DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AND JOB PERFORMANCE OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN LAGOS AND ONDO STATES
Discipline is inevitable in any organisation as a way of ensuring attainment of efficiency in service delivery. The Civil Service Rules prescribe procedures for disciplining erring Civil Servants. However, over the years there had been cases of breach in the disciplinary process of erring Civil Servants resulting in several law suits against the government and its agencies. It had been observed that the method of disciplining staff may have some effect later on their level of productivity, as well as on their colleagues. The study therefore, investigated Disciplinary Procedure (DP) and Job Performance (JP) among Civil Servants in Lagos and Ondo States between 2005 and 2015.
Survey design was adopted for the study. The population comprised of civil servants in the Ministry of Establishment and Training, Public Service Office and the Civil Service Commission. Stratified random sampling technique was used in the selection of respondents from the two states according to their cadres and grade levels. A validated questionnaire was employed to measure Statutory Disciplinary Procedure (SDP) measured on 4-point scale (α=0.75); Investigation of Disciplinary Cases (IDC) measured on 6 point scale (α=0.84); Special Training for Personnel Handling Disciplinary Cases (STPHDC) on 5- point scale (α=0.89); Discrimination and Bias Judgement of Cases (DBJC) on 6-point scale (α=0.87); Awareness of Disciplinary Procedural Cases (ADPC) on 5-point scale (α=0.89); Job Performance of Civil Servant within the service (JP) on 4-point scale (α=0.83) in both states. A total of 487 copies of the questionnaire were administered with a response rate of 85.6%. In addition, in-depth interview was conducted with 6 Directors, two each from the selected ministries. Data collected with the questionnaire were analysed using descriptive statistics. The hypotheses were tested, using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) at 5% level of significance. The qualitative data from the interview were transcribed and content-analysed.
Findingsrevealed that there were SDP in the civil service in both states but were not adhere to. Also IDC was significantly associated with JP (r=0.489, p<0.05). there was a positive relationship between STPHDC & JP of civil servant in the states under investigation (r = 0.529, P< 0.05 ).The study also find that there was a negative relationship between DBJC & JP of civil servant in Lagos and Ondo state (r = 0.318, p< 0.05).
The study concluded that proper investigation of disciplinary cases increased job performance of Civil Servants in both states as officers were confident of being fairly heard. Also, cases of discrimination and biased judgements were prominent in these states thus having a negative effect on job performance of Civil Servants. Consequently, the study recommended that the Civil Service Commissions should ensure adherence to stipulated disciplinary procedures in disciplining erring Civil Servants in the two states. Those who abuse the disciplinary process should face stiffer sanctions
1.1 Background to the Study
The Civil Service is an indispensable instrument for the implementation of government policies and programmes. This is because it is through the instrumentality of Civil Service that government policies are translated into services for the people (Maikudi, 2012). On this note, Ugwu-olo (2007) averred that the success or failure of any policy of government is a function of the disposition of the civil servants to its implementation. Similarly, Abasili (2008) argued that no matter how well articulated government programmes may be, they cannot be successfully implemented without effective administrative machinery whose technical competence, loyalty and commitment should translate ministerial policies and programmes into action.
Put differently, there is little or no hope of success in the delivery of Services if the Civil Servants are not professional or ethical in their conducts. According to Gildenhuys (1991), poor, dishonest management of public affairs and corruption (immoral acts) are among the most common manifestations of unethical conduct. Maladministration and corruption in the public sector are usually widely broadcast and exaggerated, largely because the public sector is run with taxpayers’ money. For practitioners in the public sector, especially for public supervisors, it is important that there be guidelines for administering and directing the public service in other toplace subordinates on the right track so as to prevent corruption and eliminate maladministration. It is worthy to note that the Civil Service is the heart, nucleus and core of the public service. The strength and efficiency of the Civil Service are vital to the success of the government machinery as a whole. It is the loyalty and commitment of members of the Civil Service which ensures the effective translation into action of ministerial policies and programs.
The Nigerian Civil Service has its roots in the British system. Lagos and Ondo state Civil Service came into existence with the creation of each state in 1967 and 1976 respectively. Unfortunately, Nigerian Civil Service, and the Civil Service of the component states have had their fair share of political impasse with sundry reforms, thus altering their normal course.
The primary function of the Civil Service in Nigeria is to implement government policies and programmes. The ability of Civil Servants to perform this function effectively depends largely on the quality of training, motivation, integrity of the judges (supervisors) and other players.
Salisu (2011:67) opined that the traditional roles of the Civil servant in Nigeria has been diluted by the politicization of the Civil Service in recent years thereby undermining its credibility and integrity. Presidents and state governors tend to listen more to their close political supporters and associates than to professional Civil Servants because they are associated with inefficiency, ineffectiveness, corruption, self-centred and lack of accountability as such, government and the society no longer have confidence and trust in them.
The gross indiscipline among the rank and file of Civil Servants, makes it necessary to have disciplinary measures for the purpose of improving employees’ performance on the job. Many factors such as motivation, training, poor work environment, inadequate information on employees’ feedback, discrimination and biased judgment to mention a few have contributed to employee low job performance. Supervisors who are faced with problems of correcting the abnormalities of their subordinates, to a large extent, think that formal discipline is the only method they can apply to deal with poor performance and unacceptable behaviour.
