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APPRAISAL OF THE MANAGEMENT OF FEDERALPOLYTECHNICS IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

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APPRAISAL OF THE MANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL     POLYTECHNICS IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study

Polytechnics are higher institutions set up primarily to produce indepth technical manpower in administrative, technical and commercial fields for the development of national economy. In Nigeria, it is widely recognized that polytechnics play crucial roles in the education of future leaders and development of high level technical manpower. According to the National Board for Technical Education (1993), polytechnics are technical institutions offering multi post-secondary technical education programmes outside the universities leading to the award of diplomas/certificates such as the National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma HND) and Post-HND professional diplomas. Okpeodua (2007) opines that the decision of the Federal Government to set up polytechnic education was predicated on the decision to revolutionize the society technologically. Hence, polytechnics are established to train and produce the technical manpower necessary for the execution of the nation’s development plans, goals and strategies. This is a role which they have effectively played since the establishment of the first polytechnic, Yaba College of Technology, in 1947.

The sensitive position of polytechnics in the Nigerian educational system is vividly captured by the 2002 education summit organized by the Federal Ministry of Education. In the summit, polytechnics were recognized as authentic tertiary educational institutions on the same pedestal as universities, but with its own characteristic orientation towards the production of technological manpower and

technological innovation for industrial development in Nigeria. The federal ministry of education summit (2002) therefore resolved that the mission of polytechnics is to produce knowledgeable and innovative graduates worthy in character and learning through effective teaching, research and public service for the technological advancement of the country.

The core functions of polytechnics as captured in section (2) of federal polytechnic Act (1979) are:

(a) to provide full-time or part-time courses of instruction and training in technology, applied science, commerce and management, and in such other fields of applied learning relevant to the needs of the development of Nigeria in the areas of industrial and agricultural production and distribution and for research in the development and adaptation of techniques as the council may from time to time determine;

(c)                to arrange conferences, seminars and study groups relative to the fields of learning specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (i);

(d)               to perform such other functions as in the opinion of Council may serve to promote the objectives of the polytechnic (p.5878).

In the same vein, section 80(c) of the National policy on Education (FRN) (2004) states that “polytechnics shall give training and impact necessary skills that will fast track the nation’s drive towards technological development as well as producing graduates who can prove themselves worthy men and women and who are able to use their brain as adequately as they can apply their hands. Therefore, management of polytechnics is a complex task which requires sufficient expertise in administration, communication, handling of staff related issues, financial management, and maintenance of structures, facilities and equipment.

Notwithstanding the functions and stated objectives, evidence on ground shows that many polytechnics are not capable of realizing objectives due to non-adherence to the established guidelines for the management of polytechnics. This is true because the management of these polytechnics are pointed out by Obi (2003) seem not to involve all the stakeholders in their efforts to achieve goals. Management do not follow the right communication channels to reach everybody involved in the achievement of these goals and hence there appear to be gap between planning and execution.

Without effective communication, nothing can happen, no instruction can be given, no corrections will be taken and this could lead to misunderstanding, confusion and frustration. Management is expected to see that financial management is taken care of as this will not only maintain a great deal of trust on the concerned staff but will equally stimulate free and fair financial flow.   Obi (2009) acknowledged the above view when he stated that financial accounting serves as a means of rendering an account of stewardship and general financial management. The management of polytechnics is expected to see that the right caliber of staff are recruited and that there is proper provision and maintenance of instructional facilities and equipment. According to Umeasiegbu (2005), the above components are seen as management processes and can also be referred to as management practices.

In the light of the above, Armstrong (2004) asserts that management is concerned with investing in people and developing an organization’s human capital. According to Obi (2003:48), “management are the people who decide to use as many of the institutions most valuable resources, its skilled employees, equipment, information system and financial assets”. Obi’s definition implies that management contributes a lot to human progress because it is geared towards effective utilization of human and material resources.

