This research evaluated the implementation of SERVICOM reforms in the Nigeria federal public service in South-east Nigeria, with particular reference to Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The study was necessitated by the continued decadence and stigmatization of the public service with over centralization, incessant conflicts between cadres, scant emphasis on results and concrete performance, excessive focus on compliance with regulation, forms and procedure, counter-productive separation of authority from responsibility at the top of the public service hierarchy, dangerously low staff morals and productivity, inappropriate staff deployment practices which often ignored the specialization of staff and corruption among others. The study employed strategic model of Human Resources Management. To guide the study, three research questions and three hypotheses were raised. A survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was made up 1856 staff working in the Federal Ministry of Works, FRCN and JAMB in South-East Nigeria. The sample size for the study was 21.5% of 1856 which is approximately 400. From this sample, 10 principal officers interviewed were selected using purposive sampling technique while the remaining 390 staff responded to the questionnaire items. Two instruments were developed for the study, namely, a structured questionnaire and an interview guide. Data collected from the responses to the questionnaire were coded into the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) and the responses from the interview were subjected to content analysis. Statistical tables and percentages were used to present the data generated from the questionnaire while Chi-square (x2) were used to test the research Hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that the Federal Ministry of Works, FRCN and JAMB in South-East Nigeria have substantially implemented the requirements of SERVICOM but have not effectively utilized satisfactory service delivery in the public. They did not introduce new procedure for discharging individual roles and responsibilities in the three offices and did not renew the ethics of timing attendance to and duration of work. It was also found out that they have not experienced any change in their personnel configuration and their responsibilities. Consequently, the work recommends the enforcement and effective utilization of customer in-put mechanism to ensure satisfactory service delivery, the introduction of conventional system of sanctioning workers that are indicted by customers’ report, renewal of timing attendance to and duration of work, the restructuring of the personnel configuration and responsibilities in the public service and introduction of sanctions and rewards as instrument to changing employee attitude to work in attending to clients’ needs and complaints in light of SERVICOM reforms.
1.1 Background of the Study
The interaction among management, personnel, and elected officials in pursuit of good governance has sparked some unique and revolutionary ideas that have continued to precipitate a shift in how personnel and its services are organized and delivered in the public sector. Such shifts or changes can be argued to have started formally in the United States in 1883 with the passage of the Pendleton Act (Public Service Act of 1883), which began the slow process of the professionalization of the Public Service at the federal level in the United States (Batchelder and Ross, 2009:1). The Post World War 1 & 11 socio-economic and development experiences pushed Public Service Reform (PSR) into certain position of prominence as an alternative to development.
Thus, Public Service Reforms became prominent in development policy in the 1990s as governments, more often than not, undertook reforms under budgetary pressure. Pressured by macroeconomic imbalances, many governments promised to cut the size of their bureaucracy on the advice of most international agencies. For instance,in 1994, Kenya pursued downsizing and rationalization of the civil service while Tanzania pursued same in the 1980s. Ethiopia, Gambia and India equally implemented the same policy (Klugman, 1994:4). Such reforms swept across countries in South America particularly during their implementation of austerity measures.
In Nigeria, the character of public service reform is tied to its colonial root. After the 1914 amalgamation, Britain imposed a unified but alien public service on Nigeria without giving much thought to its impact on the Nigerian traditional communities with their conflicting values, interests, norms and authority structure (Kinglsey 1963).