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Democracy and Social Service Delivery in Nigeria: A Case Study of Free

Medical Programme of Rivers State Government (2007-2013)

Akujuru, Chukunonye A. [NCE, B.Ed ,LLB, B.L., MSc.]
Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Enyioko, Newman C. (B.Sc., MBA, M.Sc., MNIM)
Medonice Consulting and Research Institute, Port Harcourt
This study is an empirical assessment of Democracy and Social Service
Delivery in Nigeria: A Case Study of Free Medical Programme of Rivers State
Government (2007-2013). Structured questionnaire made up of open and close
ended questions; personal observation and interview were used to collect
primary data. The secondary data were collected through textbooks, journals,
newspapers, government and internet publications. Analyses of data were
through descriptive statistics of tables and simple percentages. The study
revealed that Rivers state Government has averagely performed in social service
delivery more especially as it concerns free medical care. In spite of this, the
study discovered that some of the factors affecting the discharge of social
service delivery by the Rivers state Government in terms timeliness,
satisfaction, adequacy and effectiveness are insufficient funds; irregular
payment of salaries and allowances; undue political interference and divided
loyalty; poor observance of the principle of meritocracy in recruitment and
promotion of staff and corruption. It was recommended among others that
employment and promotion should be based on ability, high performance,
experience, qualification and not patronage; intensification of the campaign
against corruption at the local government level by bringing to book all corrupt
public officials; regular payment of salaries and allowances and increase
funding backed up by prudent management. Finally, the study recommends
that undue political interference in the affairs of local governments should be
discouraged and stopped.


Corruption, Democracy, Ineffective Service Delivery, Meritocracy,

Quality Service Delivery, Medical Programme, Rivers State, Social
Service Delivery

The relationship between democracy and social service delivery lies at the heart
of this study. Essentially, the task of any society is to reconstruct and revitalize itself,
build its own capabilities and educate, organize and mobilize the citizens with the view to
ensuring that democratic space is expanded; democratic culture is deepened, and
democracy itself is consolidated and made to become sustainable and irreversible.
Nourished by the milk of liberal constitutionalism and political imperative, indeed
the comfort of human rights, a vibrant democratic structure enhanced by popular
sovereignty; placing powers in the hands of the people, men and women, and their
popularly elected representatives, and in doing so, creates the very conditions which civil
society will blossom and flower (Akindele, 2003:7). Unfortunately, the environmental
factor surrounding the Nigerian democracy makes democratic institutions to remain weak
and fragile, therefore becoming susceptible to collapse when faced with a low level of
political stress.
It has become clear that the sustainability of Nigerian democratic space and social
service delivery has to be anchored on two policy imperatives and programmes one is
sustainable development which presently cries for a more serious imaginative and
effective management of national resources endowment on the part of the government in
the country. The other is effective institutional capacity building for conflict prevention,
management, resolution, peace-keeping and security which must be adequately put in
place to enhance social service delivery and economic stability in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
Government efforts, in injecting efficiency and effectiveness in the ability to
deliver through reforms like SERVICOM Charter and anti-corruption agencies have
remained abortive in their results. The need to improve the state government service
delivery cannot be overemphasized. The demand for social service at rural level is on
the increase because of the increase in population. More than 70 percent of the
Nigerian population reside in the rural areas and are directly or indirectly affected by
services rendered by the third tier governments. The recent flood disaster of 2012 in
the country which affected many the state governments has heightened the need for
effective social delivery to Nigerians. Services lie at the very hub of economic activity
in any society (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2001:3). In other words, services play
a central role in the survival of any countrys economy and people. For instance,
services provided by government such as public education, health care, wellmaintained roads, safe drinking water, security of lives and property are fundamental
for any countrys economy to be stable, survive and people to prosper.
The establishment and creation of Rivers state dates back to 1967. It was
created to bring government closer to people by rendering cutting edge social service
like maintenance of rural roads, provision of potable drinking water, security of lives
and property. How satisfactorily the present Rivers state Government has performed in
service delivery to the people has been a subject of debate and doubt more especially
in the area of free medical services.

Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine Democracy and Social Service Delivery
in Nigeria: A Case Study of Free Medical Programme of Rivers State Government (20072013). Specifically, the study attempts to achieve the following:
i. Ascertain the level of awareness of social service delivery expected from the
Rivers state Government.
ii. Identify the major Social Services (Medical Deliveries)provided by Rivers state
Government from 2007 to 2013
iii. Examine the level of performance to which Rivers state Government has rendered
Social Service delivery to the People
iv. Identify the factors that hinder social service delivery in Rivers State.
Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
Is there any level of awareness of social service delivery expected from the
Rivers state Government?
What are the major social services (medical deliveries) provided by Rivers
State Government from 2007 to 2013?
What is the level of performance to which Rivers state government has
rendered social service delivery to the people?
What are the factors that hinder social service delivery in Rivers State?
Definition of Concepts
Corruption: Corruption has attracted a plethora of definitions and it does seem almost
everybody know what the term connotes. In its simple form, corruption is the misuse of
authority (or one position) as a result of consideration of personal gains which may not
necessarily be monetary (Ikejiani-Clark, 2001). Corruption could also be taken to mean,
a deviation from acceptable norms, values and standard of a society. Statistical data on
the nature and form of corruption in Nigeria are alarming. As Achebe (1983:53) puts it,
corruption in Nigeria has grown enormously in variety, magnitude and brazenness since
the beginning of the second republic because it has been extravagantly fuelled by
budgetary abuse and political patronage on an unprecedented scale.
Democracy: The word democracy literally means rule by the people, taken from
the Greek terms, demos (meaning people), and kratos (meaning rule). It is a political
concept and form of government, where all people are supposed to have equal voices in
shaping policy (typically expressed through a vote for representatives).
Ineffective Service Delivery: Service delivery characterized with untimeliness,
inadequacy, dissatisfaction (of the customer or consumer), unfairness, dishonesty and
lack of transparency.
Meritocracy: This refers to the recruitment of workers based on a persons
intelligence, talent, ability, possession of relevant academic qualifications and
Quality Service Delivery: Service delivery characterized with timeliness, adequacy,

satisfaction (of the customer or consumer), fairness, honesty and transparency.

Social Service Delivery: In this study, service delivery is accorded two basic
meanings. Firstly, it is equated with the provision of social services like education,
security, drinking water, sanitation, infrastructure, transportation like mass transit,
social welfare services like bursary, scholarships to students, disaster prevention and
rehabilitation. Bello-Imam and Roberts (2001), agree with this understanding of
service delivery when they noted that the state social service delivery is the provision
of services intended to alleviate human suffering and by extension, enhance the quality
of life of the citizens.
Theoretical Framework
For the purpose of this study, the researcher shall make use of the structural
functionalist theory in unfolding the concept of social service delivery in the Nigerian
state. Uya (1999:27) wrote that to understand the functionalist theory, one must look into
the biological implications of a living organism as it patterns to the evolutionary theory.
In this simple organism all the necessary functions of life were performed by the same
part, the single cell. Therefore, the development of a single cell gave rise to
differentiation of cells into parts enhancing specialization, adaptation and integration of
the organism to its environment. Thus, the greater the degree of adaptation, the fitter the
organism was to survive. This is the Darwinian doctrine of survival of the fittest.
In applying this to the doctrine of democracy and social service delivery in the
Fourth Republic, requires a mutual coordinated links between the rulers and the ruled to
ensure effective governance. Thus differentiation and specialization may occur in any of
the parts of society. And this requires that they be integrated with other parts of the civil
society so that the entire polity can adapt to its environment. This tendency can be said to
be a panacea towards safe-guarding societal dysfunction. Consequently, the parts of
Nigerian society are its political and democratic institutions namely, the National
Assembly, the court system, the police, the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC), to mention but a few. Thus, the Nigerian Fourth Republic requires the coordinate
working and harmonization of these democratic institutions to ensure social service
delivery in Nigeria. The malfunctioning of one of the above institutions means the
corresponding dysfunction of the entire political landscape of Nigeria. This can impede
growth and sustainable development in Nigerias Fourth Republic.
However, the Nigerian experience of functionalism sees the ideology as soothed
for the dominant class in the society whose whims and caprices predominates such
democratic institutions. The agenda of governance becomes skewed to one side, hence,
Nigeria experiences high level of what can be referred to as elitist hedonism. For
instance, from the beginning of the erstwhile Obasanjos Fourth Republic in May, 1999,
the political climate has been a function of the powers of manipulations of the few elites
in the society. Developments in Nigerian politics shows that several political parties, 30
of them in number at that time, duly registered by INEC, out of which two: the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) held sway as the
remaining 28 became silent in the scheme of things. This is a glaring phenomena of elite
politics in Nigeria.
Waldt (2001) wrote that democracy cannot be enhanced and the various arms of
government adequately work well considering the high level of witch-hunting of the

