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STAFF WELFARE AND PRODUCTIVITY

Project Topic: Staff Welfare and Productivity in Ebonyi State: A Case of Ezza South Local Government Council


 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The concept of social welfare is as old as mankind. The earliest modern social welfare laws were enacted in Germany in the 1889s. As similar programs have been adopted in other countries including Nigeria, the trend has been toward more comprehensive coverage in terms of both eligibility requirements and the nature of risks insured against. A floor of minimum protection has come to be viewed as one of governments general responsibilities with respect to specific risks, and in many countries the consensus hold that public responsibility extends to all those unable to care for themselves for whatever reason. In this view, social welfare is extended and received as a matter of right rather than of need.

In Nigeria social welfare services have been in place from pre-colonial era, extended to colonial period and also become contemporary issues in both public and private organizations.

Nwoba (2001) clearly elucidates that in pre-colonial Nigeria society, the nature of social policies evolved to cope with societal need varied from one ethnic group to another and were tempered by the existing social structure. He noted that ethnic and religious heterogeneity mediated the social services systems differently, as for instance in Islamic and Clientage system of the Hausa differed from the much more agalitarian Christian system.

In Yoruba communities, social policies evolved directly from the values of reciprocity and group centeredness existing in the political communities. Such values essentially revolving around the extended family enabled the societies to enjoy integrated policies with each of the political communities (Nwoba, 2011).

He further noted that social welfare services developed in Nigeria in a fragmented, uncoordinated pattern and in response to specific social problems, which were “confronting Nigeria society early in the twentieth century. The colonial experience brought along its trail, an increased rate of urbanization and industrialization which combined to undermine the extended family System that previously ensured the provision of social services in many traditional societies. He also asserted that the missionaries activities especially in the furtherance of education as an instrument of social change and a prerequisite to religious conversion, further jettisoned the traditional values on which the traditional social services were built. Consequently, when specific social problems arose, new structures and legislations were evolved by the colonial regime to combat such problems. This situation with respect to outbreak of post war epidemic, and the bubonic plague of 1924 in Lagos, which led to considerable improvement of the health services in Lagos.

In the same vein, Nwoba (2011) maintained that the missionaries were the initial corner stone of the early social services policy in Nigeria, especially in relation to health care and education of most parts of Nigeria outside Lagos. Between 1800 and late 1980s, the missionaries were largely responsible for the provision of social services. This was because the attitude of the colonial government was that Nigeria as a resources base and must be maintained for easy exploitation. The only way the colonial government would provide services was by crash programme to combat specific natural disasters, or as in case in Lagos by enacting public ordinances primarily for the protection and comfort of the British administrators and traders stationed there, and secondly for better public health.

The depression of the 1930s, joined with the dissatisfaction of the second world war victims combined with the new international condemnation of colonial rules especially with the Atlantic Charter of 1941 induce greater concern for welfare on colonial subjects.

These and other similar developments such as the general strike of 1945 among others are the factors that led to the enactment of the colonial welfare Acts of 1940, 1945, and 1950 (Nwoba, 2011). These acts represent the earliest conscious attempt to evolve conscious social policy for the entire Nigeria society. The 1940 act focused more on labour and child welfare with specific provision against child (under 14 years) labour. The 1945 ordinance emphasized free services for the disable. A disabled register was created in 1955 in order to provide continues services for them.

In contemporary Nigeria, in addition to the colonial welfare acts mentioned above, social welfare policies have tended to cover the following areas such as war against poverty, social disease, and physical insecurity among others (Nwoba, 2011).

It is area of productivity that poses very serious concern because the civil service is supposed to be result oriented, and therefore, justify the need for its existence. It is in the light of this that Amaechi remarked that Nigeria workers “must discharge their duties efficiently, honestly and sincerely. They must improve productivity to justify their pay. Making reference to Omoloyom, Nwabusor (1991) apparently not satisfied with the productivity of the Nigeria workers remarked Solemly, “there is sufficient reason for us Nigerian to be concerned about that productivity of our labour force as a whole.

The issue that bogs every concerned citizen of Nigeria especially public administrator is the factors that rendered Nigerian workers unproductive. For some time, this had remained a jigsaw puzzle. According to Rodes (1983) unproductivity is the consequence of many variables, work habits, the quality of education, business investment, the creativity of scientists, the nature of social, political and economic expectations and in general the innovation assessment of challenges, all contribute to a higher or a lower level of productivity”.

It is the missing link between economic expectation and productivity that continued to be posed to many administrators in the country. Amaechi, (1984) apply summed up this view when he observed that” it would be unreasonable to suppose that peoples would continue to find satisfaction incorporating in company affairs, if no reciprocal interest is shown in their individual needs and problems. Here lies the value of welfare schemes and services”.

Amaechi (1984) goes further to note that it is “common that the refusal of employers to meet the needs of their workers have caused conflict in Nigeria, the agitation for the fulfillment of workers’ needs have culminated in many industrial upheavals from the general strike of 1945, the dock workers’ strike of 1964 and the general strike of 1981″.

The relevance of welfare in the motivation of employees is gradually being accepted in man quarters making reference to it, Anikpo, Nzelibe and Ezeonwu (1991) contended that the assumption that Nigeria workers are motivated to perform more by increased wages and other salary supplements, such as paid leave, free health care programmes, houses, pension and gratuity plans, insurance have received some support from both the labour unions and Nigerian government”.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many vulgar words have been used in the recent times to describe the local government system because of its poor performances in the country especially the Ezza South Local Government Council/Area.

Ezza South Local Government Council exhibits all the features of any other local government system in the country, a closer look reveals that the absence of such amenities like regular power supple, water, bus services, accommodation for the workers, bathroom and toilets in office, lack of insurance scheme for the workers, compensation, lack of adequate training facilities are the factors that breed inefficiency and ineffectiveness, thereby rendered the administration of Ezza South Local Government Council/Area of Ebonyi State immobile. In the same vein, it is also noticed that lack of provision of incentives such as high take home pay, promotion, provision of medical   care, official car, or lunch break are also an impediment to the performance of the local government.

It is against this background that the study seeks to know how incentives services are administered in the council with the following research questions:

1)    What are those things that constitute incentive services and benefits in Ezza South local government council?

2)    Does provision of incentive services and benefits such as high take-home pay, healthcare services, promotion and accommodation or lack of them has effect on workers’ productivity?

3)    Does absence of well-articulated welfare services and benefits are the causes of poor performances in Ezza South Local Government?

4)    What are the problems associated with the administration of incentive services and benefits in the council?

 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

1)    To determine if there is any form of incentive services and benefits in Ezza South Local Government council.

2)    To establish whether the presence or absence of incentive services and benefits such as healthcare services, high take-home pay, accommodation and official care or lunch break has effect on workers productivity.

3)    To determine if the absence of well-articulated incentive services and benefits are the causes of poor performances in the local government.

4)    To discover the problems with the administration of welfare services in the local government.

 

1.4 Significance of the Study

 

1.5 Research Hypothesis

 

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

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Topic: Staff Welfare and Productivity in Ebonyi State: A Case of Ezza South Local Government Council

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