An Examination Into The Factors That Impair The Implementation Of Policies In The Public Service Of Enugu State


The topic of this research work is “An Examination into the factors that impair the implementation of policies in the public service of Enugu State. “A Case Study of Enugu State Civil Service Commission”

In pursuance for this investigation, four research objectives were formulated. The Objectives include:

(i)  The examination of the public service and its role in policy formulation and implementation.

(ii)  To determine the extent of implementation of formulated policies by the civil service.

(iii) To identify the problems/factors that impairs the implementation of government policies in the public service.

(iv) To make recommendations that will prevent improper implementation of government policies.

The researcher utilized the library and sample survey techniques. The sample size was statistically determined to be sixty nine (69) respondents. The data were gathered mainly through questionnaires, interviews and observation. The questionnaires were administrated to the sixty-nine respondents, to analyze the data collected. The researchers used simple percentage ratios as well as pie charts.

Based on the analysis, the following findings were made:

i. That government sometimes constitutes bottleneck in policy formulation and implementation.

ii. Red-tapism, haphazardness, recklessness and political instability have not allowed the smooth formulation and implementation of policies.

iii. The objectives of policies are not always taken into consideration during the implementation.

Based on these findings, the researcher recommended among other that efforts should be made to ensure strict monitoring of policies through a well articulated feed-back system: Again it was recommended that political stability would reverse the present trend of events in the state civil service whereby policies are implemented hap-harzardly and most often abandoned entirely when new administrations take over the government.




We live in an era of mounting individualism, a trait characterized by growing insecurity. The undesirable consequences of break-down of traditional values. Increasingly, we are moving away in many respects from the old norm that we once assumed as enduring and guiding, carrying with it what almost amounted to religious sanctity.

We seem to be losing that strong bond of fellowship assured by human emotion in its place a mercantile-type of association of dubious content and value is developing. The rat race for materialism grows faster and, in the process, appreciation of life and how it should be lived assumes less and less significance.

A greater symptom of insecurity and a sense of helplessness can hardly be depicted. Although societies have ways of correcting themselves, or their ills, it is not often that the cure they apply lives on, unscathed or wholly intact. It is a duty therefore that we remind ourselves that failure to examine the condition we live in from time to time could only be indulged at great expense to those things we hold dear and orderly development, it not for the time we live in, but surely for those of our children and their children

According to Ciroma, (1980:5) No society however small, primitive or fragmented conducts itself on an ad-hoc basic. No matter how disorderly and deceptive in appearance its system may strike the outsider, it conforms to some ordered pattern, fashioned out of experience and watched for inevitable changes guided by its chosen leaders. This is where public service becomes imperative.

Basically, public service is the colossal impressive layering of certain contrivances-governmental, coercive and ideological apparatuses thrown up by the political system to perform functions relating to roles relationships.

The public service in its many diverse forms functions as its name suggests. But essentially, it is the organism those holding political control, at any given period use as tool in fulfilling survival and worthwhile living. Since there is no organization that intends to succeed that does not organization that intends to succeed that does not operate on some procedural basis and in which the principle of chain of command is not clearly defined, so it is with the public service where every functionary, however lowly placed, wants to know the era of his responsibility. The limit of his authority and his means of exercising it.

The values the community cherished are thus not only protected but they carry in-built machinery to effect changes where this becomes necessary. A fairly defined way of doing things and interaction amongst people is thus established and largely adhered to by the community when appropriately implemented as the philosophy guiding its existence. This particular guiding is what is known as policy.

According to Enudu (1997: 12), a policy is a guide for making administrative decision. It is an internal administrative law governing the execution of within the organization. A policy may be stated orally or in writing.

As human society continues to unfold, government found themselves committed to the promotion of economic growth and development. Today, the work of government extends too many of society’s life. There is a noticeable increase in the activities of government all over the world. They deal with foreign governments at the same time as they oversee internal and external trade, look into industrial and agricultural growth of the country as well as into the health of the population and even their sporting activities. It is not possible for the few ministries, the chief executive and his political advisers, the legislators and the judges and magistrates who make up three arms of government to do all these. Even if they have the time and energy to carry out all their functions they will not have among themselves alone the necessary expertise to go around their specialized activities.