legislature by the executive through frequent removal of members of the legislature.

Right from inception of the Obasanjos Fourth Republic, Nigeria has had not less than
five Senate President in succession. This shows the level of political immaturity and lack
of harmony among the various arms of government. Several arguments have also cropped
up to criticize the manner of selection of the members of the erstwhile political reforms
conference in Abuja. Critics said the characters of delegates to the Confab were mostly
government cronies and sycophants who have got nothing to offer as a way forward for
The Concept of Democracy and Social Service Delivery in Nigeria
It is conceivable, however, that in the euphoria and optimism, one may forget that
democracy, though un-arguably the best form of government for any nation, is also
perhaps the most difficult to manage. Democracy, it should be remembered is not a potted
plant which can be transplanted into any soil and grown without work or effort. In the
peculiar circumstances of Nigerias Fourth Republic (1999), as apply observed by
Professor Sam Oyovbaire:
The problem of democracy revolves around how to forge a
development process which is simultaneously participatory
for individual citizens, sensitive to, and protective of
individual rights, freedoms and liberty; accommodative of
multiple and competitive loyalties; and generative of
economic growth and distributive justice (Ogovbaire,
The impact of the above is that non-democratic states of Saudi Arabia, Japan,
China, etc, are even more stable even though, democracy is not in practice there. It is
obvious to ask here whether democracy can be synonymous with social service delivery.
The answer no doubt, is in the affirmative. Thus, democracy in most Third World
Countries (Nigeria inclusive) is antagonistic to social service delivery. For instance, the
problem of Nigeria is even more confounded by the tendency, especially election, the
May 1999 Presidential election and of course, the recent 2007 presidential elections
respectively. These are all indices of poor political culture, which cannot be the same as
social service delivery.
As Uya (1999:86) has observed, though the successful conduct of free and fair
elections is an important cornerstone of democracy and social service delivery,
democratization of a policy involves much more. These include: love of freedom and
equality; resentment of autocracy, freedom of dissent, respect for individuality of each
person, creation of appropriate environment for individual to free himself from the
constraints of poverty, hunger, ill-health, coercion and control; equality of opportunity
and access to education, medical attention and work; equality of all, the ruler and the
ruled, before the law; the creation of an ordered, stable society which guarantees security
of lives and property of individuals; cultivation and inculcation in the citizenry of a
democratic temper, an attitude of service and trusteeships, a sense of civic responsibility,
a spirit of fair play and tolerance of other peoples opinions and interests; absence of
arrogance and arbitrariness and a sense of honest, faithful, selfless, disinterested,
impartial and objective service, dedicated, selfless, disciplined, patriotic, honest and

