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This study examines the state of human resources development in Ebonyi State Civil Service from 1996 to 2004. Specifically, the study sets out to: (1) find out whether the Civil Servants in Ebonyi State are availed of the opportunity for staff development; (2) Investigate the attitude and disposition of the higher civil servants towards staff development in the state (3) Determine the extent to which money constraints have affected staff development; (4) ascertain the level of encouragement given by the political leadership towards staff development: (5) find out the extent of political interference and control of the state civil service and consider the effects on the service. To achieve these set out objectives, systems approach to training by G.A. Eckstrand (1964) was employed. This involved defining training objectives, developing criterion measures for evaluating training; deriving training contents; designing methods and training materials; integrating training programmes and trainees, etc.
The study shows amongst other findings that there are reasonable number of staff development programmes in Ebonyi State for Civil Servants; though money constraints and ignorance on the part of some higher Civil Servants hinder effective implementation of training and development programmes in the state. In spite of these hindrances, the study also reveals that political leadership in Ebonyi State encourages staff development, and Civil Servants are availed of the opportunity for staff development. However, despite the fact that higher Civil Servants in Ebonyi State show positive disposition towards staff development and carefully monitor and appraise the Civil Servants
in order to ascertain the training needs and categories of the Civil Servants to be trained, it has also been discovered from our findings that there is some degree of favouritism in the selection of those to be trained. The study also shows that there is political interference in the state civil service which could be attributed to: (a) government permission of Civil Servants to participate in partisan politics; (b) government appointment of some permanent secretaries; and (c) the observance of geographical spread in recruitments, appointments, etc.
Based on the above findings, it is recommended among other things that more opportunities for staff development be created for Ebonyi State Civil Servants; and in doing this, merit should be considered above all other factors. More money should be allocated for training and development in Ebonyi State Civil Service; and finally, to avoid politicization of the Civil Service, Civil Servants’ participation in partisan politics should be properly checked.



There is no doubt that meaningful national development cannot be divorced from the quality of a country’s human resources. Trained human resource of any nation or organization is the greatest wealth or asset of that nation or organization. This is against the classical economic postulation that capital input determines the pace of development. Therefore, well-trained and developed human resource is the pathway to enduring development in any society or organization. For instance, the inability of Nigeria to maximize the potential yields of her immense natural resources is a human resources problem. However to ensure efficiency and optimum productivity human resources of any state or nation ought to be well developed.
Ebonyi State in Nigeria was created in 1996 with myriads of problems ranging from inadequate work force to educational backwardness of the people. The civil service is at its embryonic stage without enough trained and developed civil servant to make things work efficiently and effectively. This is a human resource problem, which can only be solved through conscious and sustained implementation of human development policies and programmes. The lack of enough skilled and professional human resources in Ebonyi State becomes a thing of great concern. Ebonyi State being a young state is still facing the problem of inadequate human resources which constitutes a threat to the survival of the state if not tackled systematically.
There is no doubt that the failure to accomplish things effectively through people is a human resource problem. There is no empirical work done in this area before. Therefore, there is urgent need to fill this gap in literature. The problem of the study is articulated in the following questions:
1. Are the civil servants in Ebonyi State availed of opportunities for staff development?
2. Do the higher civil servants in Ebonyi State civil service show positive attitude and disposition towards staff development?
3. Does money constraint affect staff development in Ebonyi State civil service?
4. Does Political Leadership in Ebonyi State encourage staff development in the civil service?
5. Does political interference and control affect human resources development in Ebonyi State civil service?
The broad objective of this study is to examine the achievements of Ebonyi State civil service in the area of human resources development. In addition, this research is designed to accomplish the following specific objectives:
1. To find out whether the civil servants in Ebonyi State are availed of the opportunity for staff training and development because training is the oil of a progressive service.
2. To investigate the attitude and disposition of the higher civil servants in Ebonyi State towards staff development.
3. To determine the extent to which money constraints has affected staff development in Ebonyi State civil service.
4. To ascertain the level of encouragement given by the Political Leadership in Ebonyi State towards staff development in the civil service.
5. To find out the extent of political interference and control of the states civil service and consider the effects on the service.
