Challenges Of Human Capital Development In Nigeria

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 The study examined the challenges of Human Capital Development in Nigeria Federal Civil service under Goodluck Jonathan Administration (2010-2015), the study reviewed the contributions of Scholars and literature in fields of human capacity building; with particular attention to the training and capacity building in Nigeria Civil Service of the Federation, human capital theory was adopted for the study. Questionnaire were distributed, collated and analyzed with percentage and likert scale was used to analyse data generated from the study. four hypotheses were formulated and tested using chi square test, the result showed that the most outstanding challenges confronting Human Capital development in Nigeria Federal Civil service is inadequate budgetary allocation/training cost and lack of data on training needs/ uncoordinated training programmes, it was also discovered that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan made some remarkable improvement in Human Capital Development (HCD). The research findings also indicate among others that three pillars of human capital development such as health care, training and development, conducive working environment and good welfare packages received minimal attention and funding. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made. The study concluded that the ability of government to find solution to the challenges of human capital development depend highly on adequate policy implementation and funding the proigramme.






 1.1       Background to the Study

  The 1999 Constitution defines the Civil Service of the Federation as ‘service of the Federation in a civil capacity as staff of the Office of the President, the Vice-President, a Ministry or department of the Government of the Federation assigned with the responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation’’ b(part iv,318 (1). The civil service of the federation is the organ of the government that is responsible for the implementation and execution of Federal Government policies, programs and decisions; they are often regarded as the fourth tier of government. Their roles and functions are so crucial and indispensable that no government can do without them.

 The Nigeria civil service is an important institution of the state, which affects the lives of the citizens daily. It is essential to modern life because of the roles it plays in ensuring that the policies and programs of government are translated into action and brought to reality. Ezeani (2004:188) highlighted that “the civil service remains a vital instrument for rapid socio-economic development of any nation, for any meaningful development and achievement to take place, the civil service must be properly positioned and equipped”.

 In view of the above, for civil service to achieve her objectives, the personnel have to be fully developed and equipped properly. This view is supported by, Moscher in Nwizu, and Nwapi (2011:15) who formulated four propositions about the civil service:

  The decision and behaviour of the civil service have tremendous influence upon the future and development of our society, our economy, and ur policy.


·       The great bulk of decisions and activities by government are determined or heavily influenced by administrative officials.

 ·       The kinds of decisions and activities the officials take depend upon their capacities, their orientations and their values.

·       The attributes depend heavily upon their background, their training, education and other

 current associations

 From the above we can deduce that Civil Service can tremendously influence the development of our society, economy and policy, the same Civil Service determine most of the government actions and inactions, the performance of Civil Service is also dependent on their capacity and competence which is equally dependent on their background, training, and education. The implication of the above is that Human Capital Development must be given priority in Nigeria Civil Service


This view is supported by Theodore W. Schutz (1961) who sees human capital to refer as the stock of productive knowledge and skills possessed by workers. He believes that human capital is like other capital that can be invested through education, training and enhanced benefits that would lead to an improvement in the quality development of a nation: that in order to get the best of human capital and in view of the fact that no nation can develop higher than the human capital base of her Civil Service, then the need for development and continuous development of this human capital become a sine qua non for national development.

 According to Onah (2014:188) “Human Capital Development, refers to a process that relates to training, education and other professional initiatives in order to increase the level ofknowledge, skills, abilities, values and social assets of an employee which will lead to an employees, satisfaction, high performance, and eventually increase in organizational productivity”. Human Capital Development is all about investing in personnel training and growth to ensure that the total objectives and organizational, goals are met Yesufu (2000:321) in Ojbolo: opined that the essence of Human Capital Development is to ensure that workforce is continually adopted or upgraded to meet the new challenges of its total environment. This implies that those already on the job require re-training, re-orientation or adaptation to meet the new challenges, Ijaiya (2004:34) sees Human Capital Development as a process of acquiring and increasing the number of people who have the skills, education and experience which are critical for the economic and the political development of a country. According to him, Human Capital Development is therefore associated with investment in man and her development as creative and productive resources.

 Human Capital Development henceforth is concerned with the development of human resource in an organization. Development means improving the existing human resources in the organization and helping them to acquire new capabilities required for the achievement of the corporate as well as individual goals

 Based on the above definitions of human capital and Human Capital Development, with respect to Nigeria Federal Civil Service, we can also say that Human Capital Development of Civil Service is aimed at equipping the personnel and employees of the federal Civil Service with all the necessary education, and training to improve their competencies and values in order to fully equip and empower them to be able to effectively and efficiently deliver on their core functions.

 The need to improve the HCD of the Civil Service of the federation has become more obvious given the growing complexity of the work environment, the rapid change in economy and advancement in technology, climatic and environmental changes, global economic meltdown, the continued dwindling of the value of naira, and the global terrorism, among other things. As a matter of national interest, the success of the Civil Service can be measured in terms of its responsiveness to the varied changing requirements of the environment, this responsiveness can only come about if the Civil Service is manned by highly trained, qualified, experienced, and competent staff working under a conducive environment (good remuneration , infrastructure, healthcare and healthy legal and industrial relation policy) with a clear understanding of the dynamics of the environment and very proactive in tackling the challenges that may occur. Human Capital Development is not limited to trainings, education and development of personnel or employees; it also includes her welfare, condition of service, and other related matters that are capable of influencing, and affecting her productivity. This was adequately captured by Onah (2014:188) in the following words “other necessary activities in the process of human capital include adequate health care, and welfare of employees.


