Impact Of Secretaries In Improving The Quality Of Services In Government Parastatals (A Case Study Of NEPA Enugu)
Generally, our society today tends to misunderstand who a secretary is and his impact in improving the quality of services rendered by both government parastatals and private sector.
As a result secretaries are looked upon and neglected because the society assume that their duties goes beyond typing and writing shorthand.
In this project, the researcher aims at finding and investigating their impact in improving the qualities of services rendered by government parastatals and find out what hinders them from performing effective functions. And that both public and private sectors can perform without effective secretary.
During data collection, the study was restricted to only one government parastatal (NEPA) where questionnaires was administered to confidential and general secretaries selected at random and numbering thirty (30).
Analysis of their responds shows that secretaries contributes a lot in improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals so that researcher concluded by recommending that secretaries should be cared for, be encouraged and remunerated in form of training to enable them advance in their career.
1.1 Background of the Study
Government owned parastatals are those created in order to carry out special tasks for the welfare of its citizens. These types of tasks cannot be carried out by private individuals or people due to the nature of the financial involvement and the effectiveness of its services. They are nonprofit oriented, since their aim is not to maximize profit, it is sub-divided into two viz:- federal and state owned parastatals. Federal owned parastatals. Federal owned parastatals are those owned by the federal government. Some of the federal government owned parastatals are: National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Postal Services PLC (NIPOST), Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Teaching Hospital (NTH), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) etc State owned parastatals are those owned by the state government. Some of the state government owned parastatals are: Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), Enugu State Water Corporation, Enugu State Schools, and State Hospitals etc.
Their responsibilities – NEPA are responsible for the generation and distribution of power. NITEL are responsible for Telephones, Telex, Telefax, installation and servicing. NIPOST are incharge of postal services, telegram, overseas mails and parcels. Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) are incharge of transport by train Nigeria Airways Corporation (NAC) are in charge of transport by air or plane. Nigeria Broadcasting Corporations (NBC) are responsible for radio and Television broadcast services. Water Corporations are responsible for treatment and distribution of water to the people. Hospitals are in charge of treating the sick and immunization.
These government parastatals are only established and run by the government to ensure equitable distribution of its services to the generality of people, for it the parastatals are left in the hand of private sectors or individuals, they may tend to politicize it, thereby distorting the assumed equitable services or equitable distribution services or equitable distribution rendered.
According to Akande (1999) government parastatals or public corporation means business organizations that come into existence through appropriate enabling Acts of parliament, Decrees or Edicts in a particular country or state. They may be commercially oriented or public service oriented. Most of them have been commercially oriented in Nigeria in recent time.
Its characteristic features are:
- They are usually state or federal owned.
- They are established purposely to render public services.
- Over-reliance on government subventions survive.
According to any Anyanwuochi (2002) Public Corporations are sometimes called state enterprises. In a mixed economy, public corporations involve economic activities undertaken by the state. They form what we normally refer to as the public sector. Although, they are operated on commercial basis, the intention behind their establishment is for the benedict of the members of the public. They are not usually established to maximize profit although, in some cases they are expected to at least break-even. Through these parastatals the government now provides the services which could have been too expensive and unprofitable for private sectors.
Besides, the word secretary is one of the most misunderstood concepts in contemporary life. Almost any body who involves him or herself in skill jobs such as typing, writing of shorthand is been referred to as secretary. But secretary in this case is a person who have been trained for this noble profession and equally have work experience as a secretary, people do not know the importance of secretary in those government owned parastatals. Secretaries are the life wire of every business organizations. They are the keeper of secrets, public relations experts, handling of mails and correspondences, a staff assistant and boss’s office memory, meeting organizers etc. They are the representative of their organizations and their employers gives good human relations in working with the employees in the organizations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The government of any nation has the legitimate responsibility of providing certain essential services for the welfare of all individuals governed by that nation, sometimes, government hijacks the provision of certain essential services which, if left to the hands of private sector would led to out right exploitation of the masses, thus the rationale for the establishment of certain government owned parastatals would be achieved. These government parastatals are known to have been rendering certain services to people.
At times, the quality of these services are proved by people and some other times, the quality of their services are also condemned because of their healthiness. The problem is that it has not been known whether secretaries in those government prarastatals within. Enugu urban do contribute at all towards the improvement of the quality of services which their organizations render to the public. It has also not been known how well the management of those government owned parastatals appreciate the duties of secretaries.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to:-
- Investigate the impact of secretaries in improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals.
- Find out, the peculiar problems secretaries encounter in government parastatals.
- Find out the extent a secretary’s job is evaluated in an organization.
- Ascertain certain obstacles that hinder a secretary from performing his or her functions effectively.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The importance of this study will be of immense benefit to NEPA management and also to other employer of labour, policy makers and those who want to achieve the desired goal in setting up organizations. On the other hand, both of NEPA or an other organization need mostly the services of secretaries before the organizational goal can be achieved.
Furthermore, this study will contribute to the understanding of the word secretaries and even lead to upgrading them, when the findings of this project are implemented secretaries then render effective services to government parastatals in Enugu urban.
1.5 Limitations of the Study
This study is limited to only the impact of secretaries in improving the quality of services in government parastatals with particular reference to NEPA District Headquarters, Enugu. The researcher took time to study how secretaries make handsome contributions towards the growth and survival of NEPA.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide and direct the study:
- What are the impact of secretaries on improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals in Enugu Urban.