This research work is significant in many ways. First and foremost, the study will have policy implications for the government of Ebonyi State. Inevitably, the results of the study will help the government make appropriate policies with regard to human resources development and utilization in Ebonyi State. This is because no government can succeed without adequate skilled manpower both in the public and civil services.
The final report of this study will constitute an important source of secondary data for future researchers on the subject. We believe that this study will be of great help to scholars of human resources development. It may raise or expose some important areas that will call for further intellectual inquiry. It will also be of great importance to political leaders, administrators and even the general public who would want to know how a country or state can rise or fall depending on the caliber or the state of its human resources as against the
classical economic viewpoint that capital input determines the pace of development. (Here, we emphasize the supremacy off human resources over capital).
We shall divide our review of relevant literature into the following sections: Section A: Human Resources Development in Nigeria.
Section B: Nigerian Civil Service and Human resources Development.
Section C: Factors Affecting the Performance of the Civil Service.
Section A: Human Resources Development in Nigeria.
First and foremost, Armstrong (2003:513) discloses that human resources development (HRD) is concerned with the provision of learning, development and training opportunities in order to improve individual, team and organizational performance. Cole (2004:349) confidently asserts that human resources are the most dynamic of all the organization’s resources. He, therefore, stresses that human resources need considerable attention from the organization’s management, if they are to realize their full potential in their work. Oluwo and Adamolekun (2005:86) boldly agree that it is the quality and development of human resources that give any organization its competitive edge, whether in the public, private or voluntary sector. This is why Nnadozie (2002:92) remarks that training and development of the human resources of the organization is a sin- qua-non to the growth and development of the organization. He further notes that the exploitation and utilization of the material resources towards the
achievement of the goals and objectives of the organization usually depend on the resourcefulness of the human resources of the organization or government.
Therefore, human resources development is extremely important for a meaningful development of any organization or society. Onah (2003:121) discloses that the importance of staff training and development in any organization is clear if we recognize the fact that the structure that sustains it depends on the individuals that operate the structure. Okoli (2003:13) asserts that the secret of enduring development is not about natural resources but human resources. On his own part, Ndiomu (1992) agrees that manpower of a nation constitutes the ultimate dignity of that nation. He further maintains that what actually constitutes development process in its true sense is nothing but the interaction of people with natural resources. So, from the above we notice that human beings are the core of development process. And without them there will be no development at all. Therefore, it becomes clear that human beings need training and development in order to be more effective and more productive in their work.
This is why sustainable development of any country depends purely and simply on how well the country’s human resources are developed and trained for an enduring realization of its development objectives. Development, however, should be humano-centric.
However, what we see in Nigeria in terms of human resources development cannot do us proud. Adebayo (2001:129) confirms that it is true, and sadly enough to say, that we have failed hitherto in our training and staff
development programme. On his own part, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, Akerejola (2004:26) notes that manpower training is as important as financial, material and technological factors in the growth of the nation. He, however, stresses that for a developing economy like Nigeria, the need for human resources development is even more acute because of the multifaceted problems confronting the nation. Akerejola further maintains that since it is human beings who have to proffer solutions to such problems, “they need skills and knowledge to perform and to achieve results that can change society positively”. Bur (1992) takes a historical look at human resources development in Nigeria and reveals that the colonialists allowed the indigenes acquire qualifications needed to secure enhanced administrative employment. Bur further maintains that since the organized and professionally biased firms in the private sector at that time were just branches of parent industries in Europe whose primary aim was exploitation, it was not surprising that policies relating to manpower development were conditioned by the desire to attain colonial objectives. Okoli (2003:13) holds that history has conclusively proved that true development and education cannot be divorced from each other. Both are inextricably bound and each owes its progress to the other. Okoli further reveals that countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, which were invariably at the same level of development with Nigeria in the 1960, are now over and above Nigeria because they recognized in good time that education is not an alternative but the foundation of enduring development. Okoli and Onah (20002:131) disclose that a developing community should advance from a low level of knowledge to higher
level of knowledge. One specific way of doing this is to declare an all-out war on illiteracy and abolish it. They further reveal that Iran, although rich in oil, is a modern example of a new nation that took this course of action. They maintain that Iran realized that a country of literate people will be more creative and beneficial to the government and the economy than one of illiterate people. In the case of Japan, Okoli (2003:13) asserts that Japan has the world’s second largest economy. In fact, her per capita GDP is nearly 312 times that of Saudi
Arabia. He further reveals that Saudi Arabia has what may be the largest oil reserves in the world but as at March 2003, 31 percent of Saudi Arabia’s citizens were unemployed. He now concludes that education makes the difference. The case of Singapore is really interesting. Olumhense (2004:40) commenting on Singapore discloses that it is a south-east Asian nation of less than five million people and was founded in 1891 as a British colony. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963, but opted for independence only two years later, in 1965. He asserts that for its openness and for its corruption free business environment, Singapore would become a textbook example of a successful market economy in the developing world, increasingly specializing in electronics and manufacturing. Olumhense further reveals that despite being hit by the Asian financial crisis of the late 1980s and the global recession and slump in the technology sector in 2001 – 2002, Singapore’s per capital GDP in 2002 was estimated at $25,200 and this, he further discloses, compares with the United Kingdom’s $25,500, and United States’ $36,300. According to him for this same year, South Africa’s per
capital GDP was $10,000; Botswana, $9,500; Lesotho, $2,700; Ghana, $2000; and Nigeria, $900.