However, there seem to be lack of managerial competences existing among management and staff in different polytechnics. Umeasiegbu (2005) observed that certain problems like misappropriation and misapplication of funds, poor inter- personal relationship, poor supervision and staffing, absence of team work, poor planning, rigidity in approach to human problems, admission racketeering, strikes, downright stubbornness of some officials, among others, abound in many Polytechnics. Still on the apparent lack of proper management, Umeasiegbu (2005) opined that some category of managerial staff that attracts odium, disdain, disrespect, non-complementary remark should be avoided in the entire polytechnic system. The implication of the above observations is that there is an issue of poor quality management staff in Nigeria polytechnics and this is capable of affecting the quality of services rendered by staff of these polytechnics. Reacting to the rampant cases of poor management of polytechnics, Onwuchekwa (1993) and Mgbodile (2003) observed that management of these polytechnics have been challenging and is capable of hindering the achievement of stated objectives.

In order to adequately achieve the desired educational objectives of polytechnics, management staff should adhere to stipulated guidelines as non- adherence to guidelines may adversely affect management effort as well as educational standard.


Regarding the extent of involvement of management staff in the planning practices of federal polytechnics, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) through its planning, research and statistics department, stated that:

Essentially NBTE is the main planner in charge of different educational programmes in the polytechnics. The management of the polytechnic made up of the Rector and other management staff shall plan to meet the long- term stated objectives. Management shall plan in both words and action to carry everybody along in the pursuance of any objective and that all stakeholders should be involved during planning. Again, section 3(1) of the Federal Polytechnic Decree No. 33 of 1979 stated that the Governing Council is a body in-charge of the general planning and management of the affairs of the polytechnics and have the right to delegate functions, as they may consider appropriate to any management staff (heads of departments/unit and senior administrative staff inclusive).

On this note, Massie (1987) stated that planning is a fundamental activity in human enterprises and that it is the function of management in which a conscious choice or pattern of influence is determined for decision makers so that the many decisions will be co-ordinated for some period of time and will be directed towards the chosen goals. This gives room for dynamism and continuous improvement among NBTE, management of polytechnics, and the staff of polytechnics. However, as Onwuchekwa (1993) observed, poor management and lack of participation on the part of all stakeholders has derailed the planning practices in polytechnics. This is essentially one of the issues to be investigated in this study.

Regarding the extent to which management of polytechnics employ effective communication channels in the administration of the polytechnics, Fiske (1990) stated that communication is a social interaction through message. He maintained that communication is the process of conveying messages (facts, ideas, attitudes, and opinions) from one person to another so that they are understood. The channel of communication, which is also known as the medium is the means through which theb message is passed to the target audience. It is the connecting link between the sender and the receiver of the message.

According to Bittner (1989), organizational communication is essentially interpersonal in outlook and the channels which it uses has been articulated as follows:

employee handbook that spells out the employees right and obligations, the newsletter which keeps the employees abreast of latest policy changes and activities of the organization; the procedure manual that explains how each particular case should be handled as well as direct contacts between managers and employees, oral (spoken) and written; electronic (intranet system), opinion boxes, notice board; memos and letters, team briefing (p.98).

Reacting on the need to maintain standard communication channels in any organization (polytechnics inclusive), Armstrong, (2003) stated that the patterns, the routes, channels and techniques of communication are the important parts of the equipment of any organization and the pre-eminent problems of many organization. Ukeje (1992) stated that lack of suitable channels of communication defeats the purpose of any organization. However, evidence on ground seems to suggest that there are poor communication channels in the polytechnics and such is the concern of this study.

Regarding the provision of the polytechnics manual on financial management, the polytechnic Act (1979) on financial provisions states that:

each council shall keep proper accounts and proper records in relation thereto and shall cause to be prepared not latter than 1st October in each financial year, with estimate of its revenue and expenditure for the ensuing financial year and when prepared, the estimates shall be submitted to the National Board for Technical Education for approval. The manual also provides that the statement of accounts when certified by the Rector, be audited by a firm of auditors appointed from the list and in accordance with the guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General of the federation and shall be published in the annual report of the polytechnic. Moreso, on donations of money by individuals, agencies or organizations, the polytechnic Manual states that donations of money to be applied to any particular purpose shall be placed to the credit of a special reserve account approved by the council until such time as they may be expended in fulfillment of such purpose (p. 5897).

It follows therefore that budget preparation, disbursement of funds, the use of funds and fund management form a core aspect of management in polytechnics and this is also the concern of this study especially as regards to how the provisions on financial management are adhered to.