highly motivated leadership style, free from social indiscipline, ethnic hatred and
jealousies, religious bigotry and the tendency to personalize ruler-ship and power; and a
deliberate and determined move towards the creation of a society bound together by
shared sentiments and out look. All of these are basic ingredients of good workable
Factors Necessary for a Democracy
It is undisputable that sustaining democracy is the function of the citizens. Since the civil
society consists of numerous organizations that covers diverse interest and segments of
the society, it should become the major defender of democracy. Being involved in policymaking and implementation by the government, civil society will be able to monitor the
democratic process and the performance of institutions and programmes. If it is able to
monitor and evaluate the performance of the democratic project, it implies that it will not
only defend democracy but sustain it (Huntington, 1976:180).
Democracy goes beyond forming political parties, general elections and having a
civilian government in power. It is a process that does not terminate overnight and
involves full and effective participation of citizens in determining policies and decisions
which affects their lives at all levels and at all times. It involves the responsiveness of the
government to the needs and aspirations of the citizens. It is based on the ability of a
nation to provide channels for discussions, consultations, mobilizations and propaganda.
What we therefore, have in Nigerias Fourth Republic is a young democracy that is
transiting and suppose to grow to maturity; and the transition is at a crucial state. The
response of the state, civil society and the political class to the inherent contradictions of
the transition to democracy will determine whether it will further develop or decay. This
is the level where the role of the people becomes not only critical, but also paramount.
Consequently, democracy as a process has been in place in Nigeria, since 1999,
regardless of its shortcomings. The civil society and many Nigerians expected high level
of performance from the Obasanjo government. It is their belief that the emerging
democracy gave them the opportunity to elect the people they wanted to rule them. Their
expectations were that these people know their predicaments and should be able to
resolve them. But to their greatest dismay, their expectations have been over shadowed
by political gimmicks. However, Ihonvbere (1995:43) opined that as sine qua non
sustainable democracy in Nigeria, the following factors are discernible.
Firstly, it is paramount that the civil society project in Nigeria should be rearticulated and reinforced to have nationalist ideas devoid of parochialism and sectional
sentiment. If this is effectively pursued, it will help in terms of inculcating nationalistic
and patriotic values and attitudes not only within the rank and file of the society, but
amongst majority of the citizens.
Secondly, civil society organization, particularly, the pro-democracy and civil
right groups should expand the coverage for their impact to be felt. Having a national
outlook will not only make it more acceptable, but also enhanced in the spread of
democratic values. Furthermore, it is important that sectoral networks of the
organizations be established. Through networking, these organizations could be more
effective in their activities.

Finally, a mechanism should be evolved by the civil society to effectively monitor

the political system and democratic transition at all levels of government. If this is done,
the civil society will serve as a check on the political system and actors to ensure that
there is no retreat to authoritarianism and subsequent destruction of democratic process.
Through this, it can also check on the credibility of elected officers and other
public officers and also ensure that they are accountable. It should have the power to take
certain measures against such officers whose integrity is questionable and who failed to
be accountable in the fulfillment of electoral promises.
Factors Necessitating Social Service Delivery
Needless to say that the crisis of the Nigerian state far from being managerial has
always been structural and it has its roots in the relations of exploitations, unjust domestic
class structures, external dependency and distortions of the neo-colonial social formations
(Ake, 1986:72). It is all these that produced the contagion effects of the militarization of
contemporary Nigerian society in the past and the negative tendencies this translates into
our development. Consequently, to carry through a successful project of democratization
and sustainable democratic transition in the interest of social service delivery in Nigerias
Fourth Republic, we need to go beyond the prevalent myths about immediate and remote
causes of poor governance to projected solutions to arrest prospective socio-economic
and political decays in Nigeria.
One way of achieving this is to insist on the authentic democratization and
empowerment of the toilers of Nigeria. This is the only condition for peace and progress,
and it requires the institutionalization of a peoples system of government that is
responsive to the imperatives of the collective aspirations of the generality of the people
of Nigeria. Our Fourth Republic democracy must empower the masses of the people, a
democracy that guarantees the survival of the ordinary Nigerian. The Fourth Republic
needs a system of government that empowers Nigerians to do those things that will
promote the well being of the nation. The brand of democracy that was being orchestrated
by Obasanjo regime did not guaranteed this. It has only sustained the oppressive system
that has destroyed our collective senses of worth (Oyovbaire, 1999).
Conversely, the ultimate goal of any authentic democratization process in the
Fourth Republic is to institute popular democracy in Nigeria, a democracy that begins
and ends with the people as they develop their individual and collective potentials in the
interest of the country. Democracy and social service delivery seeks to involve every
stake holder in the control of economic and political power in a way that reinvigorates his
or her faith and commitment in the corporate reality of the nation. This will guide against
the monopoly of state powers by the so-called political god-fathers.
Jega (2002) wrote that to ensure a sustainable democracy and social service
delivery in the Fourth Republic, the three arms of government namely: the Legislature,
Judiciary and the Executive must be restructured to make them amenable to proposed
political and socio-economic restructuring. The Judiciary, the Legislature and above all,
the Executive arm of government will be required to change their character. This is
ordinarily translated into the radical transformation of the character of Nigerian state.
There cannot be democracy without a viable state just as social service delivery cannot be
attained in the midst of prebendalism, piracy, indolence and ineptitude.