A stream polluted at its source cannot be cleansed mid-way. The purification of such stream must of necessity start right from the source of the impurity. The root of the problem is Nigerian-type education. Asobie (2004:20 – 21) points out that the connection between education and development is no longer recognized by the political leaders. The scholar further remarks that our political leaders no longer think that it is critical to educate people to develop mankind as a prerequisite for economic development. He further reveals that the proportions of federal budgetary allocation to education has been reduced from about 40% in the 1980s to below 10%. In terms of GNP, he notes, the amount that is allocated to education is about 0.7% of GDP. So funding is also part of the problem, he contends. Dibie (2004:17 – 18) agrees that although education had been one of the priorities of the government, Nigeria’s educational system was foundering for lack of funds and some schools in some states had to be closed for months. There were few teachers and classrooms. On his own side, Shively W. Phillips (2001:75) notes that the most basic service that most governments are expected to offer their people is education. He reveals that this is a prerequisite of economic development for the country as a whole, and it greatly expands the worlds of the individuals who are educated. Shively further reveals that many nations of the south, whose populations were largely illiterate at the time independence was acquired have had an uphill fight in bringing education to their peoples. Otobo (2005:308) regrettably discloses, regretfully,
that the prevailing weak manufacturing base, heavy dependence on oil, and high external debt ratio are a drag on Nigeria’s growth and development as well as on its international competitiveness.
In fact, Nigeria needs at this time a scientific, professional and technological kind of education that would propel and empower her citizens to understand and transform both their physical and natural environment for a sustainable development of man and society for the common good. This is because Nigeria’s lagging behind in real development is clearly a human resource problem because God abundantly blessed Nigeria with both material and natural resources. Moreover, no nation or organization can advance or grow above the sophistication or competence of its human resources. The quality of education that a nation can boast of makes the difference and determines the rate of development in that nation. What we have at present is education for Westernization and not the relevant and valid education that enables the people to realize their full potentials. This is why Udo-Aka (1992) notes that institutional concern of any human resources development enterprise shall be to raise the intellectual knowledge of the population through an improved quality of education at all levels as well as provide skills to meet the countries human resources needs. Commenting on the inadequate skilled manpower in Nigeria Harbison (1962) notes that the developmental potential of any nation depends primarily on its available human and natural resources and very marginally on her natural resources. He reveals that the human resources situation in Nigeria is essentially characterized by the co-existence of a shortage of skilled, high-level
manpower with large pool of unskilled labour. Furthermore, Harbison and Myers (1964) agree that the abundance of these unskilled and largely untrained manpower has continued to pose serious problems to every of Nigeria’s development enterprise. Tyagi (1975) notes that the poor performance of public administration in third world countries is, in a great measure, a function of the neglect of training and development of personnel. On his own part, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nasir el-Rufai (2004:26) laments the poor quality of human resources in Nigeria. He discloses that the majority of employees in his ministry were unqualified and unable to cope with current trends in administration. He maintains that the development results in a “demoralized workforce which was incapable of responding effectively to the demands of government reform agenda”. Commenting on the poor and irresponsive governments Nigeria has had, Chinua Achebe (1986:20) recalls that it is interesting that no one who has ruled this country since independence which was won more than a quarter of a century ago has been a University graduate. Does it say anything about our national per-occupations and values? Then Achebe challenges us to look around us and compare our record in this regard with that of our neighbours, even in Africa.
