The Impact Of Bureaucracy In Nigeria Public Enterprise (A Case Study Of PHCN, Enugu District)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

The Impact Of Bureaucracy In Nigeria Public Enterprise (A Case Study Of PHCN, Enugu District)


The topic “The impact of Bureaucracy in Nigeria Public Enterprises” was specifically chosen to emphasis and illustrate the extent to which bureaucracy has been efficient and its ineffective in the operation of Nigeria Public Administration. The study started with the background and definition of the study area and then went down into identifying the past and present trend, of bureaucracy (both Western and Nigerian Bureaucracy) The principles, theoretical and economic factor that influences bureaucratic organizations. It is believed that with a proper understanding of bureaucracy in the operation of Nigerians public enterprises, especially in (PHNC) Power Holding Company of Nigeria seventy will be ensured with will be ensured with a view to achieving efficiency and increase productivity in their services.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The National Electric Power Authority which is today known as Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was established by the NEPA Act of 1872. The Act authorized the merger of the activities of the Niger Dam Authority and the Electricity corporation of Nigeria. The operation object clause is among other things: “to develop and maintain an efficient coordinated and economical system of electricity supply to all parts of the federation or as the Authority may direct and for this purpose”.

A close scrutiny of PHCN performance over years reveals that the above provision of the Decree are not efficiently observed. It was estimated according to world bank report, that inefficiency in power sector alone created losses of over US$800 Million annually in Nigeria (World Bank 1794).

The purpose of a Bureaucracy is to successfully implement the actions of an organization of any size (but often associated with large initiatives such as government corporation and non-governmental organizations), in achieving its purpose and mission, the bureaucracy is tasked to determine how it can achieve its purpose and mission with the greatest possible efficiency and at the least cost of any resources.

The principle of social organization which characterize the twentieth century industrial society is “rational coordination” otherwise known as “Bureaucracy”. Under this form of organization, people are brought together in formal and complex settings run by professionals and experts. The professionals are called “Bureaucrats” while the organizations they run are known as “Bureaucracies”. The nineteenth century produced a number of brilliantly descriptive and literacy accounts of modern bureaucracies. Many writers call attention to the increasing bureaucratization of human activity but Max Wcber a German Sociologist historian and economist is credited with having made the most thorough analysis of bureaucracy (Mullins 1999). The main contention in the writings of those scholars is that more and more spheres of life are being dominated by large orgainsations and increasing number of people are becoming employees of complex organization. As a matter of fact, quite a few aspect of medium society can be studied without reference to bureaucracy.

Most obviously in the business world and in modern establishments, the coordination of specialization in accordance with impersonal rule is highly developed and adopted. The same trend has also been observed to be the pattern in every other areas of the society. Wilmot (1785) and Applebaum and Chamblis (1995) argued that bureaucracy starts from birth (health bureaucracy) to family upbringing (social welfare), to school (educational) to work (civil service, military, commercial, industrial) to worship and death (religion): man is increasingly dominated by bureaucracy. Every sphere of modern life have thus become very bureaucratic as people are born into bureaucracies; grow in it, live with it and even die in it. It is bureaucracy all the way and all the time. Right from the unset of this world, man has co-operatively organized as a group to work towards a directed goal in a directive manner. Indeed the prevalence of complex bureaucracies is believed to be the structural frame work in our recent organizations.

No less important to mention is the fact these complex organization are established not only to find solution to given human problems but to do efficiently. It is not surprising therefore that in the new turn era, the central concern of several classical society analysis was the issues of how man is going to organize human society in general and more specifically his productive activities in the most efficient way to achieve maximum benefits. Adam Smith (1723-1790) advocated that Economic on industrial matters should be left in the hands of economics or industrial elites and agents i.e (those waste in economic affairs). He was concerned with the problems of organizational productivity. Above all for Max Webber (1864-1920) the essence of bureaucratic organization is efficiency. In other words, the peculiar characteristics of bureaucracy enables men to effectively and efficiently deal with and transform the socio-physical environment. It is at this basis that bureaucratic organization are guided and pirated in man’s bid to perfect and actualize himself through socio-economic development that any impediment to their efficient operation should be incised seriously. Indeed, the fact that Nigerians fought a civil war six years after independence, followed immediately by another six years of unprecedented oil boom in which extreme materialism took over the control of Nigerians mind and total soul, led to the enthronement of indiscipline, corruption and a lot contempt for order honors and excellence within the whole society including the bureaucratic public.

