Employment Status in Nigeria public service: A case study of Enugu State.

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INTRODUCTION

Employment in public service in Enugu state has a unique characteristics in that remuneration, recruitment and retirement of workers in the state are constantly evaluated by the government. Public service as it is often called is a branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed to work for the benefit of the government. In this regards Enugu public service are the organization owned and managed by the government or its agencies. They recruit, train and retire the civil servants working in the various ministry in the state.

Individuals can either work for the public service or work in the private sector as paid employment. These workers are remunerated on fixed wages or salaries instead of on commission or profit basis. They open the better part of their active life working for the growth, development and expansion of government organization. For their contributions to the progress for these organizations they receive virtually nothing in return other than salaries and/or wages. Salaries and wages are prices paid for their training, qualifications, experiences, risk taking, productivity and their other x-efficiency contributions to the overall development of their areas of employment as well as other sectors combined. However, they are not appropriately compensated for their contributions and based on this, they cannot be able to invest in other business ventures that will yield profits to them for the rainy days during the post-retirement period and so, they face a lot of problems.

Retirement is an inevitable fact of life every employee must look forward to experience, it further confirms that whatever that has a beginning has an end. But due to unpreparedness and lack of adequate compensation on the part of the employers, there abound problems in the post retirement period and these made many retiring employees see retirement as the ultimate end of their careers and lives. It is phenomenal in Nigeria that there are army of retired government workers and teachers who have not received their retirement benefits after five (5) years. These people are made to undergo excruciating processes of verification and revivification and in the end some of them die without even collecting any benefit.
There were many cases of frustration, economic hardship, stress meted to the retirees which in most times resulted to untimely deaths while in pursuit of their retirement benefits. This constitutes a lot of problems in the management of their homes and the society at large. It therefore, becomes necessary to examine the problems which under assumptions might be responsible for these.

According to Noko (2015) there are peculiar problems that hinders the efficient operation of public service in Nigeria. One of the problems is the employment of staff that are not qualified or those that do not possess the requisite skills to deliver the required services. Some of the staff being absorbed into system are kits and kin of the powers that be. Infact, they are employed under what some experts calls patron-client syndrome or through political patronage.
According to Adegbile (2010) 88 percent of employment in the public service in Nigeria are based who you know making it difficult for an ordinary man to contribute its quota to the development of Nigeria. A survey of determinant of employment in Ebonyi state revealed that employment is seen as a compensation to party loyalist. In some occasions the quest to settle all political loyalist the government in the state will over bloat the public service with staff. As a result redundancy, gossip and duplicity of function normally becomes the order of the day. Over-bloated public service is normally noticeable in the democratic regime. The pending issue of redundancy in the public sector has cost the government of the day a whole lots of resources. A situation where one person can be collecting 20-30 salaries of Ghost workers, individuals who come to work don’t work with their whole heart while some only come to the office occasionally and use the time to engage in other things on the ground that the pay will not be able to sustain their family.