On the problem of untrained staff Onah (2003:122) stresses that an untrained member of staff is a liability to a dynamic organization as he not only applies the wrong skill but also imparts the wrong knowledge to others coming after him and those he happens to be supervising. Akpan (1979:13) agree thus:
An untrained man in the modern world may… be a menace to the society. He is a quack; he knows only
the laws of thing; he has no idea of (their) why. Hence if there is any trouble anywhere – breakdown in a machine or a mistake in a ledger – all he can do is to fumble and punch up trouble anyhow, leading to a more serious breakdown or greater confusion. Really there is no place for the untrained worker, or even the intelligent amateur, in these days of specialized work.
The Nigerian Minister of industries Magaji Mohammed (2004:26) stresses the need to review and redirect strategies for planning the nation’s manpower. He advises that this would enhance the attainment of critical national goals for the development of the nation’s economy. He further maintains that “at our current level of development, we need men and women of desired qualities, skills and competence so as to leap-frog our nation from its current state to that of growth and development” Magaji holds that such a competitive human resource would enable the nation to be an active player in the international system and “enhance our ability to meet the minimum standards of the Millennium Development Goals MDG, outlined by the Untied Nations”. Onah (2003:120) summarises when he points that:
In order to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the organization, every executive, manager or supervisor in a public or private enterprise has the responsibility and indeed the bounding duty to ensure the development of men and women who have requisite knowledge expertise. The aim is to enable them to contribute their full measure to the welfare, health and development of the enterprise.
Today, Nigeria needs a well trained and developed workforce in all sectors. Training and development awareness and consciousness should be created both
in the public and private sectors in order to avoid directionlessness in our developmental efforts.
Section B: Nigerian Civil Service and Human Resource Development
The civil service is the governmental machinery charged with the responsibility of implementing and executing policies, decisions and programmes of those in authority. They also assist those in power to make policies and decisions and render such services that provide continuity in the system especially during political crisis or instability. This is why Okereke (2003:87) asserts that the civil service in any country is the pillar that holds the country together. He says that civil service is “unchanging” continuous, stable and resilient to shocks and pressures from the political system. No wonder there is this dictum, “governments come and go but the civil service remains”. Adebayo (2001:88) agrees that the success or effectiveness of any government depends largely on the civil service – especially its efficiency and ability to respond quickly to governmental tempo.
Olowu and Adamolekun (2005:87) reveal that the public sector has different categories of human resources. The most prominent of these is those who constitute the civil service, the institution that runs the central government of the modern state. In Nigeria’s case, Otobo (2005:297) says the civil service has been subjected to three political influences: the colonial, the civilian, and the military. Otobo however discloses that Nigerian civil service has been a major force for continuity and stability in the country, guiding and counseling various
governments that have come to power and facilitating the transition from one regime to another.
From the above we notice the indispensability of the civil service in enhancing system stability and preservation. Civil servants, therefore, need specialized training and development in order to enable them to perform efficiently and effectively. This is why Flippo (1983:18) admits that no organization has a choice of whether to develop employees or not, the only choice is that of methods. Otobo (2005:309) agrees that training public servants to acquire the key skills required to manage the challenges of globalization must rank high on the agenda for civil service capacity building.
Okoli and Onah (2003:140, 119) disclose that managing the affairs of a modern nation requires a wide range of complex and sophisticated skills, which are virtually unknown in peasant societies. They reveal that from the earliest times, the education of officials has been considered a matter of first importance. Okoli and Onah (2003:120 – 121) further stress that the linkage of social class with education and of education with the public service are nicely reflected in the structure of the civil service as they have rendered in Western Europe. They maintain that the nature and quality of the public service depend heavily upon the nature of the system of education.
