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This study examined the relationship between manpower training and productivity in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Council, Ota, Ogun State. It also investigated the extent to which the nature of manpower training affects productivity and the challenges to effective training in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Council. The study covered the period of 2006 and 2016. The human capital theory was used to describe the importance of investing in human capital in an organisation. The study gathered data through primary and secondary sources. The primary data was collected through a well-structured questionnaire circulated to one hundred (170) staff of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Council. The population of this study was the employees of Ado-Odo/Ota Local government council which was 548 as at December, 2016. Simple random sampling technique was used to administer the questionnaire which covered both the senior and junior workers. The Pearson Products Moment Correlation statistics was utilized in testing the validity of the hypotheses set for the study. The findings of this research indicates that there is significant relationship between manpower training and productivity in Ado/Odo Ota Local Government Council. The study also revealed that on-the-job training, workshops and seminars has a positive relationship on employees’ productivity. On the basis of these findings, Ado-Odo/Ota local government council should embrace manpower training as management approach to constantly increase the knowledge, skills and abilities required for employees to remain productive in a competitive environment. The study also recommends that employees who are willing to embark on training programmes should be provided with adequate funding and supervision to ensure a successful programme. It was concluded that higher government authorities should endeavour to monitor the implementation of training policies in Ado-Odo/Ota local government council in order to achieve its objectives.



1.1 Background to the Study The major objective of every organisation, whether private or public, is to improve its productivity, and this achievement to a great extent is determined by the abilities and competences of its workforce. Responsible organisations recognize that human resources are their main resource in achieving the desired objectives. Consequently, workers must be equipped and trained adequately to ensure that their knowledge, skills, and abilities facilitate the attainment of organisational goals and objectives. Onah (2003) affirmed that manpower is the premise of all other resources utilized in production and therefore an indispensable factor in converting other resources to the benefit of mankind. In this way, how well we prepare a worker is central to choosing the amount we will fulfill our dreams as a country. Therefore, manpower training should be an integral part of every organisation. This is because manpower training enhances employee productivity, thereby contributing significantly to the achievement of the organisational objectives (Banjoko, 2011). Manpower training, therefore plays significant role in guaranteeing that the predetermined goals of the public sector are achieved. This is important because the public sector consists of individuals who are major instrument that delivers public programmes, goods and services. To validate this assertion, Singh & Mohanty (2012), posit that training is a central and powerful instrument for the effective attainment of organisational objectives and goals, resulting in greater productivity. As such, the accomplishment of an organisation to a great extent relies on the capabilities and skills of the employees at the administrative and lower levels of the organisation and such capacities and ability for the most part originate from the knowledge and training they receive (Dialoke, Ukah and Ikoro, 2016). Also, training is fundamental in view of the evolving technology; the automated work environment; the rapid transformation in administrative settings, accompanied by the demands of diversity management as hallmarks and symbols of globalization. The role of personnel training is inevitable, as many organisations have come to realize that training remains the only medium for increasing abilities, improving productivity, ensuring the retention of work standard and enhancing employee’s allegiance to the organization (Dialoke, et.al, 2016). In the Nigerian public sector, low productivity has given rise to several reforms and some of the commissions recommended manpower training as avenues to address concerns on low productivity. The Nigerian public sector in the pursuit of improved productivity has experienced an extensive form of reforms which are centered on manpower training. These reforms have been grossly implemented to address the issue of productivity and bureaucratic bottlenecks in service delivery (Okorie and Odo, 2014). Also these reforms became very expedient to address the problems of low productivity and proffer the way forward. It aims at making government more responsive and effective. The overall objective is to ensure efficiency, service delivery, transparency, improved condition of service and productivity in the public sector. (Olaopa, 2008 cited in Okorie and Odo, 2014). The initial commission or study group that was established by the federal government to reform the public sector was the Wolle Commission. The commission was initiated to investigate the training need of the federal civil service in 1967 