Improving Public Service Delivery in Nigeria

For about three years now, some federal government departments, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been conducting promotion interviews for some of their employees. Not so long ago, some MDAs did this for some of their workers. The personal and national expenses incurred during periodic promotion interviews are usually frightening.

Interviewees are, in some cases, invited to travel outside the base to attend these interviews without receiving travel allowances. Respondents are sometimes forced to borrow even from creditors who charge them unfavorable interest rates.

Investigators, like those interviewed, are required to travel off-base. But, given their influence, in some MDAs, efforts are being made to pay them their travel allowances to enable them to go to their duty stations. In some cases, too, some investigators still end up being hosted, fed and transported by their host organizations, causing Africa’s most populous country to burn the candle at both ends. New Telegraph applauds MDAs for ditching their old habits of stagnating their workforce on a pay scale for many years to move them up the ladder once every three years after interviews. This has helped deal a devastating blow to the desperation and disillusionment associated with the abandonment of some employees on a pay scale for an indefinite period.

Just as we say kudos to MDAs for improving the frequency of promotion interviews, however, we note with annoyance that the promotion interviews are in some ways just a facade. Without a doubt, the promotional talks help give officials, some of whom lack officially approved dress codes and what might pass for worthy wardrobes, the opportunity to upgrade them and make an extraordinary fashion statement once. every three years.

Indeed, the 30 or 40 minutes allotted to each interviewee are absolutely insufficient for the panel of interviewers to be able to grill the first and subject them to a complete and productive audit to verify their eligibility for the elevation.

Some respondents end up answering the few questions they are asked correctly. Due to the limited time, they are usually unable to show their productivity and mastery of their work. Those who are politically or socially well connected or for other emotional considerations are simply invited to bow and go out. The method of promotion, like that of recruitment, has unfortunately been one of the major drawbacks of the public service, both at the federal and state levels.

To a large extent, unproductive and less committed people are usually promoted in the same way these people are absorbed to the exclusion of industrious and motivated candidates, whose only sin is that they come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Administrative divisions of organizations that usually coordinate promotion interviews, such as recruiting, have in some ways mismanaged these exercises.

The Administrative Divisions, which could at any time accept from the employees an update or a modification of their personal information relating to residential addresses, relatives, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and banks will turn to reject certificates not preceded by letters of notification before the start of these programs. This has led the administrative divisions of some organizations to exclude certain productive workers from the list of people invited for promotion interviews.

Ultimately, an army of unproductive employees ends up being promoted to higher and even managerial positions, resulting in a poorly managed, inefficient and inefficient public service. New Telegraph therefore proposes that experts in industrial relations and human resources management, public administration, political science, administration / business management, economics, sociology and psychology be called to work in the administrative divisions of all MDAs.

They should also be invited to register for, take and pass the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) qualifying examinations to gain a broader knowledge of administration. Typists should under no circumstances be allowed to convert to basic administration without having studied for a degree in one of the following areas: labor relations and human resources management, public administration, political science, administration / business management, economics, sociology and psychology. Likewise, those typists wishing to convert to central administration should also be mandated to take qualifying examinations of reputable professional bodies to train directors and managers as well as to regulate their activities – such as the CIPM and NIM.

Directors and managers who have been allowed to rise through the ranks without extensive intellectual preparation and scorching are generally rigid, conservative, bitter and regressive in their approach to administration and have a penchant for making matters worse. Such people will stop at nothing to deny productive employees a promotion on the grounds that they have not informed their organizations of the programs they have embarked on when in reality there are remedies for it. After all, administrative work, like all human activities, is about solving problems.

A realistic step to take is to establish why the same workers have not informed their organizations about their university programs. Administrative divisions with a well-organized and open-minded workforce will likely appreciate the deception of public service promotion interviews and devise more realistic ways of determining people’s eligibility for the rise. We recommend that the consistency with which employees, who in addition to having the academic requirements, do quality work without supervision, will determine their eligibility for elevation. Productivity must be appreciated and glorified.

Those who are able to achieve results without supervision should be rewarded more than those who could do the same with little supervision. Those who carry out their tasks with maximum supervision and others who, despite full supervision, still fail to produce quality work should not have been employed initially because they are the weak link in MDAs.


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