Okereke (2003:87, 93) reveals that in the past, the Nigerian civil service could be described as good, confident, highly motivated and a pride of the nation. He maintains that the Nigerian civil service has shown over the years that it is the most enduring institution of government. That is why succeeding governments
have had to rely on it for the success of their regimes. He then discloses that this had been the case because the civil service was made up of highly motivated knowledgeable people, trained for responsibility and leadership positions. On his own part Nicolson (1969:8) describes civil servants in those days as men “imbued with patriotism and a strong sense of unity” while Akpan (1982) describes those gentlemen and women as people, with the highest sense of mission, dedication, discipline, and motivation, prepared to make sacrifices and put up with the strain of the hardest work and greatest responsibilities. He said that “then it was a pride to be a civil servant”.
According to Okereke (2003) today, however, the civil service appears to have lost its past glory and has become a shadow of and he attributes this to the adoption and implementation of the SAP (Structural Adjustment Programme) by The Nigerian government. He maintains that what we see of the civil service today are manifestations of the effects or impact of the SAP on the Nigerian society generally, and the civil service in particular.
However, Ake (2003:83, 85, 87) takes a historical trip to look at SAP and discloses that:
Between 1973 to 1978, during Nigeria’s first oil boom, oil revenue grew quickly, to more than 90 percent of Nigeria’s export revenue. This increase was matched by an increase in public expenditure, which quadrupled between 1973 and 1975. By 1976 expenditure already exceeded revenue. During the second oil boom in 1979 – 85, the surge in oil revenue elicited such profligacy that real income began to decline rapidly, as much as 60 percent between 1980 and 1983, when Nigeria recorded a negative growth rate of –6.7 percent and a budget deficit rising to 13 percent of GDP. Austerity
measures instituted in 1982 and 1984 failed, and the crisis deepened, especially with the sharp fall of real oil prices in 1986, the worsening of the terms of trade, debt service obligations, and sharp fall in imports and exports… By the end of June 1986 a structural adjustment program was in place.
Professor Ake further reveals that during this time naira was terribly devalued and the indebtedness of Nigeria has increased over the adjustment period. He remarks that:
Finally, the Nigerian SAP called for public service reform. The aim was to make the public service more professional, more accountably, and less prone to abuse of power and dereliction of duty. Ministers became chief executive and accounting officers in their ministries. The highest position in the ministry, the director-general, became a political appointment to be held at the pleasure of the president. The power of the Federal Government Service Commission was substantially diluted. The civil service was to be professionalized: every civil servant was to perform a specialized function; the idea of a central pool of civil servants and central deployment was to be discontinued. To improve their professional competence, public servants were to be trained on a systematic and continuous basis.
Ake points out that throughout the adjustment period SAP continued to be resented and was a constant cause of unrest, especially among the working class, which effectively opposed its intensification, particularly the total removal of the petroleum subsidy. Okereke further discloses that SAP was aimed at cutting cost and trimming the size of the civil service. This policy measure led to retrenchments and loss of job causing unmitigated hardship to families. Elekwa (2002:73) agrees that the massive retrenchments of the 1980s and 1990s were due to the dwindling fortunes from crude oil sales. The federal government did
not have enough money to support its ambitious civil service. Odo (1996) recalls that in Nigeria, the provision of the civil service law and Decree 43, of 1988 makes it illegal to nullify arbitrarily the appointments of officers who have served the state for more than one year, especially if all the conditions of offer and acceptance of the appointment were fulfilled and validly executed in good faith. She regretfully quotes the report in “The Guardian” newspaper volume 10 No. 6,086 of May 12, 1994 which says “depression has deepened among the over 3,000 public servants who were sacked in January in Enugu State…” Okoli and Onah (2003:150) remark that the Nigerian civil service is politicized and unnecessarily controlled.
Nevertheless, the civil service organization is the administrative machinery of government responsible for the execution and implementation of policies and programmes. Civil bureaucracy is indeed the life wire of any country when we consider its indispensability in the running of a modern government. Adebayo (2001:88) admits that the civil service is the main instrument which mirrors the image of government to the masses of the people. He maintains that only a few citizens, and it is mainly the top people, will come into direct contact with the head of state, the governors or the ministers/commissioners. He then discloses that it is with the civil service departments that the generality of the public have business to transact. So we see now that the civil service is the nerve center of any country because of this important position it occupies in government. With all of the above in mind, the civil servants need valid training and re-training to enable them acquire necessary skills and knowledge for their work. But in
Nigeria this is not so. Omoleke (2003:198) observes that instead of equipping the civil servants with necessary skills, the military oligarchy and democratic governments irrationally embarked on national purge which has ruined the system.
