HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SERVICE (2003-2014)
Reforms in the Nigerian Public service have been targeted at addressing the challenges of ineffectiveness and inefficiency in service delivery. As one of the measures in addressing these deficiencies, the Public Service Review Commission of 1974 recommended the creation of training institutions. This led to the establishment of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) which is the foremost training Institute for the Public service. Despite this effort, it appears that ineffectiveness and inefficiency still persist in service delivery. This study therefore examined the relationship between Human Capital Development (HCD) programmes and service delivery between 2003 and 2014 in Nigeria’s Public Service.
Survey design was adopted. The population of the study comprised of 1,495,000 staff of the Nigerian Public Service, specifically Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) who had received training between 2003 and 2014. A sample size of 1,200 was selected using stratified random sampling technique. A validated questionnaire was employed to collect data on Participation in training (PT) measured on 8-point scale (Cronbach’s alpha (α=0.89); Content of curriculum (CC) on 11-point scale (α=0.83); Benefits from Courses attended (BC) on 6-point scale (α=0.85) and Utilization of knowledge acquired (UK) on 6-point scale (α=0.80) respectively. A total of 1,520 copies of the questionnaire were administered with a response rate of 86%. In addition, in-depth interview was conducted with 6 officials of ASCON, 82 trainees and 20 supervisors of trainees. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Hypotheses were tested, using correlation and regression analysis at 5% level of significance. The qualitative data from the interviews were transcribed and content-analysed.
Findings revealed that PT was significantly associated with UK (r=0.430, p<0.05). Conversely, CC showed a weak negative insignificant relationship with UK (r= -0.242, p<0.05). Findings also revealed a significant but positive weak relationship between BC and UK (r=0.012, p<0.05) and a negative weak not significant relationship was observed between UK and HCD (r= -0.003, p<0.05). Furthermore, HCD programmes of ASCON were significantly influenced by challenges such as inadequate fund, lack of good infrastructures and duplicity of roles by Management development Institutes (MDIs). (β1= 0.245; β2=0.059; β3=0.114; R=0.88; R2= 0.79; p<0.05).
The study concluded that the training programmes of ASCON have been positively contributing to HCD but has not been significant enough in terms of service delivery in the Nigerian Public Service. It was therefore recommended that policies be put in place by the Nigerian government to ensure that Training with ASCON is made mandatory, Training Needs Assessment be conducted before embarking on training to enrich the content of curriculum and an upgrade of infrastructures at ASCON must be undertaken. In addition it crucial that government re-evaluates the roles of MDIs. Finally, it is pertinent for the Federal government and its MDAs to regard training as an investment and not cost.
Keywords: ASCON, Human capital development, MDAs, Nigerian Public service, Service delivery