Problems of Effective Service Delivery in Government Owned Establishment


This chapter focuses on literature review which has to do with the collection of the view of scholars that seem related to the study. To this end, effort has been made towards articulating the works of different authors who though in their diverse environment has delivery in government owned establishment. Nonetheless, their views is unarguably relevant to the purpose and conduct of the study. 

For a broader perspective and proper review of related literature, the chapter has been partitioned into various subheadings which are listed here under: –

2.1   The concept of effective service delivery.

  • The concept of government owned establishment.
  • Government and private owned establishment compared.
  • Reasons for poor service delivery in government owned establishment.
  • Ways of improving or ensuring effective service delivery in government owned establishment.
  • The Roles of ABS in National Development
  • Summary of literature review.

According to L.W. Shami (1969), on his own contribution on effective management, he said that management has two principle functions. The planning and operating functions.

The planning aspect is concerned with the establishment of the objectives of the business, formulation of plan to achieve those objectives. The operational function on the other hand has to do with translating that policy into action. According to Aniemeka (1999) classified the operating function to include the following.

  • Procurement: This has to do with obtaining the proper kind and right number of personnel necessary to accomplish organization goals.  It equally deals specifically with issues like the determination of human resources requirements and their recruitment selection and placement.
  • Training and development: This has to do with giving sound training to the workers.  This is because the training which workers acquired through formal education in the school may not normally be enough.  Also because of the changes in technology, the realignment of jobs, and the increasing complexity of the managerial tasks.
  • Compensation:  It is the duty of the personnel manager to ensure that wages and salaries are paid to the employees and that such wages and salaries paid to the workers will satisfy their immediate physiological needs.
  • Industrial Relations and Joint Consultations: This is another function performed by the personnel manager. It is the duty of the personnel manager to ensure that there are machinery instituted negotiations and joint consultations. Other functions performed by the personnel of manager include employment welfare, integration maintenance and separation.

The objectives of management according to Russel L. (1986) is basically to identify the most important problems hindering the operational effectiveness and efficiency in government establishment and finding solution to it.

Management effectiveness requires certain knowledge, skill and practice. It is obvious that technical skill is required in accomplishing an assigned task.

According to Bill Reddin (1970), He said that effectiveness is the extent to which a manager achieves the output requirement of his position.  Efficiency is the ratio of output to input.  This can be obtained by high output in relation to high input.

The management process is guided on the various interactions of people that make up the organization, those who held managerial position by various levels are responsible for directing, influencing, motivating, guiding and controlling the performance of the subordinates as the work together towards achieving the corporate objectives.


There are several views on the concept of public enterprises that a single definition may be difficult. But the idea of public enterprise came as a result of government entry into the field of business through the incorporation of its own enterprise, aimed at breaking the myth and monopoly of the private sector in economic activities, as well as providing the society, particularly the common people with social or welfare facilities.

According to New Age Encyclopedia, (1977) said that public enterprises are regulated enterprises that are established to provide essential services and their operations are not purely based on economic expediency but are rather supervised by government regulatory bodies like agencies, commissions or even authorities and they are owned either in part or whole by government.

Public enterprises are therefore taken to mean government owned businesses established by the federal or other lower levels of government in the public interest. They are established to provide certain essential services which government cannot afford to leave in the hands of private individuals whose major aim is to maximize profit. These services include water, health, transport, education, electricity etc.

Example of such enterprises in Nigeria are: –

  1. Federal and state parastatals
  2. Federal and state radio and television corporations (FRCN, ABS, NTA, etc).

iii.    Federal and state telecommunication, corporations in the country (NITEL, NIPOST etc).

The formation and management of public enterprises as legal entities generally can be seen in two ways depending on whether the enterprises is a service oriented or business oriented one.

According to Tokunboh (1990: 48) public enterprises are service content and character required by legal sanctions and those services which fall under the responsibility of the government to provide for it’s citizens are normally vested by statute. The statute contains provisions relating to policy objectives, pricing, investment and insurance, personnel, scope of operation, powers and functions of the board of directors, the management and the minister.

Government owned organized commercial and semi-commercial undertakings which are established by law and are basically economic, but possess social and political objectives and features which distinguished them from enterprises. Some of the features include: –

  1. Public ownership
  2. Corporate identify
  • Legal personality
  1. Specific powers and functions
  2. Board management





Public and private enterprises may be distinguished by may factors such as objectives, source of capital, test of efficiency, accountability etc. According to Dimock (1983: 28) and Ugbo (2003: 49-57).