So, human resources development and training is very indispensable for the socio-economic and political development of any country. Aminu (1992) expressly remarks that human resources development is a fact of life for the government and any organized society. He discloses that it is not only vital to the survival of any society but also to the level of attainment that any society can aspire to.
Section C: Factors Affecting the Performance of the Civil Service.
There are factors that affect or influence the performance of Nigerian civil service but it must be remembered that Nigerian civil service has been patterned on the British-type civil service. Otobo (2005:297) notes that the important legacy that Nigerian civil service inherited from the colonial rule were the attributes of political neutrality, anonymity and impartiality. On his own part Dibie (2004:92) notes that the doctrine of political neutrality in Nigeria on public bureaucracy has been discarded, and public administrators have ceased to be nonpartisan and neutral. This is why Okoli and Onah (2003:150) remark that Nigerian civil service is politicized and unnecessarily controlled and on his own part, Okereke (2003:92) remarks “from Ebonyi to Abia, Calabar to Maiduguri Lagos to Sokoto, civil servants complain of neglect, abandonment and redundancy since their duties appear to have been usurped by the government
houses.” So, there is undue political interference in the affairs of the civil service in Nigeria.
Other important factors that have affected and are still affecting the performance of Nigerian civil service is the military and civilian governments. Omoleke (2003:198) observes that instead of equipping the civil servants with necessary skills, the military oligarchy and democratic governments irrationally embarked on national purge which has ruined the system. The military government in Nigeria actually bastardized the civil service. In the words of Ladipo Adamolekun (2005:12), Nigerian under a military rule characterized by excessive arbitrariness was ranked the most corrupt country in the world in 1996 and 1997 by transparency international. So, the military, in effect, excavated the corruption propensities in the Nigerian civil service. And so, there is clear over politicization of the civil service today. For instance, most scholars and analysts of the Civil Service Re-organization Decree No 43 of 1988 regard it as the last straw that broke the camel’s back – the last deadly blow on the Nigerian civil service which nobody knows whether it will survive it. This is because it has a chain effect. Adebayo (2001:213) observes that these reforms of 1988 sounded the death-knell of the civil service and virtually destroyed what was left of the service. On his own part Otobo (2005:299) remarks that a dominant feature of the 1988 civil service reforms was the politicization of the civil service, especially its upper echelon. Professor E.U. Egwu (2004:2) in a sub-title The Military and the politicization of the public service-1988-2004 laments thus:
The 1988 (IBB) Reform of the Public – Civil service… among other things changed the nomenclature of
permanent secretaries to Director General (DG’s). This further eroded the confidence and trust public servants had in the civil service career. Whereas Directorship became the peak of the civil service career, the Director General was a political Appointee, who came and went at the whims and caprices of the appointing Government. Consequently, “Agility” replaced “Ability”, and “Mediocrity” replaced “Meritocracy”. The 1979, 1999 constitutions added further salt into the open wound with the institutionalizaiton of the concept of “Federal character”, “Geographical spread”, “Catchmentism” and “son – of the soil” syndromes. The Nigeria public – civil service from then on, now witnessed the era of “Appointed Vs promoted” permanent Secretaries; Ascribed Vs Achieved; Quota Vs Merited Permanent Secretaries. Consequently Permanent Secretaries became like “chieftaincy Titles” which were celebrated when awarded, leading to the enculturation and bastardization of the Nigerian Public – Civil Service. People now lobby to become permanent secretaries. Indeed, nowadays, Permanent Secretaries are created as political patronages and compensations. (ABACHA – 1993 – 1998 – changed the name back to perm. sec. But what is in a name?).