- What are the peculiar problems that secretaries in government prarastatals encounters.
- To what extent are secretary’s job evaluated in an organization?
- What are the obstacles that hinder a secretary from performing his or her functions effectively?
1.7 Definition of Terms
Secretary means one who is next to the executive, knowing the office skills, being able to assume responsibilities and execute his or her work without much supervision.
Typist means a junior staff in an organization. The main duty of a typist is to type documents from the manuscripts and to the clerical work.
Stemographer means a skilled worker who combines the skill of shorthand-writing and that of typewriting.
Public co-operations is defined as an organized commercial undertakings which possess characteristics, such as being wholly owned by the state and being created by a special law incorporating them and defining their powers and duties.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This chapter is the last chapter of the report and its aim is to draw conclusions from the findings of the study in correlation with the literature review, objectives of the study and then make recommendations that enhance the supply chain practices in the banking industry.
5.2 Summary of the Study
The primary purpose of this study is to examine the impact of modern office technologies on secretaries’ level of productivity at the Head office of the Ministry of Education. Other secondary objectives guided the collection of primary data. A review of existing literature on the subject of Secretarial practices as well as productivity was presented in chapter two. This review explored important issues relating to the concept of secretary, the classification of the functions of the secretary and the secretarial productivity. Beside the secondary data, a primary data was gathered through the use of questionnaires from the sampled population selected for this study. A total of 60 respondents contributed to the findings of this study.
5.3 Finding of the Study
Consistent with discussions and analysis of the primary data that were presented in chapter four of this study, the following findings are highlighted.
5.3.1 The Existence of Modern Office Equipments or Technologies
The primary data collected clearly indicate that MAE (Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, Head office), has sufficient modern equipments. The data again showed the five major equipments present include the following;
- Telephone equipments (Land and Mobile)
- Personal computers
- Filling equipments
- Pen drives (Storage)
5.3.2 A high Knowledge and Usage of Modern Equipments
The study used employee knowledge of equipment to conclude the level of usage. The correlation is that knowledge suggests usage. Based on this premise the study found that there is a very high knowledge among the staff about these equipments hence the usage of these equipments are significantly high. For instance, respondents’ responses on some equipment were virtually 100%, indicating frequent use. Equipments such as listed below recorded high responses.
- Electronic calculators
- Filling equipments
- Telephone equipments
- Video equipments
5.3.3 A Relationship Between The Use of Office Equipments And Productivity
The study found that there exist a correlation between the use of office equipments and the level of productivity. 86% of the respondents noted that this relationship exists.
5.3.4 Perceptions on Productivity
The study found varied perceptions among the respondents on productivity. For example,
- The high productivity of the entire department
- The fear of laying off due to improvements in levels of productivity
5.4 Conclusions of the Study
In line with the objectives of the study and the data gathered from chapter four, the following conclusions have been reached;
- The Ministry of Education has sufficient modern office equipment and technologies
- There is a high level of usage of these equipments at MAE
- The use of modern office equipment increase productivity of secretarial staff
- The secretarial staff believe they are highly productive.
5.5.1 Consistent Monitoring and Evaluation of the Supply Chain Performance Indicators
Monitoring is the routine and systematic accumulation of information against a plan. The information might be about activities, products or services, users, or about outside factors affecting the organization or project. Evaluation on the other hand is about utilizing monitoring and other information you accumulate to make judgments about the value of any component part of an organization or its projects, products, services or benefits, or about the organization holistically. It is also about utilizing the information to make changes and ameliorations.
Organizations use monitoring and evaluation for to learn about their own activities and results, and to fortify internal plan and development and be accountable to their stakeholders. Generally, organizations undertake two types of monitoring activities to understand how the organization is performing and to identify those areas which require further attention. The two types of monitoring activities are performance monitoring and compliance monitoring.
Performance monitoring involves an in-depth analysis of a process or project, to determine whether it is efficient and efficacious. It involves developing criteria, conducting interviews and examining documentation to determine how the process or project is conducted. Additionally, Compliance monitoring and compliance auditing aim to establish whether a process or procedure is carried out in conformance with pertinent external requisites, whether set through legislation, regulations or directions.
Although there exist high levels of productivity among the secretarial staff at MAE, the business environment has become very competitive and there is no place for firms who relax on the past glory. The secretarial staff department must constantly be made to review their system to discover weaknesses that can quickly be addressed to meet customer satisfaction.
5.5.2 Continuous Staff training in the use of Modern Equipments
A learning organization where the members are continually gaining knowledge and enhancing their capabilities to aid the organization in adapting to dynamic environments and remain competitively superior over competitors. The driving force behind such an organization is its ability to effectively manage knowledge. The secretarial staff at MAE must constantly be trained to become their very best. The Ministry must invest in continuous training.
5.5.3 Continuous Investment in Modern Office Equipment and Technologies
To maintain a strong competitive advantage and customer satisfaction, the ministry be continually invest in the acquisition of the latest equipments that would enhance the productivity of its staff. For example, the study reveals a lack of video conferencing equipments, and these must be purchased to reduce travelling and promote technological advancement at MAE.
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