While some employee seem to think that supervisors take pleasure in meting out punishment the truth is that it is usually a dreaded exercise. However, it can often be done in an effective way. When employee discipline is done properly, it would not generate hurt feelings or resentments. On the other hand, when it is not done properly, it is often seen as unfair and can actually result in low job performance. Therefore, supervisors who impose discipline need to be disciplined and trained for the purpose of achieving disciplinary objective. This is because the primary objective of discipline is to correct certain behaviour or misconduct in respect of job performance and not punishment. This requires that the employees have adequate information (feedback) about their current performance, attendance or behaviour vis-a-vis the desired performance, (Aguinis, Joo and Gohfredson, 2011, Aguinis 2009). It is against this background that the study examines the disciplinary procedure and job performance among civil servants in Lagos and Ondo States.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There have been claims and counter claims that the appropriate disciplinary process is not usually followed in the handling of cases involving civil servants. Many extra- legalistic factors were alleged to have been glossed over in the disciplinary procedure. There were insinuations that no efforts were made to investigate factors such as, why there is change in employee behaviour/attitude. Hence, many cases were alleged not to have been properly investigated before conclusion were drawn, such as that of Mrs. Ojikutu vs. Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Sports.(see pg 17)
There were suspicions that lapses in the disciplinary procedure could have been due to lack of or improper training of specialists to handle disciplinary cases. Presently, the Civil Service Commission delegated its power to the Permanent Secretary to constitute a Personnel Management Board when dealing with erring staff, with a representative from the commission,Ministry of Establishment and Training and the Public Service office as members, hence, the most senior officers are usually picked to be members of this committee based on their level of experience and not expertise. This method of selecting members of the committee may have negative consequences in the case of not following the appropriate disciplinary procedures. In addition, disciplinary cases and procedure published or gazetted for the consumption of civil servants are not within their immediate reach. This could have a negative effect on compliance with civil service rules and disciplinary procedure. It wasn’t surprising therefore some civil servants claimed that it was after they were disciplined that they became aware of the procedural rules guiding them. This problem of lack of awarenessmay have negative effect on civil servants’ job performance.
There have been several allegations of poor handling of disciplinary procedural cases glossing over of extra- legalistic factors in disciplinary cases, intrusion of political interference or affiliations, biases, improper training and composition of panels to handle disciplinary cases and non-gazetting of disciplinary cases. In order to attempt a clarification of these issues, this study investigated the effect of disciplinary procedure in Lagos and Ondo states on the job performance of Civil Servants.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the disciplinary procedures and job performance of civil servants in Lagos and Ondo States. The specific objectives are to:
- identify the approved statutory disciplinary procedures in Lagos and Ondo States Civil Service;
- examine the effects of poorly investigated cases of disciplinary procedure on job performance of Civil Service in both states;
iii. appraise the effects of specially trained personnel handling disciplinary cases on job performance in Lagos and Ondo states;
- investigate the effect of discrimination and biased judgment of disciplinary cases on job performance of Civil Servants.
- appraise the effect of lack of awareness of disciplinary procedural cases on job performance of Civil Servants in the states under investigation.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the approved disciplinary procedures applicable in the Civil Service of Lagos and Ondo States?
- How has investigation of disciplinary cases affected job performance of Civil Servants in Lagos and Ondo States?
- What effect will a specially trained personnel handling disciplinary cases have on disciplinary procedure and job performance of Civil Servant in Lagos and Ondo States?
- Will discrimination and biased judgments in disciplinary process affect job performance of Civil Servants in Lagos and Ondo states?
- Can awareness of disciplinary procedure and cases affect job performance of Civil Servants in Lagos and Ondo states?
The following hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance
H1: There is significant relationship between poor investigations of disciplinary
procedural cases and job performance of Civil Servants in Lagos and Ondo States.
H2: There is significant relationship between specially trained/ experienced personnel
handling disciplinary procedure and Civil Servants job performance.
H3: There is significant relationship between discriminatory and biased judgments in
disciplinary procedure and job performance of civil servants in Lagos and Ondo
1.6 Justificationfor the Study
The Civil Service has been identified as an institution at the heart of the formulation and implementation of the policy of governments and therefore a major pillar contributing to the development and stability of any country. It is regarded as the engine for the processing of the vastly acquired and expanded responsibilities of a country’s governments and no nation has been able to advance beyond its civil service.
The fact that the Civil Service is the core of the Public Service and the effectiveness and performance of any government is principally determined by the efficiency of the Civil Service informs the various reforms aimed at improving it for efficient and effective Service delivery is regarded as critical to the promotion of sustained socioeconomic development of Nigeria. Years after these reforms, the much anticipated result-oriented Civil Service had not developed in Nigeria.
This study is therefore both timely, significant and justified. An in-depth investigation of the administration of disciplinary procedures and the consequences that such administration portends for job performance in Lagos and Ondo States Civil Service will help contribute to the sparse knowledge in this area. In addition, the suggestions and recommendations proffered in this study will help ensure effective administration of disciplinary procedures for better job performance in the Nigerian Civil Service. Finally, the result to be presented in this work will be useful to scholars who may wish to carry out further research on Nigerian Civil Service as this study will be a useful reference material for them.
1.7Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the disciplinary procedures in Nigeria’s Civil Service with specific reference to Lagos and Ondo States between 2005 and 2015. The scope of this study is limited to the application of disciplinary process for improved job performance in Lagos State Civil Service (LSCS) and Ondo State Civil Service (OSCS) within the above stated period. Lagos State Civil Service (LSCS) was chosen being the highest employer of labour after the Federal Government with a staff strength of One hundred and eighteen thousand, three hundred and forty seven (118,347) (Source, www.lagosstate.gov.ng) and it represents the true nature of Nigeria in terms of ethnic, religious and cultural affluence. Ondo State Civil Service (OSCS) with a staff strength of Eleven Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty (11,950) as at May 2003. (Source,Ondo State Civil Service Commission Annual Report 2013) was selected based on the fact that it represents other states of the federation that does not possess strong socio-economic affluence like Lagos State.