CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENUGU
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From independence (1960) till date the Nigeria society has been under-going rapid transition with the unavailable and the unusual step by step transformation process that affect all social systems of the Nigerian society. The public sector organization being deliberately and hurriedly reformed to avoid the pit falls of the past. Instantly, erratic decisions are being made, new programme established and the old ones re-established with new strategies in an effort to achieve a new social order.
In achieving this social order a number of reforms are introduced into the public sector organizations and these (reforms) tends to be prone to a form of organizational crisis or another. With regards to the Nigerian public sector these crisis arise out of situational uncertainties and inadequacies of an organization. These could be as a result of power tussles, inadequate funds, psychological disorientation of employees in an organization and its employers rejection of managements / authorities reforms. Any such crisis is capable of distorting the realization of organizations objectives.
An important step is ensuring success in the realization of these public sector organizations and to understand the dynamics of a particular crisis and implement appropriate remedies on conditions that the change motivators are genius and determined. We all know that the understanding of the dynamics of crisis is lacked in the public sector of Nigerian Economy. It is also true that our administrators in the public sector are always involved in the crisis management. In conclusion, we can see that there is no effective tool for crisis management in the Nigerian public sector.
For this singular reason the Enugu North Local Government (ENLG) was chosen to give a clear picture of public sector organization whose administrators have not been able to note that local government were created to act as an autonomous part of the central government in Nigeria.
In this study we have been able to identify few of the numerous crisis that could hit the ENLG and ranked them in order of probability of occurrence using that crisis with the highest probability in developing a crisis management more for use by organizations in the public sector of the Nigeria economy.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Background of the study
- Statement of problem
- Research questions objective of study
- Objective of study
- Significance of study
- Scope and limitation
- Operational definition of terms
Review of related literature
2.1 A review of crisis management
2.2 Meaning of crisis
2.3 An overview of crisis management
2.4 Crisis forecast
2.5 Objective of crisis management
Research methodology and design
3.1 Sources of data
3.2 Data collection
3.3 Statistical tools
3.4 Sample procedure and size
3.5 The population and size
Date presentation and analysis
4.1 Presentation of data
4.2 Analysis of data
Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion
5.1 Summary of major findings
The Nigerian society is under-going a rapid transition in addition to the inevitable and unusually gradual transformation processes that affect all social systems, the institutions economic, political, legal etc. of the Nigerian society, are being deliberately and hurriedly reformed to avoid the pitfalls of the past new decision programes are established and new strategic adopted all in an effort to achieve a social order.
One of the on-going strategies to do this is the reform introduced into the public sector by the office of the chief of General Staff (CGS) making the local government an effective third tier of the government. Usually, such reforms tend to point to one form of organizational crisis or another crisis were refers to an usual situation the outcome of which is uncertain or capable of generating conflict. With regards to the Nigerian public sector, it arises out of the inherent disposition of the system to distort the political and administrative processes by its decisions or operations. It also arises from situational uncertainties and inadequacies of an organization.
There could be power tussle, inadequate funds or time to execute all envisaged projects. Psychological disorientation of the populace / employee and its rejection of the reform. There could be also either a lack of understanding of the full implication of established programmes or a deliberate clinging to politics established primarily to protect institutionalized class relations. Any such crisis is capable of distorting the achievement of the desired objectives of the public sector. Part of the process of ensuring success in the achievement of goals of these public sector organization is to understand the dynamics of such crisis and apply appropriate remedies, provided that thee change motivators are genuine and determined.
It is a known fact that the understanding of the dynamics of crisis is lacking in the public sector of the Nigerian economy it is equally true that the Chief Executive and administrators in the public sector are involved in the management of crisis rather than in crisis management. From the foregoing, it is seen that there is no effective tool for crisis management in the Nigerian public sector because of its large size. It is pertinent that an organization within this sector is used as a reference point in order to limit the wideness of this study. The Enugu North Local Government (ENLG) has been chosen for proper representation of the public sector organization in the economy.
In this thesis, we intend to identify a few crisis situation that could hit ENLG and through the research, rank them in the order of their probability of occurring. I will then use the crisis with the highest probability, to develop a crisis management tool for organizations within the public sector of the Nigerian economy.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The local’s government has been characterized by instability and discontinuity emanating from one crisis situation or the other. These crisis are often prompted by the activity of the federal government and other environmental factors which usually lead to complete dissolution and or take over of functions of the management group by government appointed administrators. In order words, the LG. of this country have always been subjected to the whims and caprices of the federal government. They were not allowed to make their own decisions as to contributing to the Nigerian economy or either way they give enough financial assistance (authority) to be accountable to the devise inherent is such local government.
