Communication Problems In Nigeria Public Service (A Case Of Imo State Civil Service)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


The success of any organization has been attributed to effective communication within and outside it. This is more so in a state where the growing need for communication for their full participation in the development project is vital.

The researcher also noticed a barrier in the formulation and implementation of policies, which include lack of knowledge about the preferences and beliefs of members of an organization. In order to remove all the necessary impediments to effective communication, officers would be expected to ensure that information is truly and honestly transmitted to persons that requires them within and outside the environment.

The factors that impede effective communication in Imo state civil services are critically examined and suggestions for the improvement of the communication system are made.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problems
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The role of communication
  • 2.3 Definition by the scientific management School
  • 2.4 Henry Fayols point on communication
  • 2.5 Solution to communication problem
  • 2.6 System school definition on communication
  • 2.7 Emphasis laid by the three schools
  • 2.8 Communications attempt on civil service
  • 2.9 Two classes in the civil service
  • 2.10 How poor communication affect civil service
  • 2.11 Dr. Inya’s communication
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources/Methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Interpretation of result(s)

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusions
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

The problem of developing countries encompass ideological, structural, material and human resources, issues and their interact. Communication resources are used for various purposes informing, instructing, persuading and establishing dialogue.

In a similar circumstance, the establishment of an organization does not rely on the critical tasks of bringing the establishment into being, making of work, articulating the raw materials and transferring the raw materials into finished products, but also the use of effective communication system within the organization consequently management takes great paints to draw a notable organization for easy communication flow.

Federal, state and local governments in the country are reputable large organizations that carte for the interest of their citizens. They formulate policies that affect the citizens and implement them. They maintain peace and security that create a good atmosphere that make it possible for people to engage in necessary and viable economic activities in the society.

The success of government, like other reputable organization rest on good leadership, which provides an effective communication system throughout the length of the country for the citizens to know the activities and responsibilities of their government. Hence the establishment of public relations, departments, national orientation agency )NOA) and other arms of government that relate direct with the people to keep them abreast of the day to day working of the government.

The important role Imo state government plays in administration of the state had captured the interest of the various arms of government in the implementation of her programme for the welfare of her citizens. The internal organization structure of the systems has given a clear concept of “authority” whereby relationship exists between “superior” and “subordinate” officers. In this arrangement framer and transmits decisions with the expectations that they will be accepted, such decisions and its conduct is determined by them.

The problem of transmitting decisions lies on the ability of officers to communicate the required information to the officer expected to deal with the matter and to other members of the organization whose behaviour it is supposed to influence. It implies that power may only be exercised within limits agreeable to subordinate. In other words, rational legal authority arises out of the office, or position of the persons in authority as bounded by the values and procedures of the organization.

The bureaucratic activities of the civil service and the individual officers peculiar method of transmitting information, based on the laid down rules and regulations, have in most cases culminated to grow inefficiency which the public has sharply criticize. It is this public reaction that has made the researcher deem it necessary to identify the problem that impede effective communication and how to remedy the situation.

In doing this, all aspects of communication system adopted in the state government have been identified and analyzed, barriers that affect the free flow of information spotlighted and measures for improvement offered. The paper did not loose sight of man made communication problems. Such actions between the senior and junior officers are critically examined.

For instance, some officers keep what is not accepted to be “secret” to their subordinate for their personal benefit thereby delaying unduly information intended to reach the public. The delay of actions of wickedness runs from the top down to the junior officers. These inadequacies existing in service to the detriment of efficiency for improvement including trading were made.

Officers have attributed communication problems in the service to inadequate provision of necessary inputs and were those inputs are provided, they are inadequately maintained and worse still created like no man’s property. Also, the unavailability of good roads and the poor maintenance of existing ones, are said to affect very large the communication system, in the state.

On aiming at the certain conclusion reached in the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency of communication system in the state civil service, the author did not rely only on existing literature in communication but carried out research work in some ministries, four parastatals, and one local government headquarters officers.

Having noted the nature and degree of classification information, the author offers his advice to the top level servants and schedule officers on how best to handle such information.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

All organizations set their goals and work towards achieving them but the achievement of the organization goals would depend on the working attitude of management and its staff through the operation of effective communication system in any organization world result in efficiency and non achievement of the organization goals.