In the light of this, one sees bureaucracy as a formal-rational organized social structure with clearly defined pattern of activities in which every series of action is fundamentally related. The study therefore centers on PHCN Enugu District in order to determine the extent to which bureaucracy contributed towards the organizational output and inefficiency.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the recent times, the Nigerian economy has witnessed a steady and rapid decrease in productivity in almost all the areas of the economy, the energy sector inclusive. The preliminary investigations carried out by this research shows that PHCN also experienced similar problems of the steady and rapid decrease in productivity which was due to lack or inadequate motivation and bureaucratic efficiency following this, the researcher has decided to find out whether the problem arose because of bureaucratic inefficiency, if so, what could be done to ensure efficiency and enhance productivity. In doing this, an attempt will be made to expose the bureaucratic system already being employed by the management of PHCN. The reactions of the workers to these techniques and whether they were understood as expected.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the root causes of poor power supply, especially in relation to bureaucracy. The workers reaction to bureaucratic pattern employed by the management to enlist the co-operation of workers and bureaucratic efficiency. The study also intend to find out the extend to which bureaucracy has undermined the smooth running and effective operation of PHCN Enugu District.

For this reason, some of the areas this study intends to accomplish are as follows:

  1. To show the bureaucratic pattern employed by the management of PHCN Enugu aimed at inducing over reaction for the enhancement of productivity.
  2. Probe and find out what may be the likely management problem with bureaucracy in PHCN Enugu District.
  3. Show the effects bureaucracy has on productivity and efficiency in power supply.
  4. Proffer solution to identified management deficiencies in the management of bureaucracy.
  5. Finally, document the findings for interested researchers in the future.

1.4 Hypothesis Formulation

The study of the impact of bureaucracy in Nigeria public enterprise. The case study of PHCN Enugu District will seek to test the following hypothesis:

  1. H0: Bureaucracy has no significant impact in Nigeria public enterprise.
    HI: Bureaucracy has significant impact in Nigeria public enterprise.
  2. H0: Bureaucracy process does not prevents public enterprise from formulating and implementing effective policies.
    HI: Bureaucracy process prevents public enterprise from formulating and implementing effective policies.
  3. H0: Bureaucracy process does not prevents public enterprise from making and implementing an emergency policy.
    HI: Bureaucracy delays the public enterprise in making emergency policy and implementing it.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is expected to be of immense importance in management decision making in PHCN as well as other top researchers and consequently to the nation in general. The study will specifically be beneficial in the following ways:

  1. It will make the management of PHCN Enugu to appreciate fully the principles of bureaucracy.
  2. It will enable managers in the employment of PHCN to identify the causes of how productivity is in relation to principles of bureaucracy.
  3. The result will help in the enhancement of efficiency and consequently productivity at PHCN Enugu when properly addressed.
  4. It will be of immense guide to future researchers who intend to explore and understand further concepts of bureaucracy especially in service organization like PHCN.

1.6 Scope of the Study

For the purpose of clarity, the subject of this researcher work focuses on the impact of bureaucracy in Nigeria public enterprises. This study intends to cover the activities of power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu District.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Power Holding Company of Nigeria.


National Electric Power Authority


It is laid down rule

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to investigate the impact of bureaucracy in Nigeria public enterprise.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenge of bureaucracy and procedure bottle neck.

5.2 Summary

The administrative processes presupposes that a positive relationship between the administrator and his clientele members of the public who enjoy his services (BoakyeSarpong, 1998). Even though the respondents from the PHCN indicated knowing that citizens are their clients. On the other hand, over 80% of clients were of the view that staff of the PHCN do not have customer satisfaction as a major concern. According to majority of clients/customers, who interacted with the organization to acquire services such as; business operating permit, bills generation, power supply, repairs and maintenance, etc, services are procedurally delayed for selfish reasons. Further to this, staff is unfriendly and lack customer care.

5.3 Conclusion

The performance of public enterprises in Nigeria including that of PHCN has been regrettable inspite of huge sum of money invested on them. However, without an attempt to checkmate these management problems of public enterprises in Nigeria which include poor and unstable management board, incompetence, excessive government interference and control, conflicting objective, corruption and monopoly, achievement of efficiency, profitability and socio-economic growth and development in the country is alarming. The current predicament of public enterprises the world over, notwithstanding, an active public sector presence is desirable so as to counterbalance the excesses and contradictions of the ubiquitous private sector.

5.4 Recommendations

The researcher therefore recommend that Effective training and development program should be inculcated by the management of PHCN. The essence of training is to equip staff with necessary skills and techniques needed for the particular job in the organization. In the case of change in technology and innovations, an employee needs to be educated and trained in relevant job. This significantly will help to boost efficiency and effectiveness of the company and ensure full capacity utilization. ii. Since it is agreed that motivation induces employee to give their best, proper motivation cannot be de-emphasize in PHCN. This could take the form of promotion, increasing the salaries of employees, allowing their initiative in some policy issues and remunerating them adequately so that their social obligation and responsibilities are attained with good working condition, employees of PHCN, no doubt will increase their elasticity to achieving desired result.

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