1 MANPOWER TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE NIGERIAN. PUBLIC SERVICE. Olu Okotoni1 and John Erero2. The importance of TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT is more obvious given the growing complexity of the work environment, the rapid change in organizations and ad- vancement in technology, among other things. TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT helps to ensure that organisational members possess the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively, take on new responsibilities, and adapt to changing conditions. Despite the recognition of the importance of TRAINING by management experts and government as expressed in white papers on various reforms in Nigeria, the experience of MANPOWER TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT in the Nigeria public service has been more of ruse and waste.
2 This paper examines the experience of Nigerian public services on MANPOWER TRAINING and develop - ment with a view to understanding the problems being faced. It makes appropri- ate recommendations on how to ameliorate the situation. INTRODUCTION TRAINING has become more obvious given Until recently there has been a general re- the growing complexity of the work envi- sistance to investment in TRAINING in the ronment, the rapid change in organizations public service because of the belief that and technological advancement which fur- employees hired under a merit system ther necessitates the need for TRAINING and must be presumed to be qualified, that they DEVELOPMENT of personnel to meet the chal- were already trained for their jobs.
3 And that lenges. TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT helps to if this was not so it was evidence that ini- ensure that organisational members possess tial selection of personnel was at fault. the knowledge and skills they need to per- (Stahl, 1976). This assumption has been form their jobs effectively, take on new re- jettisoned as the need for TRAINING became sponsibilities, and adapt to changing con- obvious both in the private and the public ditions. (Jones, George and Hill, 2000). It sectors. Many organisations have come to is further argued that TRAINING helps im- recognize that TRAINING offers a way of de- prove quality, customer satisfaction, pro- veloping skills, enhancing productivity and ductivity, morale, management succession, quality of work, and building worker loy- business DEVELOPMENT and profitability.
4 Alty to the firm. ( ( h t t p : / / w w w. b u s i n e s s b a l l s . c o m /. ). Indeed, the importance of ). Elaborating further on the 1. Senior Lecturer and Acting Head, Department of Public Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 2. Professor of Public Administration at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. importance of human resources develop - perts and government as expressed in white ment (HRD), the International Labour Of- papers on various reforms in Nigeria, the fice (2000) affirmed that DEVELOPMENT and experience of MANPOWER TRAINING and de- TRAINING improves their trainees' prospects velopment in the Nigeria public service has of finding and retaining a job; improves been more of ruse and waste.
5 Their productivity at work, their income- It is against this backdrop that this paper earning capacity and their living standards; examines the experience of Nigerian pub- and widens their career choices and oppor- lic services on MANPOWER TRAINING and de- tunities. velopment with a view to understanding the problems and making appropriate recom- Management experts also argue that a ma- mendations on how to ameliorate the situ- jor function of a manager is to develop ation. people and to direct, encourage and train DEFINING THE KEY CONCEPTS: subordinates for optimum utilisation.
6 To TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT . Stahl (1986), TRAINING helps prepare em- ployees for certain jobs that are unique to Some authors use the terms TRAINING and the public sector. Specifically on Nigeria, DEVELOPMENT as synonyms. However, the Public Service Review Commission some view the two concepts as being dif- (PSRC) report in 1974 emphasised the im- ferent. Jones, George and Hill, (2000) be- portance of TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT : lieve that TRAINING primarily focuses on teaching organisational members how to A result-oriented public service will perform their current jobs and helping them need to recruit and train specialised per- acquire the knowledge and skills they need sonnel.
7 The new public service will re- to be effective performers. DEVELOPMENT quire professionals who possess the on the other focuses on building the knowl- requisite skills and edge and skills of organisational members should be part of a comprehensive edu- so that they will be prepared to take on new cation planning Of all responsibilities and challenges. In the view the aspects of personnel management of Adamolekun (1983), staff DEVELOPMENT perhaps the most important for us in involves the TRAINING , education and career Nigeria is TRAINING .
8 DEVELOPMENT of staff members. The pur- pose of TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT has been Three decades after, another reform en- identified to include: creating a pool of deavour (the 1988) civil reforms) readily available and adequate replace- emphasised obligatory and periodic train- ments for personnel who may leave or ing. A fundamental question is what has move up in the organization; enhancing the happened to this important subject matter company's ability to adopt and use ad- between 1974 and 1988? The answer vances in technology because of a suffi- seems obvious.
9 Little or nothing has been ciently knowledgeable staff; building a achieved. Despite the recognition of the more efficient, effective and highly moti- importance of TRAINING by management ex- vated team, which enhances the company's 2 AJPAM Vol XVI, No. 1 January 2005. competitive position and improves em- TRAINING Needs of the Federal Civil Ser- ployee morale; and ensuring adequate hu- vice. (Erero and Ayeni, 1992). The federal man resources for expansion into new pro- government commissioned the then Insti- grams.
10 Tute of Administration, University of Ife, ness/ personnel/ ). Ile-Ife to carry out a survey on the TRAINING As a way of summary, the purpose of train- needs of the civil service. The study was ing is to improve knowledge and skills and conducted and a report was submitted. The to change attitude (Mullins, 1999). Mullins federal government came out with a White argues further that TRAINING is capable of Paper on the Report in April 1969. The producing the following benefits: document titled Statement of Federal Gov- ernment Policy on Staff DEVELOPMENT on Increase the confidence, motivation the Federal Public Service has the follow- and commitment of staff.