Organization is established to provide for the
needs, yearnings, interest and desire of the employees within the work place or
environment, to earn loyalty, dedication, involvement and commitment necessary
to compete favorably and effectively to maintain and retain its innumerable
staff and patronizers. Therefore, for any organization or institution such as
the local government, some factors have to come into play through their
availability and reliability. The factors in this context include manpower
development and utilization, which would be extensively discussed in this
It will not be out of context to say that manpower is the strong pillar
of private or public organization, just like Harbison (1973) aptly observed;
Human resources, not capital, income or material resources,
constitute the ultimate basis for the wealth of nations. Capital and natural
resources are passive factors of production. Human beings are the agent who
accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic and
political organization and carry out national development. The above score made
it clear that as the world even turns to a global village, one cannot but
attribute its possibility to the dexterity and intuitive nature of human
thinking and ability. Another conviction of human ability and input in the work
is the computer. What is computer if not the human brain since computer is
‘garbage in garbage out’. It becomes imperative to realize that one cannot do
without manpower in an organization. In fact, the evolution of manpower in Nigeria can be
traced back to the era of industrial revolution when the slave trade was
abolished in favour of buying and selling of goods and services, establishment
of industries and schools. It is at this period that the importance of
development and utilization of human skills is felt in an organization. This
view was supported by Adesua (1988), Fafunwa (1974) and Yesufu (2000) who opted
that investment on human resources in Nigeria started in 1843, when different
European countries started with funding of schools introduced by
them. Human resources from this ambit have been recognized as the most critical
resources of the factors of productions, without it an effective utilization of
all other factors of production remains untapped. Manpower has to be developed
effectively and efficiently, to enhance and harness other resources for the
actualization of organizational goals. In collaboration with the above
contemporary global arrangement, human resources is prelude to long term
investment by both the state and individuals for the continued existence,
preservation of cultural values and improvement of the society.
Concept of manpower development according to Abegeze (1994)
tackled an important current issue in African manpower development planning, He
asserts that manpower development is the building and enhancement of human
resources through formal education and training. He emphasizes the important
prerequisite for national development; African countries have expanded a
significant part of their meager resources in planning development and
utilization of manpower resources. Similarly, Omole (2004:76) asserts that
human resources development is concerned with providing learning and
development opportunities making training intervention and planning, conducting
and evaluating training programmes. He further disclosed that the aim of
manpower development programme is to see that the organization has the best and
quality workforce it needs to attain its goals for improved performance.
Therefore, manpower development is defined as a process of extensive education,
planning, training and evaluation of training programmes on the employees in
order to boost their performance in an organization.
Manpower development requires an integral approach that addresses
multidimensional aspect of employees, ranging from enhancing technical and
interpersonal skills to creative thinking and leadership. Organization with
high productivity have no doubt made manpower development an integral part of
their business culture. However, in the Nigerian context, at times in the
university environment, staff may be trained but may not be effectively
utilized to give out their best on job. Therefore Kiggundu (1989:157) states
that human resources utilization is the extent to which available human
resources are effectively deployed for maximum achievement of the
organizational goals and objectives. In this study, manpower utilization will
be defined as the deployment and placement of staff in the right place,
position and time for the actualization of organizational goals. An
organization may be endowed with sumptuous manpower but may not actually
develop and utilize them well. Therefore, in this premise, this study seeks to
assess manpower development and utilization in the local government system: a
case study of Abakaliki local government.
According to Uchendu (1982:57), the manpower challenge for Nigeria is not
finding the people; it is rather finding the people with the right type of
skill at the right time and in the right places. As Uchendu rightly argues, we
often find specialized talent in wrong kinds of activity and highly capable
people in fields, which offers little challenge or incentive. This situation
creates constraints, which sap labour morals, erode productivity and lead to
rapid turnover. Thus the issue of manpower and its utilization becomes germane
in an effort to improve efficiency in service delivery or performance. Human
resources both mental and physical are utilized or invested in an organization
in pursuance of its goals. There has been a meticulous plan in organizations
such as the local government on their investment in physical and capital
resources and those plans are reviewed with utmost, rapt and undivided
attention to the detail while rarely organizations pay attention to human
resources investment which makes the capital and equipment to be in vein. Not
many local governments consider the necessity for a well defined and sustained
training, planning, performance appraisal, development and utilization of staff
in order to upgrade their performance or they cannot cope financially with training
and development programmes. As Ubeku (1975:14) regrets this tendency when he
notes that ‘There are many organizations in this country that regards training
and development as expensive ventures and avoid them like the plague. What such
organizations are interested in are the immediate returns. But in a changing
world, of which Nigeria
is a part, this attitude can no longer hold good… In organizations where the
need for employee training is recognized, it requires a lot of time and money
commitment to training and development, the exercise is inappropriate,
haphazard or premised on a faulty diagnosis of organizational training needs.
In other situation, where training happens to occur, deployment of trained
staff may be without regard to the skill acquired, leading to frustration of
personnel trained and also general inefficiency in the system. Manpower is
generally under-tapped, under-utilized and therefore falls short of its
anticipated contributions to the realization of organizational goals.