Members of government do not know everything and they do not necessarily know more than everybody in their own area of expertise.

According to Udenta, (1994: 72), Government of all kind(s) in all societies requires officials for putting into effect government policy. They need teachers, doctors, auditors, accountants, engineers, space and other scientists and so on. This is where the civil service comes into the picture.

The civil service is necessary not only for putting into effect government policy, but also for ensuring that the services already in existence are carried on efficiently and smoothly. The civil service also monitors sectoral developments with a view to improving upon existing standards and practices, correcting observed pitfalls and ensuring a forward movement. Thus, the civil service takes part in policy formulation. In view of all this, the civil service operates very considerably less on the whims and caprices of individuals’ office holders and more on clearly defined and established operational guidelines.

Nevertheless, evidence has shown that this organ of the government has not been able to live up to expectation. According to Ekang (1984: 3) “public service has been accused of having records of inefficiency, indiscipline and laziness”. This assertion was further justified by: enactment of Decree Nos. of 1988 which emphasized the importance of professionalization of the civil service as a measured for increasing efficiency. Again in 1995 this decree was repealed because it failed to yield the expected result due to poor implementation.

Again, on 22nd June 2005, the performance improvement Bureau was established by the Enugu State Government with the assistance from the (SLGP) of the U.K. (DFID).

The performance improvement Bureau was primarily set up to help improve productivity and efficiency in the Enugu State civil service. The Bureau is expected to champion, in conjunction with ministries, department and agencies of Enugu State Government, the improvement of governments function through implementing reforms that promote modernization of work processes e-governance and adoption of global and national best practices.

The performance improvement Bureau is also mandated to help refocus the state’s civil service towards service delivery and making effective use of the public sector as a primary platform for poverty reduction in the state.

The specific mandate of the performance improvement Bureau is as follows:

  1. To facilitate the development of performance improvement instruments for all the ministries department and agencies. This involves the following:
  • Assist ministries, departments and develop appropriate strategies.
  • Help define appropriate performance measurement criteria etc

2. Set up and implement monitoring procedures to ensure that ministries, department and agencies are assessed according to set targets contained in their instrument.

3. Provide support to ministries, departments and agencies that are struggling to meet the performance targets.

In line with the above mandate, the performance improvement Bureau, headed by a permanent secretary who is the co-coordinator and assisted by 6 (six) advises, has been leading the various reform initiatives of the Enugu State Government. The Bureau reports to the Head of service of Enugu State. It is on record that the Bureau has been able to successfully work with various, (MDAS) of Government to Introduce and Implement Initiative that elicits positive changes in the way government is run, and to help increase the focus, mind set and attitude of the civil servants in the state towards being more result oriented.

It has also been working with ministries, departments and agencies to design and implement capacity building programs to enhance the capacity of civil servants to deliver service in a timely efficient and effective manner. Some of the specific programs that the Bureau has championed include the following:

  1. Introduction of code of conduct for public servants
  2. Routine monitoring of service delivery by all ministries, departments and agencies
  3. Introduction of public complaints procedure (Redress management).
  4. Championing the use of characters by ministries, departments and agencies
  5. Capacity building / training programs
  6. “Communication for change” program
  7. Monitoring of the performance of ministries, departments and agencies
  8. Assisting ministries, departments and agencies

In Enugu State Public Service to develop their work plans and in the development of human resource data base of the state’s civil service which has led to the elimination of ghost workers and reduction in the states wage bill.

Although the performance improvement bureau has performed creditably well as could be seen from the achievements marshaled above the accusation leveled against the civil service and the civil servants for inept performance has remained. It is therefore, based on this poor state of affairs and the huge sum of amount which is always spent on formulation of these policies without successful implementation that the researcher embarked on this study to find out the factors that militate against the implementation of these policies. The findings of this study will enable the researcher to put things in their proper perspective. The researcher is making use of the civil service commission, Enugu as a case study considering the role it plays in the formulation and implementation of policies.


Government policies are sometimes believed to be impaired by certain factors. One of such factors has been identified to include a “Sick Public Service”.

In his speech on SAP – the road not taken, Momoh (1988:40) lamented on the state of our civil service.