Dibie (2004:130) reveals that during the Military regimes, the training of civil servants was not taken seriously. Although this is not a problem attributable to the military alone, it is a cankerworm in Nigeria. Actually, staff training and development have received little attention in Nigeria. There is lack of training consciousness in the country. Nwankwo (1988:209) notes that even though several public service review commissions and government-sponsored manpower studies in Nigeria have placed emphasis on the need for public management training, there is still poor awareness of the significance of training among the political leadership and civil servants. He remarks that this is reflected in the inability of the political leadership under various regimes to
articulate the ideological component of the public management training system in the country. Onah (2003:145) captures it well when he observes that there is also reluctance on the part of government to release many officers for training programmes. This is because training is expensive in terms of time and money involved in maintaining officers during their programmes.
It is important to note that no organization or nation will ever succeed without sufficient and sophisticated intellectual resources. However, staff training and development have received little attention in Nigeria. There is a lack of training consciousness in the country and Ubeku (1975:14) notes that there are many organizations in this country which regard training and development as expensive ventures and avoid them like the plague. What such organizations are interested in are the immediate returns. He then advises that in a changing world, of which Nigeria is a part, this attitude can no longer hold good. Taire (1992) asserts that the turbulent environmental changes which have come to characterize the Nigerian polity have equally had negative consequences on development policies in terms of its development, management and utilization.
Corruption entered the service. There is no training awareness and consciousness. Omoleke (2003:191) describes the situation thus: it is the operators that make an organization efficient (human resources). No matter how perfect an organization is, if the human factor is lacking as exemplified by the Nigerian case, it shall remain inefficient and ineffective. On his own part Ubeku (1975) points to the fact that the training and development of staff in the public sector focuses essentially on the officer cadre to the neglect of any discernible
systematic training programmes for clerks and other grades of workers, while in the case of skilled staff, the civil service seems to rely entirely on the trade certificate presented by the applicant with little or no effort made thereafter to ensure further development on the job of the skills which the new employees brought to the job. Onah (2003: 123) observes that even in organizations where the need for employee training is recognized and a lot of time and money is committed to staff training and development, the exercise is often either inappropriate, haphazard or premised on a faulty diagnosis of organizational training needs.
In fact, the Nigerian civil service has since experienced a lot of reforms due to gross inefficiency, ineffectiveness and corrupt practices. Okoli and Onah (2002:215, 226) agree that the reforms are informed by the myriad of problems which have bedeviled the civil service and which had severely constrained its efficiency. They also point out that the Udoji Commission of 1974 for instance recommended the adoption of a “New-style public service” guided by a “result- oriented management”. They further reveal that the commission called for the professionalization of the civil servants, and recommended the extensive training of civil service in order to realize the goal of professionalization. They, however,
advise that in order to give operational meaning to the concept of professionalism as embodied in the reforms, training and re-training of personnel must be emphasized.
Okoli and Onah (2002:91) call to remembrance that:
Although many institutions exist in Nigeria for training of civil servants, the content, mode and duration of
such trainings leave much to be desired. Such training institutions include: Federal Training Centres (F.T.C.S) for middle and junior cadre of workers, the Administrative staff college of Nigeria (ASCON), Lagos, the Centre For Management Development (CMD), the Institute of Administration, Zaria, the Faculty of Administration of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Sub-Department of Public Administration and Local Government of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the Foreign Service Academy, and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), for the training of high- level manpower.
Apart from these institutions, there are other departments of public administration in the various Nigerian Universities, which train high-level manpower for the public service. Invariably, all these institutions do not, strictly speaking, provide specialized training. Instead they provide general education for the new entrants into the service. Consequently, neither the Nigerian civil service, nor the Nigerian civil servant can be regarded as a profession or a professional respectively.
So, there is undue political interference in the affairs of the civil service. There is also the enthronement of mediocrity instead of meritocracy in the civil service. Onah (2003) talks about some factors that have really influenced personnel selection, training and development. He holds that in a bureaucracy where merit forms only a part of the criteria for the recruitment and promotion of civil servants, the process of management trainee selection is bound to be affected by non-merit criteria. He further discloses that in Nigeria, this process has been affected by other criteria such as political/ethnic balancing and the geographical spread of training opportunities. He concludes that this phenomenon runs contrary to the idea of training for efficient management.