Regarding staff recruitment, section 2 (2) of the NBTE manual for polytechnics provides:

that all established posts shall be advertised and that basic qualifications laid down in the advertisement shall be followed while shortlisting. Section 2:3 made the provision that every appointment to an established post shall be made in writing by the Registrar, or the officer authorized on his behalf, and shall not be valid until it has been accepted in writing (See Appendix).

Mgbodile (1997) stated that recruitment of staff is simply a selection process of choosing, based on clear- cut criteria, the best suited and most qualified candidates from a list of applicants. Armstrong (2003) on his part emphasized on the importance of advertisement through newspapers, radio, television and billboards. Evidence on ground shows that some of the above established guidelines are lacking and or are not followed by the management of polytechnics. Okeke (2007) observed that these procedures are prone to political influences and dishonest practices that the body incharge sometimes recruit whom they cherish most. On his own part, Ujo (2008) frowned at this negative practices and pointed out that non-adherence to the established staff recruitment criteria eventually will give room for patronage system where incompetence abound in the entire polytechnic system. The extent to which provisions on recruitment of staff is adhered to is one of the issues this study focuses on.

Regarding the extent to which management of polytechnics promote the culture of maintenance of institutional facilities and equipment, Fenker (2004) stated that facilities management is a process that ensures that buildings and other technical systems support the operations of an organizations. Morestill, Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2002) through International Facilities Management Association states that: facilities management is the practice of co-ordination of the physical workplace with the people and the work of the organizations; it integrates the principles of business administration, architecture and the behavioural and engineering sciences (p. 56).

Experience from staff shows that facilities in most of the polytechnics are decaying and hence, such perceived neglects, decays and lack of proper maintenance has given room for a research and appraisal of the management of polytechnics especially Federal Polytechnics in the South-East of Nigeria, particularly with regards to adherence to provisions on facilities management.

In view of the already identified core problems of management in polytechnics, an appraisal of the management of federal polytechnics in South-East becomes very important and urgent to ascertain the extent the management of polytechnics adhere to the stipulated guidelines.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The management and staff of Federal polytechnics play vital roles in the implementation of the educational programmes of the polytechnics. Stakeholders and staff of polytechnics have in one way or the other expressed concern about managerial incompetence and disputes existing in Federal polytechnics in South-East zone of Nigeria. These stakeholders express the view that there are poor management practices like poor planning, poor communication, misappropriation and mismanagement of funds, recruitment of poor quality staff, poor maintenance of existing facilities and equipment among others.

Furthermore, evidence on ground through some manifestation in the behaviours of some staff in these polytechnics seem to suggest that the basic teaching/learning facilities are not adequately provided and maintained, quality staff are not recruited, inter-personal relationship are lacking. All these are pointers to the fact that it could be that the management of Federal polytechnics in South-East Nigeria are not in conformity with laid down guidelines in their management practices. It is therefore the problem of this study to empirically appraise the management of Federal polytechnics in South-East zone of Nigeria.

1. 3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to appraise the Management of Federal Polytechnics in South East, Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:

1.                  find out the extent of adherence to planning guides by heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff, of each of the polytechnics in their planning practices.

2.                  investigate the extent to which management of each of the Polytechnics employs stipulated communication channels in their administration.

3.                ascertain the extent to which management of each of the polytechnics adheres to the provisions on financial management.

4.                  ascertain the extent to which the management of each of the  polytechnics adheres to the established guideline for staff recruitment.

5.                  identify the extent to which the management of          each of the polytechnics promotes the maintenance of facilities and equipment in their institutions.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study hinges on the administrative principles approach developed by Henri Fayol (1841-1925). The fundamental assumptions of this theory were to identify the principle guidelines that should be followed by managers in their complex organizations so as to get satisfactory results. This means that the administrative principle theory is basically concerned with the assessment of manager’s performance and whether it is in line with the identified principles.

Based on the above fundamental assumptions of the administrative principle approach, an appraisal of the management of Federal polytechnics is seem as a process of determining whether management staff adhere to the established guidelines for their management. Thus, administrative principle theory has established the base for this appraisal to determine the extent to which management of Federal polytechnics adhere to the NBTE guidelines for the management of polytechnics.