The various government reforms are aimed at stabilizing and rationalizing local government organization or corporations. It is quite unfortunate however that the chosen implementation strategies seen to have resulted in unanticipated policy outcomes. As a matter of fact it is clear to all that the aims of establishing the local government in Nigeria which is to be an effective third tier of the government has not been realized. It is believed that this is mainly due to the inability of the local government to effectively manage the forms of crisis that afflicted it since their inception. It is against this background that crisis management in local government is being investigated.
Every crisis has four (4) main stages and allowing each crisis to pass through the four states has been the bare of effective local government in Nigeria.
The four stages of crisis include:
- Prodromal stage (early warning stage )
- Acute stage
- Chronic stages
- Resolution stages
Crisis management aim at avoiding the acute and chronic stages of crisis. A crisis is said to be effectively managed if it moves from prodromal to resolution stage we are aware that this has not been the case in the local government their crisis have been known to have gone through the four stages with inevitable consequences.
If we take a look at the second republic and early part of the aborted their republic (1988-1989) there were various crisis among which were:
- Financial crisis
- Power crisis
- Manpower crisis
- Political crisis
The entire above crisis, we unfortunately allowed to go through the four stages and this had their unpleasant effects on the local government in the country. For example, the Enugu North Local Government administration was engulfed by crisis during the year 1988 and 1989. this crisis went through the full cycle which cumulated in the intervention of both the state and federal government leading to the suspension of its popularly elected chairman.
Another example can be cited from the demonstration carried out by members of the National union of local government (NULGE) Enugu North local government branch on March 9th ’94 protesting for the non-payment of salaries for 6 months.
Furthermore, the strike action carried out by the National Union of Teacher (NUT) calling for the collection of their annual subventions directly from the federal government and not from the local government because they believe that this cannot be effectively carried out by them. It can be seen that after about two (2) decades of its establishment the local government cannot manage available resources and avoid conflict or crisis from happening.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is quite unfortunate that going through literature very little work has been done on how best to handle crisis by scholars and practitioners. In view of these identified lapses, an inquiry into crisis management in the local government has become imperative. It is hoped that this inquiry would stimulate new dimension and direction for crisis management whose overall objective could be the search for an effective and efficient local government administration. In Nigeria, with specific focus on evolving new strategies for building a stable base for local government organization in the country.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The basic research questions for this work are:
- How can we change from crisis management to the management of crisis?
- How do employee or workers perceive crisis?
- What factors influence management attitude to crisis?
- What role does the federal and state government play in local government crisis?
This study will attempt to provide appropriate answers / solution to these questions which are regarded as key variables in the local government administration in Nigeria, such answers is hoped would assist in providing insights into the kind of measures to be adopted to ensure effective and efficient crisis management in Nigeria.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The objective of this research would include:
- To examine the existing methods of handling crisis in Enugu North Local government and ascertain how corporations are performing within the bonds of available manpower in the local government
- To attempt to appraise the existing and potential manpower for co-operations in local government administration with a view to explaining the extent of their involvement.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this study work is aimed at developing an effective crisis management tools and thus creating a relatively stable environment becomes clear. In order to make reasonable progress towards achieving the purposes for their creation, the public sector organization requires a relatively stable environment and an effective crisis management tool which is what this study is all about.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study touches on various forms of crisis that had characterized the public sector organizations in the country.
This using the Enugu North Local Government (ENLG). As a case study, an attempt is made to identify possible crisis that could effect the public sector organizations, their effect and probability of occurring based on the findings, the study attempts to develop crisis management for use in organizations in both public and private sectors.
It is sine-qua-non to mention were that in the course of the preliminary library research, it is discovered that very few up to date materials / literature on the public sector administration in the local government could be found. This is more so in finding documents that dealt with crisis management as it affects public corporation and local government.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In the course of this work: certain key concept were met along the line which may be interpreted differently for the purpose of this study therefore the following operational definitions are given to these concept thus:
This is an unusual situation in an organization or corporation the outcome of which is uncertain or capable of generating conflict.
This is government at the local level exercised through a representative council, established by law to provide / exercise specific power within defined areas.
This is the part of a nations economy which is controlled mainly by the government
Any measure that plans in advance for a crisis (or turning point), any measure that removes the risk and uncertainty from a given situation and thereby allows one to be more in from of crisis management.