  1. Source of Capital: In public enterprises, government provides a substantial capital required for the operation of the business. If credit is required, government acts as guarantor. In the case of private enterprises, sources of capital stem mainly from personal savings and money from friends and relatives. Include bank overdraft, trade credit, bank loans, sometimes capital is sourced by sale of property long term funds for business can be granted by shareholders, insurance companies and mortgages.
  2. Objectives Aims: The motive behind the establishment of public enterprises is mainly that of service that is to provide essential services to the masses. But apart from serving the masses government also set up enterprises to create employment. In private enterprises are setup by individuals wit the main objective of maximizing profit. All other objectives become secondary.
  • Test of Efficiency: Workers attitude toward government properties is non challence, neglect and disregard. They believe that what belong to government belongs to all and this wrong conception lead to gross indiscipline, neglect and inefficiency in public enterprises. While in private individual cannot afford their business to be run at a loss, when the business may have been established with long life savings. The implication is that these enterprises are profit oriented.
  1. Accountability: Public enterprises and their employees are subjected to detailed scrutiny by legislatures over objectives, use of resources and even manner of performance. In private establishment employees are subjected to detailed scrutiny by the manager.
  2. Control and Decision Making: In public enterprises, control is always difficult. There is power tussle to control the organization stemming up between the ministers permanent secretaries, decision making therefore is not taken at the spot, even in matter that need urgent attention. Apart from these there is under government interference in the running of these companies which become a problem since the leaders of these public enterprises are not given free hand to run the business. This is in contrast with what is obtainable in private enterprises.



*       Lack of Cordial Relationship between the Government and its Workers: Poor or lack of cordial relationship between the government and the workers is one of the thing that account for inefficiency in an establishment. Unfair treatment of workers demoralize them and low morale as we all know leads to low productivity. Training policies and practices as well as compensation packages are poorly administered to the workers. The workers on the other hand formed the habit of coming to work late and proceed to manipulate the work attendance register. They fail to put in their best for greater performance as they see government owned establishment as “no man’s business”.

*       General Lack of Managerial Skills and Leadership Qualities: Incompetent on the part of management, poor management of establishment resources, that is poor planning and defective forecasting, poor coordinating and implementation of policies and functions, ineffective budgetary practices and above all wrong decision taking.

*       Lack of Equipment: Government owned establishment lack sufficient equipment required to carryout.

*       Lack of Qualified Man-power: Lack of technical know how and experience has led to poor work performance in government owned establishment. Experience has shown that government owned establishment have over the years been used as a dumping ground for relatives and friends of politicians and those in power. This is because God-fatherism, tribalism, favourism and Nepotism are now use ad a criteria for employment opportunities. Employment opportunities are no longer base on merit as it ought to be and this account for high rate of inefficiency and how productivity witnessed in most government owned establishment.

Also, training and development of workers (through seminars, workshop conference etc.) for the workers to acquire the much needed skills and expertise for greater performance is always difficult as a result of financial inadequacy.

*       Corruption Mismanagement and Misappropriation of Public Fund: Corrupt practice in most government owned establishment especially that of ABS Awka is now the order of the day. There are cases of mismanagement of the organizations resources, embarrassment and misappropriation of fund and other corrupt practice in many government owned establishment of which ABS Awka is not an exception.              


There are necessary thing to do in order to ameliorate the ineffective management in an organization: –

  • Training of the Workers: Training is a systematic process of changing the achievement of organizations goals writing an training of workers Okeke and Egbo (2009) opined the it is the process by which a person acquire new skills, knowledge and capabilities. They equally stressed that staff are crucial but expensive resources and to sustain economic growth and effective performance. It is important to take into cognizance the contribution of employees or workers to the aims and goals of an organization via the provision of continuous programmes of learning. No individual is a perfect watch with the assigned task and responsibility and not even those who pride with various academic credentials and experience can objectively claim to have acquired all the requisite skills, and know-how of any given job. The important of training of workers in any establishment cannot be over emphasized. This is because if help to reduce cost improves the quality of output, lessen the number and cost of accident available while handling some specific machines. Besides this benefits derived from training Okeke and Egbo (2009) outline other benefit which includes:
  1. Training increase the productivity
  2. It improve employee moral
  • It reduces supervision
  1. It promote personal growth
  • Provision of Adequate Finance: No organization whether public or private can function effectively and achieve its purpose without sufficient fund. Based on this the government should ensure adequate funding of this organization. As a matter of utmost priority, discipline in financial management should be in calculated in government owned establishment. The enterprises capital structures should be studied and appropriate equity bases determined.
  • Good Management: Good management of resource is very important in any organization whether public or private. It is not the abundance resources in an establishment that matters but how effective is the management of those resources. The managers and administrators of government owned establishment should ensure adequate and efficient utilization of resources to achieve its targeted aims and objectives.
  • Provision of New and Sound Equipment: Obsolete and archaic equipment should be replaced with new and sound one which will improve the quality of output, reduce accident and as well help in the effective services delivery in government owned establishment. In this case, the government should realize that the establishment cannot function effectively with old equipment and in as much as their capital base is insufficient. So as to provide the much needed equipment, the federal government should always come into their aid by providing those equipment for them.

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