1.2 Statement of problem

 Over the years, government seems to have neglected the serious decay in both infrastructure and Human Capital Development and hence, the low productivity in the Nigeria economy for many decades. During the second development plan of Nigeria between 1970-1974, it was noted that the major constraint to the plan implementation was inadequate absorptive capacity due to shortage of skilled manpower, this shortage of skilled manpower which is characterised by mediocrity and inefficiency now led to the following:-


1.      Serious neglect of government in funding of education sector.

 2.          Political instability which cause frequent changes in education policies.

 3.      Low measure of budgetary allocation to human resources development and its relative indices and.

4.        Low quality of education which affected Human Capital Development.

 One of the biggest challenges facing Africa in this 21st century is the challenge of development, harnessing the capabilities of its teeming population in order to escape from the tragedy of poverty, illiteracy, and economic stagnation.

 Some alleged that the problem of Nigeria Federal Government is not policy formulation but the implementation and execution of these policies over the years. The Federal Civil Service as an institution has experienced institutional failures, backward, static to change, lack of initiation and creativity. It is on these premises that a lot of reforms were introduced to address the lapses and shortfalls. .Unfortunately, despite the numerous reforms and investment, the Nigeria Civil Service is yet to gain a global competitive advantage even locally.

 For instance, in terms of the human development index, according to UNDP human development index 2009 quoted Harry D.M (2010: 146)“most developing countries of Africa and Asia are ahead of Nigeria. Nigeria is in the 158th position out of 182 countries assessed worldwide. This, certainly, is not a good report for a country that wants to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world. “This should be a source of serious concern to Nigerians.

 It is against this background that this study is set to examine the challenges of Human Capital Development in the Nigeria Federal Civil Service under Goodluck Jonathan Administration.

Consequently, the study will address the following research questions:


 1.      What is the state of Human Capital Development in Nigeria Federal Civil Service?

 2.      Are there efforts made by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Federal Civil Service with respect to developing Human Capital under Goodluck Jonathan Administration?

 3.      What are the implications of inadequate Human Capital Development in the development of effective Civil Service in Nigeria?


1.3          Objectives of the Study


 The study has both broad objective and specific objectives. The broad objective of the study is to study the state and nature of Human Capital Development in the Nigeria federal Civil Service with the view of identifying its challenges under Goodluck Jonathan Administration. While the specific objectives of the study are to:


1.      Find out the state of Human Capital Development in Nigeria Civil Service.

2.      Examine the efforts made by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Federal Civil Service with respect to developing Human Capital under Goodluck Jonathan Administration

3.      Ascertain whether inadequate Human Capital Development have some implications in the development of effective Civil Service in Nigeria.



1.4          Significance of the Study


 This study has both theoretical and empirical significance, theoretically, the study, among other things, will advance the frontiers of knowledge and add to the existing literature on Human

 Capital Development in the Federal Civil Service, the findings of this research will be useful to scholars, researchers, and students. The research is also justified because it is in accordance with national priority of “change” of the incumbent Federal Government, hence it is timely, topical and auspicious.

 Empirically, the study is significant because it will raise the awareness of the importance of Human Capital Development especially in Federal Civil Service. Thus the findings of this research will serve as a working document and can guide the government especially at the Federal level that just assumed the power/responsibility of repositioning and transforming the Federal Civil Service for the challenges ahead.


It will also be of significant benefit to policy makers, administrators who have been making good policies without seeing to its effective implementation owing to the incompetence’s and poor training of the civil servants. It will also accord the government an insight on how to make a maximum use of human capital, by investing on it as he will invest in order capitals for profit making, because human is the most important factors of production.

 Finally, the findings and recommendation of this research will lead to increase in budgetary allocation and more policy formulation that will guarantee improved Human Capital Development.


1.5       Scope and Limitations of the Study


Scope of the study covers Human Capital Development in Nigeria federal Civil Service and its challenges under Goodluck Jonathan administration. It discussed Human Capital Development in the Federal Civil Service it also focused on the office of Federal Civil Service




Commission and office of the Head of the Civil Service of the federation which are the umbrella bodies of all the civil federal ministries in Nigeria.


 Some of the limitations encountered in the course of the research include the uncooperative and unnecessary bureaucratic attitude of some of the staff who feels that information the researcher is requesting is not meant for public consumption.


 Notwithstanding the time limit and cost of carrying out this research, another major limitation is the bureaucratic bottle neck that makes getting information from the federal Civil Service very difficult and time consuming.




Finally, data are poorly managed in the Federal Civil Service, in view of this; getting needed information is always hard. Notwithstanding the above limitations, the researcher was able to surmount them to obtain valid and reliable information.













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Challenges Of Human Capital Development In Nigeria