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CONTRACT EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1Background to the Study

Contractualization of labour has become a social phenomenon and a cankerworm in labour relations in various industries across the world. This is believed to be the result of the deliberate policy of the multi-nationals in productive and service companies, which created casual workers in place of permanent labour employment. That is, the placement of workers as temporary employees on jobs that is routine, contentious and permanent in nature (Wandera in Okoye, Okolie & Aderibigbe, 2014).

In developing economies like Nigeria which is bedevilled by the crisis of development and where labour market is saturated, most employers intention to keep cost of labour as low as possible has resulted in the proliferation of contract employment relations such as, casual work or part time work even though workers in these categories have prerequisite skills to hold full time jobs with varying implications for non-contract employment deficits (Okafor in Okoye & Aderibigbe, 2014).

However, the issue of contract employment relations and non-contract work is not the issue that is peculiar to the developing and emerging societies but also applicable to the developed countries of the world. The main difference may be that in the former, individual’s decision to engage in such employment may be driven by compulsion, while in the latter, it is driven by choice. However, in the developing and emerging countries, the issue of contract employment has been exacerbated by rapid economic globalization has resulted in massive labour migration and penetration of the multinational companies with capitalist inclinations to these regions (Okafor, 2010).

Moreover, the Nigerian government who ordinarily should be playing the role of a custodian for better labour relations in the country is found to be even culpable to the trend of contractualization of employment relations in the country. Umunna (2006) & Oya (2008) lay their voices to this when they postulated that in an attempt to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the Nigerian government often overlooked or lowered some vital labour issues. In doing this, the proliferation of various forms of contract employment relations have escalated with varying implications and challenges for the decent work agenda being promoted by the International labour Organisation (Okafor, 2010).

Some firms use the contract employment condition as a pseudo-probationary period to preview workers from whom they screen out those who fail to meet performance criteria or do not otherwise suitable for the organization, or extend an offer of long-term employment to desired individuals. Such firms may find significant benefit in developing a stronger, more meaningful employer-employee relationship with their contract workers. Again, individuals  inspiration to enter the contract labor market vary broadly and at times include the inability to secure more desirable or permanent work, or a desire or need for retraining or for greater choice in when and where to work (Okoye, Okolie & Aderibigbe, 2014).

The issue of contract employment in Nigeria has become so pervasive in the labour market, that the government who ought to stand against this trend is now hiring workers on contract basis for its enterprises. Therefore, the undertaking of this study will investigate the impact of Contract Employment on Service Delivery in the Public Sector with special reference to the Lagos State University (LASU) (Animashaun, 2007).

1.2   Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria the scourge of contract employment is gaining grounds in an unprecedented proportion, intensity and scale. The increase in the spread and gradual acceptance of this unfair labour practice in the Nigerian public sector has become an issue of great concern to all and sundry. In the private sector, this labour unfriendly act is obviously attributed to the increasing desperation of employers to cut down organisational costs. But this cannot be said of the public sector that is statutorily set up to render essential services to the public by way of engaging the most qualified personnel (Fapohunda, 2012).

Contract employment presents lots of challenges for the employees and the public sector alike. Behind this issue of contract employment in Nigeria is the high level of unemployment and accompanying poor service delivery. These two issues have led to a dangerous work environment where employees are always dissatisfied with their working conditions, demoralized and lacking the impetus to put in their best and leaving much to be desired by the public.

Without the statutory benefits associated with permanent employment status. Contract workers are prone to low pay, barred from forming a union, and denied medical and other benefits.

Several studies such as Wandera (2011), Okafor (2012), Fapohunda (2012) & Kalejaiye (2014) have been carried out to examine contract employment in the private sector; but none of these studies have attempted to relate it to the Nigerian public sector which gap the propose study have helped to fill by relating contract employment and service delivery in the Nigeria public sector. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate therelationship between Contract Employment and Service Delivery in the Public Sector with a special reference to the Lagos State University (LASU).

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to assess the impact of Contract Employment on Service Delivery in the Public Sector. While other specific objectives of this study are:

i.to examine the relationship between contract employment and service delivery in the public sector.

ii.to identify the influence of contract employment on job satisfaction.

iii.to assess efforts made towards enhancing service delivery in the public sector.

iv.to highlight challenges hindering service delivery in the public sector.

1.4   Statement of Research Questions

The undertaking of this research project will beam a searchlight on the following research questions;

1.Is there any significant relationship between contract employment and service delivery in the public sector?

2.What are the efforts made towards enhancing service delivery in the public sector?

3.Is there any significant relationship between contract work and employee satisfaction?

4.What are the challenges hindering service delivery in the public sector?

1.5    Research Hypotheses

The under mentioned hypotheses will be tested in the course of the research study at 0.05 level of significance.

Hypotheses 1:

Ho:     There is no significant relationship between contract employment and    service delivery in the public sector.

 Hypotheses 2:

Ho:     Contract employment is not a significant predictor of job satisfaction.

Hypotheses 3:

Ho:     There is no significant relationship between contract work and employee          satisfaction.

1.6   Significance of the Study

Previous researchers and scholars (Onyeonoru, 2008; Tomlinson, 2010 & Okafor, 2011) have been very divergent in their views about the impact of contract employment on service delivery in the public sector; this study will therefore be of great significance as it will add to the already existing literature.

It is anticipated that the analytical, conceptual and empirical studies will enhance the understanding of significant issues in contract employment and its systematic effect on service delivery in the public sector in Nigeria.

It would also be useful to university students like students of University of Lagos when doing a likely research.  The study would be significant to the government, policy makers and implementers at large, as they would find the recommendations of this study very useful.


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