SECTION II

An overview of Public service

According to Wikipedia (2011) Public service is a service which is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus (usually expressed through democratic elections) that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income, physical ability and/or mental acuity. In our context, public service employees are those engaged in public service or public corporation. They generally referred as civil servants or public servants.
PENSION: This is a periodic payment made by an employer to his retired employee until his death in consideration of past service rendered to the establishment.
WORKER: A worker is any person who has entered into or work under a contract with an employer.
RETIREMENT: Retirement is generally when somebody is not physically able to perform in the organization as a result of old age, industrial accidents or any other events that may immobilize the worker to continue his normal organizational labour service.
EMPLOYER: Is any person who has entered to a contract of employment to employ another person as a worker either for himself, or the service of another person.
Employment Generation Policies in Nigeria
As an outcome of the recommendation of a national committee set up in 1986 (on strategies for dealing with the prevalent mass unemployment) National Directorate of Employment was established in1987. NDE was commissioned to pursue two employment related objectives viz; creating employment opportunities through provision of land, tools, guidance, finance and management services; encouraging employment by means of appropriate training. The long term goal of NDE is to effect a structural change in employment expectation and job search practices from public sector employment and self-employment.
In the first year of operation (1987), the number of proposed beneficiaries was 82,900It was 1,623,007 in 2005 and has grew up to 1,520,880 in 2015. (NISER 2015). The Directorate of Food Roads Rural Infrastructure was established basically to create employment opportunities in
In 1999, the Poverty Alleviation Programme was initiated by the Federal Government and was launched in February 2000. The aim of the programme was to provide employment for about 200,000 unskilled, unemployed youths nationwide. About 5,000 jobs were created in each of the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory and the balances of 15,000 jobs were allocated to states where the problem was perceived to be more severe.
The NDE achieved the most success NISER (2015), though low, (amongst all the programmes on employment policy initiated by government) in addressing the acute unemployment among tertiary education graduates. Though, the programmes were of tremendous benefit to some individuals and communities, its greater benefits accrued to unintended beneficiaries than the targeted poor and unemployed.
Against this awkward background, NISER (2003) identified the following as the challenges faced in the execution of the programme. Corruption, nepotism, lack of transparency; overcentralisation of planning and implementation; unsustainable design; uncoordinated management, over politicisation; irregular payment of beneficiaries; lack of logistics for proper monitoring and evaluation. In effect, National Poverty Eradication Programme was drawn up consisting of four schemes in early 2001. Youth Empowerment Scheme, YES; Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme RIDS; Social Welfare Services Scheme SOWESS; National Resource Development and Conservation Scheme NRDCS.

