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INTRODUCTION1.1 Background of the study
Civil service is a feature of all nations practiced at federal, state and local levels. Indeed, whether the chief executive of a government is president, prime minister, an emperor, king, duke governor or mayor, that government functions within the ambit of civil service (Igbokwe-Ibeto, Agbodike, & Osawe 2015). Nigerian civil service is the greatest asset of the country in its quest for sustainable development. Civil service as an organization lies at the centre of Public Administration structure. It is the major instrument through which government; federal, state or local manage development and promote live sustainability among their governed (Olu-Adeyemi, 2009).
The attainment of good governance in any society depends on the effective and efficient provision of services for its citizens. Such service delivery is better performed by an arm of executive called civil service. The civil service is the administrative bureaucracy of any country that is saddled with the responsibility of implementing and enforcing the policies and programmes of government. It therefore means that for policy objectives of the state to be achieved, the civil service must be alive to its responsibilities (Solomon, 2014). Undoubtedly, among others the level of service delivery by civil servants is determined by the conditions of work incorporated in the civil service sector. When work conditions are judiciously injected by government, good service delivery is promoted among civil servants.
Working conditions refer to the environment in which one works (Van Antwerpen & Ferreira, 2016). It covers a variety of issues among others such as culture, work load, structures, community relations, service operating procedures, civil servants’ salaries, promotion, training and development, physical and social infrastructure such as housing and transportation allowance, scholarship for further study, scholarship for children and health care services. Good working conditions especially in the third world countries such as Nigeria are tied to salary, promotion, health allowance, physical infrastructure, training and development. Salary which is a mainstay of work conditions in the civil service refers to the monetary reward offered for the enhancement of service which serves as a source of livelihood for them (Olaopa 2013). Promotion is a necessity for every employee, as it entails an upward mobility of position and assumption of greater responsibility and other accrued benefits among civil servants. Physical Infrastructures such as buildings and tangible facilities such as packing space, library, well air conditioned office, conference halls, ventilation and lightening, modern chairs and tables, etc aid the service delivery of civil servants which is solely tied to the implementation of government policies, production, distribution of public goods and service for public satisfaction. With the advent of technology and globalization of socio-economic activities, there is a prime need for government to ensure her workforce (civil servants) are trained and developed to boost performance while delivering their statutory services (Nwakanma, 2014). This helps promote good governance in line with global practices. Therefore, impacting relevant skills, knowledge, ideas, etc among civil servants enable them perform pressing tasks, assignments and duties effectively and efficiently, in the present and future time.
Participatory decision making is one of the key tools to enhancing service delivery in the civil service as governance. It is the involvement of civil servants in government businesses. It also entails the collaboration of top government functionaries (executives, legislatures and judiciaries) and civil servants of minor positions in the decision making of government policies and programmes. When civil servants are actively involved in the decision making process, they tends to positively deliver government goods and services.
Ayodele (2004) observed that the challenges of development and stability of the polity depends a great deal on the efficient, effective, mobile, and accountable public service system. The civil service is normally the thinking arm of the sovereign nations, and often draws from a country’s most unique talent pool; from its established centers of knowledge production- the universities, the research centers and the entire schools system. It generates ideas to create and continuously renew the charter and mission of nationhood (Nwakanma, 2014).
In recent times, Nigeria as a country is geared towards the enhancement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which refers to eight goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. Succinctly, these eight goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality and empower women; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; to ensure environmental sustainability; and to develop a global partnership for development (Jacobson, 2015). Unfortunately, Nigeria is still battling with these strides as she is still behind the scheduled map of collective goals and objectives among member states. Since it is the duty of government (federal, state and local) to enforce the promotion of these values through the instrumentation of her civil service, good working conditions stands a prerequisite for the effective service delivery of civil servants’ tasks, duties and responsibilities in governance.1.2 Statement of the Problem
The success or failure of any government depends to a large extent on its workers.