among others. The Commission was headed by Professor C. P. Wolle, who consults for the Institute of Administration at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) (Mohammed, 2014). According to Isiwu, (2012:4), the report of the study were published in May 1968 with the title “Training Needs of the Federal Civil Service”. Therefore, the federal government gave vent to the report in April 1969 through: the federal government plan on employee training and development for the civil servants, with major components as: (i) the establishment of Department of training department for public officers with the role of assessing the need for employees education, the preparation and implementation of training courses to achieve the desired training needs;(ii) The restructuring of the Federal Ministry of Establishments to ensure that more preference is given to manpower development; (iii) the institution of a standing committee on training of the workforce and the encouragement of large departments/ ministries to establish a training centre suitable with the function and size of the ministry and (iv) The formation of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (Elozieuwa, 2012:45). Moreover, the Adebo commission of 1970, was set up to systematically examine several fundamental issues in the public sector such as the issues of salaries and wages in the statutory public corporations and state-owned companies; to establish a public service review commission; to review the structure and functions of the public service commission, to enhance the disorders in service delivery and to make adequate arrangement for staff training (Adewunmi, 2012). Thereafter, the Udoji Public Service Review Commission (PSRC) submitted its report in 1974, with emphasis on insufficiency in training programmes throughout the public service and consequently dedicated a significant segment of the report to staff training. Hence, the commission suggested amongst others, the resuscitation of the standing committee on staff training; the reactivation of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Centre for Management Development (CMD), and other Federal Training Centres, (Mohammed, 2014: 116). Another restructuring of the Nigerian civil service was carried out by the Udoji Commission in 1972, with significant concentration on upgrading the productivity and efficiency of civil service employees and to tackle the problems associated with staff training and development inherent among the government officials (Maikudi & Mikail, 2014). Besides the emphasis on staff training, the Udoji Review Commission also created a better structure for the effective management of the public sector and presented a more effective way of recruiting employees with better condition of service. These strategies was to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector workers. As part of a programme of sanitizing and improving productivity, the Udoji Commission submitted its report in September, 1974 on manpower training. The Commission recommended a professionalized civil service through training and retraining. Another reason for setting up the Udoji Commission was to ensure the optimal utilization of developed employees for proficiency and greater productivity in the civil service (Murana, Salahu,and Ibrahim, 2016). However, much emphasis was not placed on the implementation of the reform, hence the public service is still handicapped in terms of staff development and professionalization (Ola, 1997). The Allison Ayida review panel was inaugurated in 1995 by General Sani Abacha following the disagreement among the top Civil Servants concerning the politicisation of the post of Permanent Secretaries. The major role of the panel was to: (i) survey the role and redefine the objectives of the civil service as the implementation agency of government, and make suitable recommendations on modalities for improving commitment, performance, and efficiency in the civil service; (ii) make appropriate recommendations on procedures to increase workers morale, suggest modalities to curb the problem of accountability and co-ordination in the governmental agencies; and (iii) assess the cessation of the post of the head of service and the pooling system among others (Anazodo, Okoye and Chukwuemeka, 2012:23). Again, to further sustain accountability and efficiency in the public service, president Obasanjo shortly after assumption of power in 1999 established the Adegoke Adegoroye panel with major objective of restructuring the civil service and established a rule of conduct with regards to workforce, minimize payroll fraud, remove ghost workers and remove redundant positions, increase the standard of service delivery and improve the pay package that will motivate experienced staff to remain in service (HTSPE, 2007:1). In order to safeguard the effectiveness and coordination of the existing reform, a unique implementation procedure was put in place by the government to reform the management of the public sector in Nigeria. This was achieved by creating an agency in 2004 known as the Bureau of Public Service (BPSR) reforms to operate alongside with the federal civil service and to coordinate the technical and administrative pattern of the public sector. However, the Bureau was challenged by the implementation process. The template drawn for implementation of the programmes as well as the combined process was not followed adequately, thus generating more problems that had already been addressed. The bureau would have been more successful if they had followed a more strategic process (Ikelionwu, 2011:5). During Ahaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua regime, the Federal Government inaugurated Steve Oronsaye committee on 18th August, 2011 to review the public service with the intention of repositioning and restructuring the federal agencies, parastatals and commissions for efficiency and greater productivity (Okorie & Odo, 2014). The Oronsaye committee had its focus on removing duplication of offices and making suitable recommendations to restructure, merge or scrap them completely. Otive (2015:15) maintains that the commission presented its reports on 16th April, 2012 with key references on the eradication of 38 ministries, merging of 52 agencies and the restoration of 14 ministries into departments of related agencies, merging of the National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe and the National Theater to form one agency now referred to as National Council of Arts and Culture; the Industrial Training Fund should sustain itself financially. These recommendations led to the formation of regulation on employee mobility and to ascertain that the appropriate employees are recruited and placed at the right offices in order to motivate other workers to perform effectively towards achieving the set objectives. In pursuance of the goal of development and productivity in the public sector, the federal government resolved to give the civil servant needed training in management and administration. Thus, actualizing strategies on manpower training and retraining of the government workers must be the preoccupation of the federal government, if performance and productivity in the public service is to be improved. The federal government hence, in accomplishing these objectives set up a commission on the structure, staffing and mode of operations of the Nigerian public service workers. The Dotun Phillips commission was established in 1985 by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. It was the commission’s report that provided a lot of contributions to the report of the Presidential Task Force on the reorganization of the public service, which climaxed to the public service reforms of 1988. Some of the recommendations of Professor Dotun Phillips commission in 1985 as pointed out by Oyedeji, (2016) and Igbokwe, (2017), were as follows: 1. Every ministry or division ought to apportion 10% of its personnel cost to the training of all classes of work force each year; 2. The career advancement of federal government employees through organized training, should be viewed as a right for every government worker and the obligation of the federal government. 3. Deployment and utilization of employees ought to be based on the relevance of training on the assigned duties, so as to assist the staff derive the optimum benefits from recently acquired skills and abilities. 4. Courses Selection for trainees ought to be based on a cautious appraisal of the training needs of the individual and his organisation; 5. Newly recruited senior officers in the public service should be viewed as trainees and should undergo training for six months before they are posted to respective place of assignments. To guarantee the achievement of this, Ministerial Training Committee system was to be introduced in every ministry as a major aspect of the implementation procedure. This was supported by a circular number SDM 1907148 of thirteenth January, 1987 from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the public service of the federation. This Ministerial Training Committee (MTC) should be made up of senior officers who are qualified enough to deal with training of the lower cadre officers. The content in the circular stated above confirms that the committee be should be structured as follows: financial and administrative Secretary or the Director of a Personnel Department should emerge as the Chairman; The Department Training Officer as Secretary and a representative from all the Ministerial Departments not below the level 14 as a member of the committee. Also, the Ministerial Training Committee should be saddled with the following functions: to identify in advance, the officers who are eligible for specific training as well as the details of their ministries at least three months before the training courses; to ensure that the staff advancement programmes increase the efficiency and effectiveness of employees in their current jobs, develop fully the potentials of the staff in order to prepare them for higher responsibilities, ensure the constructive motivation of employees to make meaningful contributions to their present and future assignments; to design and submit the course content of the training programme to the service welfare and manpower development department not later that 30th of September, of every year; to operate the training roaster for officers in a way that would allow them to attend their training courses periodically; to give feedback on the approved training courses to the ministry of establishment and management services; to organize periodic seminars, workshops and fresher’s course in the ministries for officers of all cadres in order to improve their productivity and to organize induction courses for recently hired or recently redeployed officers in the service. Other notable reforms of the public sector with emphasis on manpower training were the Morgan Commission of 1963, Eldwood Commission of 1966, the Obasanjo reforms of 2005 among others. These restructuring beginning from the Morgan Commission of 1963 to the Steve Oronsaye committee of 2011, emphasized more on improving productivity in the Nigerian public sector. However, since