Retirement Problems of Employees in Nigeria

Retirement of an officer from public service is supposed to be an occasion for, merry making and worthy of thanksgiving to God for His presumed goodness and mercy for surviving and outliving the official mandatory service period which was often characterized by stress and fear of the unknown. But today, the retirement exercise is not seen in the right perspective.
The tale of the retiring workers in the Nigeria civil service is that of orange and the peel. When the juice is sucked the peel is thrown away. And in this country the sweet of the retirees are forgotten in a haste and so others become afraid of been retired unlike their counterpart in developed and industrialized countries who retired because retirement for them is even more promising than active service.
In Nigeria, there are both psychological and economic implications of retirement. They include:
• Psychologically, the worker feels abandoned, unwanted, rejected and useless.
• He is no longer useful to or needed by the society.
• He losses the company of his peers in the organization.
• Economically, he sees his income drastically reduced.
• Psychosomatic illness abound.
Solution to Retirement Problems in Enugu State
In Nigeria today, there is a general average poor and negative attitude towards retirement because of what we know about the predicaments of the retired lot. As Ozor (1998) puts it “in order to encourage retirement of aged employees, there is need to have a retirement benefit plan that will provide income that will be adequate to maintain the retired worker and his dependents on a standard of living reasonable consistent with that which he enjoyed during the years immediately prior to retirement”.
However, government objective for these provisions to retiring staff is to provide social, economic, and protection package for those who are out of work but these objectives are not met which is evident, in the period of wasting for the entitlement as it ranges between three and seven years and some indefinitely. The pitiable cases of the workers are not in most times to the lack of knowledge on the side of government, rather the government always claims that the retirees` record of services were not straight. So, there is need for proper and adequate arrangement by the government as well as on side of individual to help them adjust positively at retirement.
In order to give quality attention to retirement, there is need to abide by these measures:
a. A planning ahead of the retirement age/period –This involves putting your records in order, structuring your life to make it enjoyable and productive after retirement. And the government should plan for the welfare of its retirees before they retires.
b. Adequate information- This is providing the staff with existing circular making them access different pension schemes.
c. Prompt payment of retirement benefits – There should not be delay in paying the retirement benefits to the retirees for them to adjust well to post retirement period.
Employment Situational Analysis in Enugu public service within 2005-2015
Enugu state is predominantly rural and agrarian, with a substantial proportion of its working population engaged in farming, although trading (18.8%) and services (12.9%) are also important. In the urban areas trading is the dominant occupation, followed by services. A small proportion of the population is also engaged in manufacturing activities, with the most pronounced among them located in Enugu, Oji, Ohebedim and Nsukka. The state boasts of a number of markets especially at each of the divisional headquarters, prominent of which is the Ogbete Main market in the State capital, Enugu. Every four days, grains and other farm produce are found in large quantities and at highly competitive prices.
Public service in Enugu state according to NDE employ about 32% of paid employment in the state. The workers is Enugu state public service are often not very lively and up and doing. You see a public servant going to work by 10am in the morning and on getting sit down and do nothing. Some these individuals has faulty foundation. In Enugu state employment into public service are mostly based on who you know in the state generally. The recruitment process in the state public service is half-hazard and encourage mediocrity since the staff are mostly improperly placed. The recruitment of the staff are never made announced to the public to attract the right candidates. In the process of making this research, I asked a staff in the ministry of agriculture in the state how they recruit people. Do they advertise it or how do they get people recruited? He answered and said, “are you not in Nigeria?” Everything now is politics you must know someone or know someone that know someone before you get employment into the ministry.
A critical examination of what constitute workers commitment in Enugu public service, it was discovered that the staff are paid stipends that is not enough to take care of their basic needs thereby putting pressure on them to look for better opportunities to cater for the family needs at large. The search for better remuneration led to unfaithfulness in the work places. You can imagined a public servant riding bikes and keke napep sometimes to complement family income. The question then now becomes why families take up such employment even after understanding the situation? The reasons is of two folds, one aspect of the reason is because there are no employment in Nigeria talk more of Enugu state. And secondly the hope of retirement benefits also keep some other individuals in the public service. Unfortunately, the retirement of public service has generated lots of debates as most policy analyst try to proffer solution to the issue of retirement in the state.
The people that even got retired finds it very difficult to access their retirement benefits as analysed earlier. The pitiable cases of the workers are not in most times to the lack of knowledge on the side of government, rather the government always claims that the retirees` record of services were not straight. So, there is need for proper and adequate arrangement by the government as well as on side of individual to help them adjust positively at retirement.
Conclusion
It is no gain saying to state that employment in public service in Enugu state is poorly managed. Starting from the recruitment process which has been criticized by many. It is popular in the public service that the politicians uses the public services to settle their political loyalist by employing them in the public service. While some of the position in the service are politicized as well. The permanent sectary are always from either the politician kindred or settlement for political commitment.
The stipends paid in the public service caused most of them to source for survival means from other sources. The retirement of the worker has become very big issues causing most of the employees to falsify documents as regards their age. The research therefore recommends that government should make adequate effort to recruit the right people into the public service by way of advertising the position and make it transparent to pick the best candidates this will improve the sector productivity and increases internal generated revenue (IGR).
Enugu state government on the other hand should endeavour to establish social benefits for the retired persons and remove discriminating retirement policies with respect to pension benefits among the three tiers of government. Since they all make contributions during their active days in the development of the state.

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References
Adebayo A. (1994). Principle and practice of public Administration in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Chime, L.K.C. (2007) Seminar paper on “Pension Administration in Nigeria under the New pension Reform Act 2004; An overview” presented at a seminar organized for local Government Workers on 20th May, Uwani Enugu.

Chukwuma M.C. (2003). An Overview of The law of Master and Servant in Nigeria. Resource Development Centre, Imo State.

David, E. (1979). Framework for political Analysis; Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Ezeigwe, F. (2006). Pension guidelines and Administration in Nigeria Awka: Micro Printing Press.
Ubaka, F.N. (2009). Basic Administrative Skills. Onitsha: Adson Educational Publisher.

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