Speaking specifically about civil service of a nation, Amarachukwu (1997) noted that it is the nerve centre of government activities. According to him, the effectiveness of a government is to a very great extent determined by the efficiency and competence of its civil service. This is because it is the civil service that gives effect to all government policies whether in civilian or military regime, developed or developing countries, etc. No government can be better than its civil servants.
It is no gainsaying government’s delay in payment of salary, little or no promotion, poor facilitated offices, inconsideration to housing, transport and scholarship allowances, ineptitude in training and developing civil servants militate against the service delivery of civil servants in the levels of government (federal, state and local). Ineffective service delivery among civil servants are characterized by high absenteeism, irregularity, little or no attention to effective implementation of government’s policies and programmes for the betterment of lives and its sustainability. Despite the strides recorded by the government of Rivers State in this present dispensation of His Excellency, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, concerned indigenes and local council bosses are wondering why there is lack of commitment and productivity on the part of civil servants in Rivers State, as they opined that these issues could arise from poor working conditions to which the civil servants are to. To this end, the researcher was posed to investigate the relationship between working conditions and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area, Rivers State
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between working conditions and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area. However, the objectives of this study are:To determine the extent payment of salary influence service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
H01: There is no significant relationship between payments of salary and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between promotion and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State
H03: There is no significant relationship between physical infrastructure and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State.
H04: There is no significant relationship between training and development programme and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State.
H05: There is no significant relationship between participatory decision making and service delivery of civil servants in Obio/Akpor local government area in Rivers State.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Content Scope: The study was limited to working conditions and service delivery of civil servants, with emphasis on salary, promotion, physical infrastructure, participatory decision making, training and development as dimensions; and service delivery of civil servants.
Geographical Scope: The study was geographically carried out in Obio/Akpor local government area council, River State.
Study Unit Scope: The unit of analysis was limited to workers of the council.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study cannot be overemphasized as it contributes to the following:
Exposes in reflection the related factors that connect both working conditions and service delivery of civil servants performance, and as well map out areas where such elements could be more effective.
It will also help civil servants in the aspect of staff development because of the crucial role they stand to play in nation building, as experience at work would lead to quality implementation of government policies which serves as a veritable tool to effective governance.
The study will be of benefit to all stakeholders in legislature, executive and judiciary arm of government in understanding the relationship between working conditions and service delivery of civil servants, thus enabling them create enviable working conditions that will spur performance among civil servants in the course of fronting government vision, mission and goals.
It will also help the government to see the need for adequate financial provision to cover staff development policy and welfare incentives to motivate civil servants in effective service delivery through in-service programme, conferences, symposia, etc to improve their skills, knowledge and ideas.
Finally, it is hope that the study would serve as a useful resort to existing literature which have a relationship with a topic under study, as they would find the outcome of its a reference point
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms were operationally defined to give a clearer meaning of the study:
Working Conditions: This refers to the totality of things that must exist or be done before people perform their duties in the civil service (such as salary, promotion, fringe benefits, staff development, terminal benefits, physical infrastructures).
Physical Infrastructures: These are buildings and tangible facilities such as good office setting, lightening and illumination, air conditioned offices, modern filing system, computerized system, etc which aid the modern duties and responsibilities of civil servants.
Promotion: Is an upward mobility of the civil servants which changes his or her present position to one that makes him assume greater responsibility and other accrued benefits.
Relationship: This is the ground for which two or more elements are connected to each other and their permeated effect
Salary: This is a reward for service and a source of livelihood for civil servants.
Training: This is the process of impacting relevant skills, knowledge, ideas, etc among civil servants to enable them perform a pressing task, assignment and duty effectively and efficiently.
Staff Development: It refers to those programs which focus on the individual member for a future position or duties or responsibilities in the school.
Participatory Decision Making: It refers to the involvement of civil servants in government major decisions in terms of governance
Civil servant: One who works for the government or under a government institution, agency or bureau.
Service delivery: This refers to the implementation of government policies and programmes, and the production and distribution of public good and services for the betterment and sustainability of lives.
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