Nigerian local government have been consistently chided for using
more than 80 percent of their fiscal allocation for settling wage bills to the
detriment of their primary objectives. Indeed, the local government of Nigeria,
Abakaliki, has been using more than 100 percent of its fiscal allocations for
the payment of salaries and allowances since 1990 (Ikoku, 1992:18). The local
governments have been engaged in laying-off their staff, especially the
non-administrative staff, and some of them have stopped engaging new staff, for
budgetary reasons. With this trend in our local governments, our problem
becomes more apparent (Onah, 2003:123).
In the local governments, where manpower development is
effectively and efficiently developed and utilized, there is improvement in the
skill and ability of employees as well as development in the workplace. Cases
abound in the Nigerian local governments that actually carryout this staffing
function yet no improvement, the movement of things seems to be retrogressing,
discouraging if not unpromising in such local government. What could be the
cause? It is in this premise that the researcher deemed to delve into the study
on issue of manpower development and utilization in the local government
system, using Abakaliki local government, as a case study.
Based on the above statement, the researcher came up with the
following research questions which would be answered in the course of the study
What is the perception of staff
training and development programmes in Abakaliki local government?
How well are the trained personnel
effectively placed and utilized?
Do staff training and development
programmes enable the recipients to increase their proficiency and
The general objective of the study is to carry out a thorough
study on manpower development and utilization in the local government system,
using the staff of Abakaliki local government as a case study. The specific
objectives of the study are anchored on the following;
To examine the perception of staff training and development
programmes in Abakaliki local government.
To assess the extent of consistency of
the development programmes in Abakaliki local government.
To assess the placement and
utilization of trained personnel in the local government.
To ascertain the importance of
manpower development and utilization in the productivity and performance of the
A research hypothesis is a tentative statement about relationships
that exist between two or among many variables. It is conjectural statement
about relationships and need to be tested and subsequently accepted or rejected
The study intends to examine the following null hypotheses;
1. The staff development programmes in Abakaliki local government are
not consistently pursued.
2. A good number of staff of the local government is not well
Manpower development and utilization in the local governments
enhance productivity and service delivery; promote efficiency and effectiveness
in the institution. In addition to this, the local government is a place of
learning administrative skills, management techniques and career development,
values and norms; therefore, the significance is to avail the local government
the opportunity to develop and utilize its staff.
However, the local government is seen as the grass root developer.
Generally, manpower development and utilization improves the nation’s state of
Empirically, having painstakingly and thoroughly studied manpower
development and utilization in the local government system as well as providing
answers to the research questions, making sure that the objectives of the study
were attained; and that the hypotheses were tested statistically, findings and
recommendation well handled with proper referencing, the study will serve as a
guide and as well help those who would like to embark on a research in this
topic or related topic in establishments. It is hoped that this study will be
of benefit to a number of people. In other words, future researchers in the
field will find the research a resourceful and reliable reference material.
The study focused on manpower development and utilization in
Abakaliki local government council. The researcher used the Abakaliki local
government area council staff in the study. The study faced a lot of
challenges, constraints, which were considered as stumbling blocks to the
study. The researcher encountered many hitches and hard times that in one way
or the other delayed the work. The researcher was able to come up with
The success of any project depends on the availability of finance.
Insufficient funding was seen as a constraint to the study. This is so because
the study is quiet tasking and demanded a lot of financial backups.
Unfortunately, the study was delayed as a result of finance.
Finally, administration and collection of questionnaires from the
respondents posed a great challenge to the study. Actually, not all the
questionnaires distributed were returned and the delay in collection of
questionnaires affected the work.
Notwithstanding those constraints, the researcher made a concerted
effort to ensure that the study was comprehensive and successfully carried out
to meet the desired goal.
Some of the key concepts need to be clarified with regards to
their usage in the study. This would enhance the easy and proper understanding
of the literature. Therefore, the concepts are as follows:
ü Organization: in this study, “organization” is being referred to as a social
unit with a defined hierarchical pattern of authority, chain of commands and
interpersonal relations designed with the common interest to achieve goals.
ü Manpower: this is the available labour force which the organization can tap
effectively in order to actualize its goals. It is also referred to as human
resources as was used in this work.
ü Development: it is the dramatic change or improvement in attitude and behavior
of individual or organization. It is a multi dimensional phenomenon.
ü Manpower development: the physical and psychological improvement in behavior of the
available human resources in an organization.
ü Planning: this is the process of thinking through and making explicit, the
strategy, actions and relationship necessary to accomplish overall objectives
for present and future.
ü Manpower planning: it is the process of assessing an organization’s human resources
ability and strength in the light of its anticipated present and future needs.
ü Utilization: the derivation of maximum satisfaction and efficient use of
ü Manpower utilization: the maximum use of competent human resources, their deployment at
strategic places and creation of enabling environment for practice of acquired
ü Training: the act of acquiring knowledge and skills as well as how to
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