It is hoped that the findings of this study will add to the existing body of knowledge in the fields of research in the educational management field and especially in polytechnics. The study will then serve as a source of reference to future researchers and scholars interested in management techniques, management principles, management information technology and management theories. It will be a reference for future researchers in polytechnics management and administration. The findings of this study will reveal the interdependency involved in polytechnic management. Such discovery will provide information that could be used in theory building on the systems and practice of management in any organization.

Practically, the findings of this study will be useful to educational planners, educational administrators as well as policy makers. The findings of the study will make polytechnic administrators be aware of the limit and expectations of their offices and thus, provide them with necessary information which can help to ensure better management practices in their various fields.

The findings of the study will aid polytechnic administrators and management to improve on their respective communication channels and processes so as to get satisfactory results in their various institutions. Staff and students will also benefit as they will have opportunity of getting information through appropriate communication channel which they will use to reach management on issues about their challenges.

The result of this study will help the management of federal polytechnics to appreciate the importance of budgeting and proper management of funds accruing to the polytechnics. Such knowledge of these key issues of budgeting, budget implementation, auditing, monitoring will aid the management for effective financial management of both internally generated and external funds in the polytechnics.

Rectors, Bursars, Heads of Department/Units and Senior administrative staff will use knowledge acquired from this study for their day to day management of various polytechnics, offices, departments or units. Appraisal will help them discover their own areas of weakness vis-a-vis proper implementation of the NBTE provisions on planning, finance, recruitment and facilities and equipment management.

The findings and information generated from the study will provide ready reference materials for textbook writers, educational evaluators, lecturers, students. This is true because they may refer to these findings when carrying out their research on related subjects.

The findings of this study will help the federal and state Ministries of Education that may be involved in polytechnic development in the country. The data generated from this study may be used to evolve a consistent and coherent policies on planning, communication, financial management, staff recruitment and management of facilities and equipment.

National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) will find information generated from this study a veritable one because it may help in its functions of establishing standards that every polytechnic should follow.

The findings of this study will shade more light on the contents and guidelines on staff recruitment in polytechnics. The study will therefore be of interest to the general public and teaming population of youths who are in search of employment in federal polytechnics. The findings will serve as a guide to management of federal polytechnics and indeed other administrators on the proper and effective pattern of staff recruitment and management of recruitment matters.

The findings of this study will help the management of federal and state polytechnics to appreciate the essence of proper provision and maintenance of physical facilities in the polytechnics. The heads of departments/units and senior administrative staff in polytechnics and other staff placed in charge of physical facilities will find the findings of this study a veritable tool for proper maintenance culture in handling the equipment under their care.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covered all the Federal Polytechnics in the South Eastern Nigeria. The Polytechnics are Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana-Afikpo and Federal Polytechnic, Nekede. The content is limited to the appraisal of the management of Federal Polytechnics in such vital areas as planning practices, communication channels, fund management practices, staff/personnel recruitment, as well as maintenance of physical facilities and equipment.

1.6 Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

1.                  To what extent do heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics adhere to the planning guides in their planning practices?

2.                To what extent do heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics employ the stipulated communication channels in their administration?

3.                  To what extent do heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics adhere to the provision of the polytechnic Act on financial management?

4.                  To what extent do the heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics adhere to the established guidelines for staff recruitment?

5.                  To what extent do the heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics promote the maintenance of instructional facilities and equipment in their institutions?

1.7 Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses guided the study and were tested at 0.5 level of significance.

Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of heads of departments/units and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics on the extent to which they adhere to the planning guides in their planning practices.

Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff of each of the polytechnics on the extent to which the management employs stipulated communication channels in their administration.

Ho3: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff on the extent to which each of the polytechnic management adheres to the provision of the Polytechnics Manual on financial management.

Ho4: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff on the extent to which management of each of the polytechnics adheres to the established guidelines for staff recruitment.

Ho5: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of heads of department/unit and senior administrative staff on the extent to which the management of each of the Polytechnics adheres to the provision on maintenance of instructional facilities and equipments.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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