An Evaluation Of Service Delivery In The Public Sector In Nigeria: The Perspective Of Nigeria’s Budget Process

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An Evaluation Of Service Delivery In The Public Sector In Nigeria: The Perspective Of Nigeria’s Budget Process


Abstract


This research aimed at an evaluation of service delivery in the public sector in Nigeria. The perspective of Nigeria’s budget process. The study design was descriptive cross-sectional involving 386 workers of ministry of budget and national planning. A structured and semi-structured questionnaire was administered by the research assistants to the each worker in the ministry. The quantitative data was entered into excel and exported to SPSS for analysis where percentages, means and standard deviations was calculated. Public sector agencies especially that of budget should as a matter of policy, develop a positive service culture and enterprising zeal for effective job techniques in their roles so that strategic advantage could be attained in the budgeting process among other recommendations were made in the study


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Providing more public services with less public spending is an ongoing challenge for all developing countries. The provision of public services in the country is the primary responsibility of the government, complemented by the private sector. Service delivery is more complex in the public sector as it is not just about meeting expressed needs, but finding out the needs that are not expressed, setting priorities, resource allocation, and publicly justifying and accounting for what has been done. In most developing countries, the public sector plays a significant role in service provision as it controls much of the economic resources. In view of this, public agencies have come under pressure and debate in recent years in terms of their efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery with respect to the needs and rights of citizens. This, according to researchers, is in line with the principles of New Public Management (NPM), which aims at meeting the needs of the citizens rather than those of the bureaucracy.

In the light of ensuring public service delivery, attention has been drawn to public spending. Managing public spending provides useful insights about possible strategies for improving value for money. In that respect, stepping up the use of performance information in budget processes – “performance budgeting” – is an important dimension of the reforms undertaken by developed countries since the early 1990s, which Nigeria as a country is still staggering from since her democratic rebirth. Demands on social transfer systems have remained intense over the past two decades; spending on pensions, poverty alleviation programmes, and core merit goods (education and health) has continued to show an upward trend during these periods. Budget making and budget implementation involve the process of identification of public needs and the determination of the quality of goods and services to satisfy these needs through the political process, economic analysis, and the overall development plan objectives. The government prepares a budget in the form of public policy to serve as a driver through which her mission can be achieved. As good as Nigeria budget is with its lofty promises along side borrowing from international bodies to meet this budget, the performances which can be measured in terms of accomplishment is nothing to write home about.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The financing of projects for the provision of these services, such as education, health, agriculture, water and sanitation, power, housing and urban development, justice, defence and security, among others, is usually carried out through annual government budgetary provisions. However, the distribution/delivery of public services in Nigeria, just like in many other developing economies, is often fraught with discrimination, low quality and access, and a lack of fairness and equity between urban and rural areas. This discrimination in the provision of public services is responsible for the gap in development between urban and rural areas in Nigeria today. The budget process is far from reality and the disparity between budget and accomplishments is so wide and keeps on abating as years pass by. The question that could readily come to mind is why do we continuously experience these failures? Could it be that it is ill conceived or ill planned? Could it be attributed to poor monitoring and implementation? The need to provide answers to these questions gave impetus for this study.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main focus of this study is to examine Service Delivery In The Public Sector In Nigeria: The Perspective Of Nigeria’s Budget Process. Specifically the study seeks:

  1. To examine if the practice of budgeting and budget implementation process in Nigeria has been effective.
  2. To examine what factors has led to poor service delivery in the the budget process of Nigeria.
  3. To suggest ways of getting out of the jinx of continual and repeated adverse budgetary performance.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the practice of budgeting and budget implementation process in Nigeria has been effective?
  2. What is Service Culture in Ministry of budget and national planning
  3. What is Quality of Service delivery in Ministry of budget and national planning

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to the legislative arm, civil service and other public parastatal. The study advocated the concept of value Money Audit, due process and cost Audit. These concepts if properly applied alongside good public procurement philosophy will engender a strong legal, organizational and professional framework to make budgeting and budget implementation in the Nigerian Public Sector robust and effective. The study will empirically add to the body of knowledge and serve as reference material for other academia in related field of study.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study focused on Service Delivery In The Public Sector In Nigeria: The Perspective Of Nigeria’s Budget Process. The study is however limited to Ministry of Finance, FCT Abuja.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

The major limitations of this study is that the newness of the topics as assigned by the project supervisor posed a big challenge to the researcher. Lack of material such as textbook, journals, internet print-outs relevant to carry out the research and renovation of school library were banners to the study. The researcher also encountered some constraint that was likely to hamper the pace of the study including the respondents unwillingness to participate in the study by refusing to give answers to the survey instrument, to overcome this kind of limitation, the researcher explained the purpose of the study to his respondents and solicited for their cooperation. Despite all these limitations, the research was successfully carried out.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Service Delivery:

Public Service is a service which is provided by government to people: either directly (through the public sector).Some key Public Services are: Health care, Education, Social services for the poor and marginalized. Infrastructure – Roads, Railways, Airports, Telecommunications, Electricity, Water. Effective public service delivery is an important instrument for boasting up the good governance. The model can be effective in ensuring public service delivery and updating the status of customer satisfaction which will ultimately reflect the good governance policy to be implemented, maintained and sustained.