The process of providing inhabitants of the rural area with basic infrastructure and amenities, which could enhance their standard of living.
Anikpo Mark (1985) Nigerian’s Evolving class structure in area edited Political Economy of Nigeria, Lagos, Longman publisher
Federal Republic of Nigeria Guidelines for local government reforms (1976), Kaduna, Kaduna government Printers.
Rex Ugorji (1989), Management of crisis in business organization, Being a paper presented at a workshop on crisis management organized at Enugu by the federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN ) in partnership with FIDREX management consultant Lagos.
REVIEW ON RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
It is pertinent to note also that a few authors have written on local government administration in Nigeria. Fortunately, these authors have all in one way or the other emphasized instability in the local government system; even the local government reform stressed it. To us instability is a corollary of crisis. We shall then proceed to examine what these authors and the reforms had to say about instability and local government administration. Thereafter, we shall look at various seminar papers presented by experts on crisis management in various organizations and institutions.
Since Nigeria attained independence in 1960 from Britain, several attempts have been made to reorganize or reform the local government system in the country. One hallmark of such reforms proceeding that of 1976 was that each region or state carried out the reorganization its local government system in the way it deemed fit since local government because a regional subject under the 1951 Nigeria constitution. It was therefore not possible to talk of on single system of local government reform prevailing in the country.
The 1976 local government reform broke with the past practice by attempting to evolve for the country a uniform system of local government with minor variations. A major aim of their reform was to stabilize and rationalize government at the local level. In the guideline, federal government emphasizes that responsibilities should be clearly defined and that local government should have adequate financial resources to meet their obligations which are mainly to stimulate developments at the grass root .
According to Egonwam, although the 1976 local government reforms in Nigeria aimed at decentralizing more power to local bodies, the implementation of the reform, tended to foster centralization of power and authority. To him, this meant that the strategies of implementation chosen could be significantly responsible for centralization as they were influenced by both political and administrative processes lending to unanticipated policy outcome of creating ineffective local government with adequate functions,revenue skilled Another area of instability in the public sector with reference to the local governments is its inadequate financial base. In Nigeria the 1979 constitution of the federal republic accepted local government as a third tier of government like in most countries of the world, local government in Nigeria have five (5) easily discernible sources of revenue open to them. These includes: grants, local tax rate or property tax, fees and charges and loans.
The 1990 federal government revenue allocation formula stipulates that local government are entitled to fifteen percent (15%) of revenue accruable to the federal government and another fifteen (15%) of the internally generated revenue of the state government.
Of course these are in addition to finance from traditional internal sources – local revenue. However, the amount internally generated by each of the local government councils is usually very small. These local government are therefore in a situation where they depend almost entirely on the federal and state governments for funds for the performance of their statutory functions.
In his book local government finance in Nigeria, Bello Imam contended that a “function of this paternalism is the financial uncertainty and instability of local government in the country”.
Finally, the local government must endeavor to live within their means because they are infra-sovereign political entities.
Enworom, writing on management of industrial crisis said “it may be necessary sometimes to try to incorporate cultural tradition into the management of industrial crisis rather than adopting the Bismarkian consent that is not the vote of the majority, but by iron and blood that difficult matters are decided” At one time, an ex-chancellor, supposed to be the father of the so called German economic miracle, declared “that the economy determines the fate of man”. Unionist could but agree, but argued that if the economy is man’s fate, it is man’s democratic right to participate directly in deciding his fate. This reminds us that participative management and good communication between employers and employees will definitely minimize conflicts and create a better forum for quick and timely grievance settlement. In summarizing his paper Enworom advised that prevention is better than cure. He maintained that “it is better to present grievances from arising than to solve them once they have arisen”. This advice from Enworom obviously advocates crisis management which is bone of this study rather than management of crisis.
Inyang Eteng, of the university of port Harcourt writing on crisis management in Nigeria university raise the following thought provoking questions:
- Why does the crisis in Nigeria universities seem to defy solution?
- Why is it that orgies of restriction, dismissals, forced retirements, harassments, detentions and campus massacres, security surveillance, etc all of which have been tried by the state and various governments in office; unable to resolve the crisis once and for all.
- Why have the universities themselves failed to address the issue. With all the faculties of behavioural sciences available at their disposal?
- Why in particular, does the nation seem completely brow-beaten by this crisis?
To him, Eteng opines that “answers to these questions is that the crisis has generally been misconstrued and ill defined, with the result that is wrong and inefficacious policies and programmes which compound the crisis have been formulated and implemented