IMPACT OF SECRETARIES IN IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF SERVICES IN GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS IN ENUGU URBAN.
Generally, our society today tends to misunderstand who a secretary is and his impact in improving the quality of services rendered by both government parastatals and private sector.
As a result secretaries are looked upon and neglected because the society assume that their duties goes beyond typing and writing shorthand.
In this project, the researcher aims at finding and investigating their impact in improving the qualities of services rendered by government parastatals and find out what hinders them from performing effective functions. And that both public and private sectors can perform without effective secretary.
During data collection, the study was restricted to only one government parastatal (NEPA) where questionnaires was administered to confidential and general secretaries selected at random and numbering thirty (30).
Analysis of their responds shows that secretaries contributes a lot in improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals so that researcher concluded by recommending that secretaries should be cared for, be encouraged and remunerated in form of training to enable them advance in their career.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Government owned parastatals are those created in order to carry out special tasks for the welfare of its citizens. These types of tasks cannot be carried out by private individuals or people due to the nature of the financial involvement and the effectiveness of its services. They are nonprofit oriented, since their aim is not to maximize profit, it is sub-divided into two viz:- federal and state owned parastatals. Federal owned parastatals. Federal owned parastatals are those owned by the federal government. Some of the federal government owned parastatals are: National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Postal Services PLC (NIPOST), Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Teaching Hospital (NTH), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) etc State owned parastatals are those owned by the state government. Some of the state government owned parastatals are: Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), Enugu State Water Corporation, Enugu State Schools, and State Hospitals etc.
Their responsibilities – NEPA are responsible for the generation and distribution of power. NITEL are responsible for Telephones, Telex, Telefax, installation and servicing. NIPOST are incharge of postal services, telegram, overseas mails and parcels. Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) are incharge of transport by train Nigeria Airways Corporation (NAC) are in charge of transport by air or plane. Nigeria Broadcasting Corporations (NBC) are responsible for radio and Television broadcast services. Water Corporations are responsible for treatment and distribution of water to the people. Hospitals are in charge of treating the sick and immunization.
These government parastatals are only established and run by the government to ensure equitable distribution of its services to the generality of people, for it the parastatals are left in the hand of private sectors or individuals, they may tend to politicize it, thereby distorting the assumed equitable services or equitable distribution services or equitable distribution rendered.
According to Akande (1999) government parastatals or public corporation means business organizations that come into existence through appropriate enabling Acts of parliament, Decrees or Edicts in a particular country or state. They may be commercially oriented or public service oriented. Most of them have been commercially oriented in Nigeria in recent time.
Its characteristic features are:
(i) They are usually state or federal owned.
(ii) They are established purposely to render public services.
(iii) Over-reliance on government subventions survive.
According to any Anyanwuochi (2002) Public Corporations are sometimes called state enterprises. In a mixed economy, public corporations involve economic activities undertaken by the state. They form what we normally refer to as the public sector. Although, they are operated on commercial basis, the intention behind their establishment is for the benedict of the members of the public. They are not usually established to maximize profit although, in some cases they are expected to at least break-even. Through these parastatals the government now provides the services which could have been too expensive and unprofitable for private sectors.
Besides, the word secretary is one of the most misunderstood concepts in contemporary life. Almost any body who involves him or herself in skill jobs such as typing, writing of shorthand is been referred to as secretary. But secretary in this case is a person who have been trained for this noble profession and equally have work experience as a secretary, people do not know the importance of secretary in those government owned parastatals. Secretaries are the life wire of every business organizations. They are the keeper of secrets, public relations experts, handling of mails and correspondences, a staff assistant and boss’s office memory, meeting organizers etc. They are the representative of their organizations and their employers gives good human relations in working with the employees in the organizations.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The government of any nation has the legitimate responsibility of providing certain essential services for the welfare of all individuals governed by that nation, sometimes, government hijacks the provision of certain essential services which, if left to the hands of private sector would led to out right exploitation of the masses, thus the rationale for the establishment of certain government owned parastatals would be achieved. These government parastatals are known to have been rendering certain services to people. At times, the quality of these services are proved by people and some other times, the quality of their services are also condemned because of their healthiness. The problem is that it has not been known whether secretaries in those government prarastatals within. Enugu urban do contribute at all towards the improvement of the quality of services which their organizations render to the public. It has also not been known how well the management of those government owned parastatals appreciate the duties of secretaries.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to:-
i. Investigate the impact of secretaries in improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals.
ii. Find out, the peculiar problems secretaries encounter in government parastatals.
iii. Find out the extent a secretary’s job is evaluated in an organization.
iv. Ascertain certain obstacles that hinder a secretary from performing his or her functions effectively.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this study will be of immense benefit to NEPA management and also to other employer of labour, policy makers and those who want to achieve the desired goal in setting up organizations. On the other hand, both of NEPA or an other organization need mostly the services of secretaries before the organizational goal can be achieved.
Furthermore, this study will contribute to the understanding of the word secretaries and even lead to upgrading them, when the findings of this project are implemented secretaries then render effective services to government parastatals in Enugu urban.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to only the impact of secretaries in improving the quality of services in government parastatals with particular reference to NEPA District Headquarters, Enugu. The researcher took time to study how secretaries make handsome contributions towards the growth and survival of NEPA.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide and direct the study:
1. What are the impact of secretaries on improving the quality of services rendered by government parastatals in Enugu Urban 2.
2. What are the peculiar problems that secretaries in government prarastatals encounters.
3. To what extent are secretary’s job evaluated in an organization?
4. What are the obstacles that hinder a secretary from performing his or her functions effectively?
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Secretary means one who is next to the executive, knowing the office skills, being able to assume responsibilities and execute his or her work without much supervision.
Typist means a junior staff in an organization. The main duty of a typist is to type documents from the manuscripts and to the clerical work.
Stemographer means a skilled worker who combines the skill of shorthand-writing and that of typewriting.
Public co-operations is defined as an organized commercial undertakings which possess characteristics, such as being wholly owned by the state and being created by a special law incorporating them and defining their powers and duties.