Public Sector:

Public sector simply refers to the part of the economy that is controlled by the government for the purpose of providing basic government services

Budget-Process:

Budgeting is a process whereby future income and expenditure are decided in order to streamline the expenditure process. … Other important activities in the budgeting process include things such as forecasting, monitoring, controlling and evaluating the financial goals.


Chapter Five


Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

The main aim of the study is to examine the effect of service delivery in the public sector in Nigeria. the perspective of Nigeria’s budget process. The research was guided by four research questions and hypotheses. From the research findings, this study reveals a diverse aspect of a practical operation of budgeting process using ministry of budget and national planning. It argues that well established job culture has positive implications on service delivery in Ministry of budget and national planning. However, the study observed attitude of public employees has an important aspect of human resource management was being ignored in public sector jobs.

In review of relevant empirical literature and the subsequent testing of the four stated hypotheses, we came to the conclusion that job analysis has a significant effect on service culture in the Ministry of budget and national planning. Secondly, that there is a significant relationship between job analysis and quality of services in the Ministry of budget and national planning. Thirdly, that job analysis has a significant effect on employee commitment in the Ministry of budget and national planning. The fourth hypothesis also discovered that there is a significant relationship between job analyses on employee commitment in the Ministry of budget and national planning.

This study argues that the Nigerian public sector agencies have to grow beyond that level of traditional and primordial sentiments in HRM if she really wants to achieve success in governance and administration. With the New Public Management theory underlying the foundation for this study, it posits that for governments to operate the most efficient and effective public sector that would be beneficial to all, her HRM should be unfettered. It should also be capable of adopting the global best practices in its human resource management scheme that would in turn help government to achieve the goals of governance and administration (service delivery) because the system theory contends that every system, including political system, has sub-systems which make up the entire system.

Generally, the findings of this study were found reliable with the studies conducted in Western countries on the contribution of public sector to service delivery. Consequently, the worth of the present study lies in the reality that it offers a requisite rationale of theoretical models built on the basis of studies conducted in the Western organizations. The present study illustrates the efforts of establishing a Human Resource-Performance linkage by developing a specific conceptual framework to demonstrate the progression by which the practice of job analysis and service delivery might be correlated and by testing it with empirical data from a non-western country. It should be emphasized that the likelihood of job analysis- service delivery relationship has not been explored in the Nigerian public sector context.

Service delivery is the objectives of all public sector. What we do know is that a number of factors are involved in service delivery enhancement. Many of these factors are interdependent. It responds to many factors as x-rayed in our literature review; how public sector organizations use these variables will determine its level of success. Altogether, this research makes an effort signifying a substantial positive contribution of service delivery in the budgeting process


5.2 Recommendations

In view of the findings of this study, it is obvious and imperative that for government to resolve the issues of conflict of duties, inadequate compensation and irrational job titles, misuse of labour which has hindered public service delivery in the country. Based on the findings, we recommend that:

  1. Public sector agencies should as a matter of policy, develop a positive service culture and enterprising zeal for effective job analysis techniques in their roles so that strategic advantage could be attained. Empirical evidence supports the view that Therefore, organizations interested in growth and high performance should embrace proper conduct thereby galvanizing high levels of employees‟ job satisfaction and service delivery, reducing turnover and increasing job security. Nigerian public sector managers should be self-advice that the world is now a global village and the world cannot wait for Nigeria. The earlier public sector managers embrace global best practices in the field of human resources management, the better for the country.
  2. Also, for improved service delivery, the Nigerian public sector agencies should identify and develop proper employee commitment scheme such , training and retraining, and performance review standards that could enhance service delivery. These will motivate and keep employees‟ abreast with current developments in their fields of endeavour. The heads of ministries and extra-ministerial departments should examine and redesign personnel requirements to match position classifications. MBNPs public personnel managers in particular and public sector agencies in general are advised to imbibe the prescripts of New Public Management (NPM) that goals and targets should be defined and measurable as indicators of service delivery.
  3. Based on the findings and conclusions, we recommend that HR planning should lay a solid foundation for strategies of achieving employee commitment leading to positive customer experience. It is therefore imperative for public sector organizations to make expertise available to conduct job analysis. It would assist MBNP in particular and public sector agencies in general to ensure that all critical aspects such as skills, knowledge and competencies are taken into consideration during placement of workers. This will eliminate the concept of garbage in, garbage out.

5.3 Suggestions for Further Studies

The Nigerian public sector is faced with the challenges of poor service delivery. It is instructive to note that though researchers in the western countries have carried out researches in these areas, however, it was observed in the course of our literature review that little or no research has been carried out in these areas in a non-western country like Nigeria. The present study may serve as a drive and template for human resource professionals, upcoming researchers and scholars alike to undertake further research to validate or invalidate the claims of the western scholars as regards the proper service delivery for the betterment of the nation.


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