Elekwa (2002:73 – 74) stresses that in many organizations over the years, and especially in the state civil service systems, attitudes of managers or employees or both have tended to prohibit or suppress people of certain ethnic groups or religions in certain jobs in the name of quota system, geographical spread, statism, etc.
Therefore, the premium attached to human resources development and training by any country will determine their rate of socio-political and economic development. But in Nigeria there is clear over-politicization of social life. Ihonvbere (1995:2) remarks regrettably that politics in Nigeria appears “normless, depending on the manipulation of primordial loyalties, and it is more an avenue to seize state power for personal accumulation than for public service”. In Nigeria, most people who are in charge of public enterprises and public affairs are much interested in their personal gains. This is why most of them are not interested in staff training and development but mainly are interested in personal enrichment. But patriotic leaders would rather plant men by way of giving them qualitative training and development for the continuity and stability of society.
Gap in Literature
Having reviewed available literature on human resources development in Nigeria and in its civil service, none was found to have done any empirical study on human resources development in Ebonyi state civil service. So, the goal of this research work, which is to systematically, and empirically study human resources development in Ebonyi state civil service remains justified.
A concept is a class or group of particulars or characteristics classifying things according to what they are in order to differentiate them from what they are not. We shall, therefore, conceptualize some terms and this conceptualization will help us understand specifically the actual meaning of some of the terms which we have used in this research project.
Civil Service: We shall first look at some of the characteristics of a civil service and then attempt a definition.
1. Civil service is an arm of public sector in Nigeria.
2. Civil service enjoys continuity of existence.
3. It has a body of permanent employees of government called the civil
servants. The political office holders come and go but the civil
servants remain.
4. Civil service is divided into ministries and departments in which the civil
servants carry out their duties.
5. Civil servants help the government in the administration of the country
by implementing government policies, etc.
6. In the Nigerian context, civil servants are supposed to be politically
neutral to enable them to serve the government of the day without
With the above in mind, civil service is an organ of government and an
arm of the public service which enjoys continuity of existence and is divided into ministries and departments to enable its employees, the civil servants,
carry out their duties of explaining and implementing government policies
without bias.
Human Resources: Human resources are human beings that apply their human genius, efforts and resourcefulness to make things happen in an organization or in a country. Human resources are the human capital or the manpower or the staff or the personnel or the employees of any organization or state. They are, therefore, the most dynamic resources of any organization and so they are important that they cannot be compared with the physical or material resources of any organization since without human resources every other resource becomes useless.
Human Resources Development and Training: This is the process of providing learning, training and development opportunities for the employees or the manpower of any organization in order to help them develop their potentials and improve on their knowledge, skills and abilities which will in-turn make them more competent to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. According to Nnadozie (2000) “Training and development of the human resources or employees of the organization is a sin-qua-non to the growth and development of the organization”.
Political Leadership: This is made up of persons elected or selected by the people or their representatives in accordance with the law and empowered by the constitution to pilot the affairs of the state for common good. Such persons enjoy the legitimacy or the support of the people and are also backed by the constitution of the land. Leadership always goes with followership (the Governor
and the Governed). The political leader should always carry the people along and make every effort to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the people and create opportunities for them to develop their inherent potentials for common good. As the saying goes: uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
This definition does not include the military Juntas or Despots (Tyrants) in politics who take the state power by force through the barrels of the gun for their own selfish interests as against the general interest of the nation. They lack legitimacy and should be made to face judicial panels after their administrations. Political Interference: This is a situation where political office holders encroach or interfere unconstitutionally or illegally with the affairs or duties of any other sector or branch or organ of the state without due process or due recognition of the right of such sector or branch or organ of the state before such encroachment or interference or violation of the right of others. Political interference could be carried out intentionally or deliberately especially in some developing countries where politics becomes a zero-sum game and a dirty game, where politicians regard political power as their personal property. Again, political interference could be done unintentionally or inadvertently as a result of ignorance or poverty of knowledge.
HiPACT: This connotes High Education Pact Programme or Higher Education Link Programme (HELP). HiPACT is an association formed in 1991 by British universities and the organization is run by an executive committee which constitutes of representatives from member universities and their industrial partners to develop and manage projects. HiPACT, therefore, is a non-
governmental organization (NGO) which connects countries or organizations where they would study overseas and the organization receives payment for this service.

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