not geared towards profit

Maximization, it is expected that at least, it breaks even government spends substantial amount of money in the day to day running of the organization.  By so doing, employment opportunities are ensured and the economy is indigenized.  All these ventures are designed to improve the living standards of the populace of Enugu State.


Water is a clear, colorless nearly colorless and tasteless liquid.  It is essential for human beings, in most plants and animals.  The water system includes reservoirs tanks, building, pumps, pipes and other apparatus of a city or town.  Efficient management of the supply of this essential commodity to people can not be compromised.

It was on this note that the Enugu State Water Corporation was established to provide water to the inhabitants of Enugu State.

Unfortunately, lack of management skills among the corporation’s management and subordinate staff is posing a serious problem in the corporation and needs to be tackled.

The existing relationship between the management cardre and their subordinate need also be reviewed for better management.

The issue of revenue generation poor financing and poor financial management in the corporation is another pressing problem that need to be given attention.  The corporation’s staff are not paid as at when due. Procurement of new equipment and maintenance of the existing ones is posing a problem.  Efficient management of the public fund with out doubt would aid, good management devices and the  hope of the inhabitants of Enugu State on Water Supply restored.

The corporation has in recent times been experiencing leadership problems finaicial mismanagement job dissatisfaction among staff etc. the resultant effect of all these anomalies is how productivity as evidently manifested in the frequent stoppage of Water Supply by the organization. Water, which ought to be a necessity has now become a luxury in Enugu State.

Undoubtedly, this unfortunate situation has invariably caused grave havoc in the life and happiness of the citizenry.  Life has therefore become un-bearable to a good number  of ht inhabitants of Enugu State, owing to the fact that water is life.

In view of the above ugly painted picture the researcher deems it necessary to study the remote and immediate causes of management problems in the corporation with a view to finding lasting remedies to them.


The main objective of this study is to find out the nature of management problems in Enugu State Water Corporation.

Equally, the study aimed at achieving the following  specific objectives:

1.           To determine the nature of relationship between the management staff and the subordinate staff.

2.           To Evaluate the extent of managerial skills of the management  staff.

3.           To examine the existing  relationship  of the management staff and the Enugu State  Government.

4.           to investigate the appropriateness of the quality and quantity  of the management staff of the corporation.


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