The impression writers have of the public service in Nigeria is that it has no targets or deadlines set for management whether this is true of Imo state civil service or that the situation is that of ineffective use of available communication system is what we are out to discover. The kinds of communication system adopted in the state service are written, oral or face to face discussion, transportation, telephone/intercom and committee meetings, type downward, upwards and literal flow and media have be performed to present some problems in achieving effective communication.
These problems that impede effective communication have been trace to:

  1. Human factors, the attitude of all cadres of serving officers in the execution their duties particular at this period of minimum wage issues.
  2. Organization structure of ministries and department which is case result in conflict between officers with consequent effect on communication system one schedule officers to the other.
  3. The bureaucratic system of the service: This implies that traditional-legal authority arises out of the officer or position of the person in all theory as bounded by the rules and procedures of the service, civil servants mis-apply the tents of bureaucracy as propounded by Max Weber, while to the present day is regarded as an effective management system for a large organization.
  4. Inadequate resources: These have barely affected effective communication equipment and sound transport system to transmit messages to officers in the twenty seven local government area from the state capital are not adequately provided and where they are provided they become unserviceable and therefore serve no effective purpose.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The purpose of the study is to:

  1. Identify the problems that impede effective communication in the state public service and make recommendations on how to remedy the situation.
  2. Encourage the senior officers in the state civil service to establish an environment and a chain of relationship with the staff which encourage the transmission of suggested changes in procedure, problems to be resolved, difficulties encountered and proposed remedies.
  3. Identified causes why some senior officers keep secret to their subordinate for their personal benefit thereby delaying unduly information intended to reach the public and to treat the problems.

Since the importance of communication in the Nigeria civil servant cannot be overemphasized information are expected to move from the line of operations up to the top in order that senior officers and policy top to the very roots of the organization if well planned, productive action results.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes leading to problem in communication in Nigeria public service and Imo state civil service in particular?
  2. Is problem of communication due to lack of funds?
  3. Is problem of communication due to inadequate motivation on the part of government?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research offers readers the opportunities of finding out how the public thinks of the state civil service bureaucrats and at the same time to portray one of the root causes of management in the system in order to achieve some self dysfunctional objectives.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this research covers some ministries and parastatals in Imo state civil service due to some problems which include finance, vastness of Imo state civil service, death of materials (for example, some ministries visited did not “progress report” organization).

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Civil Service:

This can be seen as the government department in country except the armed forces, and people who work for them.

Public Service:

It is a body that controls the civil services.


A set of ideas that an economic or political system is based on.


This is the act of transmitting information, ideas and attitudes from one person to another.


A group of people who form a business, club etc together in order to achieve a particular aim.


This study of official rules and ways of doing things that a government or an organization has, especially when things seem to be too complicated.


It can be seen as step or stage in growth.


The gradual development of something.


Having leis power


A person who is in the position of authority.

Local Government:

This is a unit of government at a local level, which is being established by an act of parliament.


A government department with a particular area of responsibility.


This has to do with an organization that has to achieve an aim.


This means something not enough.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion, And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter deals with findings, summary, conclusion and recommendations.

5.2 Summary Of Findings

The researcher has examined the importance of effective communication in the state civil service, and made these finding;

  1. Telephone and road transport affect communication system in Nigeria public service.
  2. Lack of adequate training of officer handling placement of officers impede effective communication system.
  3. Communication is delayed in the service when the schedule officers are not around.

5.3 Conclusion

The researcher carried out personal interview with the public that have regular transaction with the civil servants in order to find out whether their relationship with the servants were cordial, the result of the interview revealed that the public has poor impression of civil servants.

Most civil servants, according to them were sensitive to their problems. They ask for gratification for any transaction even if one wants to pay revenue to government, man know man becomes the order of the say.

Generally, good relationship depends on who their one accept the terms of the civil servants otherwise the term come today come tomorrow would be applied to people who refuse to cooperate with the officer concerned.

This research clearly reveals that communication has become the most interaction problem of our time both in the civil service and other large organizations.

If all aspects of organization are effective man powered, the goals of the service would be achieved.

5.4 Recommendation

The researcher noticed that inspite of all the measures taken to improve transmission of informal; no significant success has been achieved. Besides the complexity pt modern government with its increased responsibilities to the citizen has called for suitable recommendation with which operation officers could re-examine for greater improvement of the civil service communication system.

  1. To remedy the situation would require an increase and effective use of management by objective (MOB) daily and weekly.
  2. Target have to be set for every office in the service.
  3. Record of daily performance have to be maintained.
  4. There should be a term set to monitor the activities of civil servants in various ministries and government establishment and parastatals.
  5. Government should in addition to telephone system install serviceable radio telephones in all outstations for easy and reliable transmission of information.
  6. On the issue of vehicle maintenance, each ministry or parastatals should own a workshop of its own for maintenance of vehicle rather than sending vehicles to private mechanics that changes exorbitant prices for government vehicles.
  7. It is also recommended that a regulation should be enforced where all transaction irrespective of one’s position in the society should be made known to the public for their consumption and compliance.

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