“We fashioned out development plans just as Rorea and what beautiful documents these plans have been. Even the National Development Plan of 1970 – 74 gave us a dream which is the dream of development; a dynamic economy run by a people with equality of opportunity and whose system of government is democratic.

. . . . We were in English in America, in France, in the USSR. We came home, away with the laurels of learning and scholarship. But our “achievement” is what we have today: a sick public service”.

It is this sickness that has reduced the efficiency of the civil service to an unaccepted level, resulting in policies either being implemented haphazardly or allowed to die a natural death soon after their formulation. We have had the following agricultural policies which never achieved their objectives due to poor implementation. These include palm for palm program, (VSS), school to land program, MOSSAI and so on. These were laudable policies which never achieved their expected objectives. According to Ejiofor, (1984:80) “we wanted enough food to feed our rapidly growing population; and thought this can be achieved by slogans and propaganda. In various times we launched ‘Back to land’, (OFN) ‘food for the people program’ and the Green Revolution, while the policy makers were enjoying life in the towns, grabbing all available plots for themselves, and bringing in their relations to enjoy with them and while they were sending their children overseas to study medicine, engineering, law etc they were asking “the youths to go back to land”.

Naturally, the youths did not take them serious unfortunately too, crops do not take verbal orders from men. Agriculture continues to decline. There are other policies in the health sector that also did not achieve the set objectives for their formulation owing to improper enforcement and implementation. Such policies include; ban on smoking in the public places, environmental sanitation in offices as well as maintaining orderliness in the public. These were sound government policies which were meant to bring sanity into the system and which never made any headway because of the problem of poor implementation by the public service.


  1. This work has as its objectives firstly, the examination of the public service and its role in policy formulation and implementation.
  2. It is also the aim of this work to determine the extent of implementation of formulated policies by the civil service.
  3. The third objective of this project is to identify the problems / factors that impair the implementation of government policies.
  4. To make recommendations that will prevent improper implementation of government policies.


This study will be of immense importance to the government, the public service, educational and research institutions.

To the government, it will enable it to adjust and react positively to the problems identified to give leverage to the smooth running or implementation of its policies. This will of course reduce the cost of implementing the policies and give credibility to such government of its policies succeed to achieve the set objectives.

To the public service, this work will help it to understand in more detailed from problems that forestall or impair policy implementation; the leeway to the problems.

Finally it creates room for further research to students in the higher institutions of learning and other research institutions for educational development in the country especially in matters relating to policy formulation and implementation in the public service.


This study intends to provide answers to the following questions.

  1. What are the roles of civil service in policy formulation and implementation?
  2. To what extent has the public service achieved the implementation of its policies?
  3. What are the factors that impair the implementation of policies in the public service?
  4. What is the degree/or to what extent has the identified problems/factors affected the efficiency of the public service?


This research is based on the evaluation of factors that impair the implementation of government policies in the public service. However, this work is limited to Enugu State for proper articulation. It will therefore serve as a parameter for measuring the effectiveness of the public service with particular reference to Enugu State Civil Service Commission.

In the course of this research work, the researcher was exposed to a lot of restrictions and accessibility to certain classes of information that would have made this work a master piece. Most of the important officers interviewed were so skeptical about giving out some classified information relating to the performance of the civil service commission to avoid being victimized by their superior officers. This situation in no doubt affected the comprehensiveness of this project.

There are also problems of time and finance needed for the accomplishment of this vital study and which have punctuated on in depth study of this topic to this level.

The researcher however claim the absoluteness of efforts and purpose and look at this work as the best that could be achieved given the aforementioned constraints. The researcher at the same time accepts responsibility for any inadequacy of this research project.


Some terms used in this work are defined thus:

  1. VSS: This means, the volunteer service scheme.
  2. OFN: This means, operation feed the nation.
  3. MDAS: This stands for, Ministries, Departments and Agency.
  4. DFID: This stands for, department for international development.
  5. SLGP: This stands for,  state and local government program.
  6. SAP: This means, structural adjustment program.
  7. USSR: This stands for,Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  8. MAMSER : This means,Mass Mobilization for Self Reliance, social justice, and Economic Recover
  9. EXCO: This stands for Executive Council of Enugu State.