then, a result oriented public sector has not emerged in Nigeria to commensurate with the efforts of the commissions. It is believed that the service of the public sector has been hampered severally by structural, cultural, institutional and other factors (Maikudi & Mikail, 2014). These reforms were also carried out to discover the most suitable way of developing and utilizing manpower in an efficient and effective manner. Peretomode and Chukwuma, (2016) posit that the central idea underlying manpower training in the Nigerian public sector is to discover a suitable way to educate employees, make them creative and dynamic to suit the changing technological environment and to constantly execute their duties excellently and efficiently. In the recent years, the rapid proliferation in science and global change in information technology has propelled the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish more training institutes to enhance the performance of employees and to offer a solid foundation for the newly recruited personnel. The establishment of the following institutions also explains attempts at improving public sector productivity through manpower training: the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in 1971, the Centre for Management Development (CMD) in 1972, Nigerian Council for Management Education and Training, the Nigeria Institute for Policy and Strategy (NIPSS), the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institution (ARMTI), and Institution for Labour Studies (Aroge, 2012:80). Aside from the above named institutions, there are several national and state-owned training institutions and centres across Nigeria such as colleges, polytechnics and universities, as platforms for manpower training and development. Many of these colleges and institutions have redesigned the present curriculum to further achieve the development needs of the public service (Okotoni & Erero, 2005). The aim of establishing these institutions is in line with restructuring the public sector to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills needed to cope with changes in technology and to cope with economy competitions globally. 1.2 Statement of the Problem The importance of training has no doubt been recognized in many organisations as the key factor for improved productivity. However, manpower training in the public sector is threatened with a number of problems like the absence of regular training despite the continuous reforms with emphasis on training (Okotoni & Erero, 2005). This is because the various reforms in the public sector have not considered it necessary to establish definite and continuous training programmes that will increase employees’ productivity. This implies that when training need is identified and resources and quality time is committed to achieve the need, the training exercise can still be inadequate in addressing the productivity deficit. Sometimes, the training exercise is haphazard or lopsided in the design, implementation and participation. At times, training is based on a faulty diagnosis of training needs. Again, there are instances where the public sector management does not recognize employees who have participated in training programmes to acquire additional skills and knowledge. Such recognition may come in form of increase salary, promotion and other fringe benefits to reward their efforts. Sometimes, where training has occurred, management may not be willing to deploy such staff to other departments where they are relevant. Also, job expansion are sometimes performed without considering the skills and capabilities of the staff, which may result in low morale and frustration on other employees who desire to undergo further training. The above mentioned attitude of management to manpower training can result in progressive degeneration of skills of employees to cope with challenges arising from the social, economic and technological changes. The narrative would have been different if the Nigerian federal government have embraced the 1988 and 1999 recommendations of the civil service commission which indicated that ten percent of the entire yearly salaries of all employees be reserved for employees educational improvement, however, majority of the public organisations have failed to honour these recommendations. For instance, employees of most public sector organisations are seldom sent for training and those who expressed their desire to undertake any form of training may not be given any kind of support such as study leave with pay, to sustain the programme. Sometimes, the relevance of the training course to the requirements of the present job and future posting are not considered before employees are sent for training. Even when the staff embark on skill acquisition programmes, the management sometimes does not provide the necessary equipment to enhance operations. The resultant effect of this is that such employees might experience difficulty in coping with the evolving technological developments and may remain redundant. This study, therefore, intends to investigate the effectiveness of manpower training as a means of enhancing employee productivity in the Nigerian public sector with reference to Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Council of Ogun State from 2006 to 2016. The study also aims at analyzing critically the correlation among staff training and productivity as well as challenges to effective manpower training and productivity in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government from 2006 to 2016.

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