Consequently, there is need for the restructuring of the nation. This is necessarily
required to give everybody a sense of belonging as a positive motivation to participate in
the process of nation building. One would like to suggest a process of restructuring which
integrates the right to self-determination on the basis of corporate existence of the
Nigerian polity.
Understanding Social Service Delivery and Development in Rivers State
The concept of governance is not new. It has been around in both political and
academic discourse for a long time. In the last decade, however, issues relating to
governance have come to occupy the centre stage in developmental literature. More
recently, it gained currency in the literature of African development. As a result, among
other things, the UNDP (2002) study identifies the crises in the continent as essentially
those of governance. By implication this phenomena can be aptly referred to as the
extensive personalization of power, the denial of fundamental human rights, widespread
corruption, and the prevalence of unaccountable government.
However, four aspects of governance have been identified in the social science
literature. These are reciprocity, trust and accountability. When these elements are jointly
present, the greater is the likelihood of social service delivery and the opposite when they
are weak. Governance has links with participatory development, human rights and
democratization. As a policy framework, social service delivery imposes demands on
policy makers in their exercise of power. According to Boeninger (1991) it encompasses
An effective state, i.e, one that possesses an enabling political and legal
environment for economic growth and equitable distribution.
Civil societies and communities that is present in the policy making process,
with the state facilitating political and social interaction, and fostering societal
cohesion and stability.
A private sector that is allowed to play an independent role in the economy.
All the three elements, singularly and in combination, together with sound
economic management in Nigerias Fourth Republic are essential for sustainable
development (Boeninger, 1991). There are also the more profound issues of the meaning
of development and the precise relationship between the different components of
governance and development.
The concept of development is also by no means unproblematic (Sen, 1974:40).
In recent years, it has become fuzzy and difficult to define especially as the concept of
sustainable development has gained currency. Development involves economic, social,
political, environmental and cultural dimensions. Thus, while economic and social
progress and the elimination of poverty are key objectives of development, the
development well being also encompasses freedom from fear and arbitrary arrest, free
speech association, and the right to run for and hold political office (Sen, 1974:46).
It is worthy of note that democracy is not synonymous with political and
economic development. Most countries of the Japan, China, Singapore, North Korea, can
be said to be undemocratic, but the high level technological development among the
Asian Tigers cannot be equated with most democratic states of Africa (Nigeria inclusive).
The contention here buttresses Alexander Popes assertion that for forms of government,
let the fools contend, what is best administered is best (Popes, as cited in Tamumo

The implication of this assertion is a function of the character of leadership in

Africa vis-avis the vision to project the values of societal development in the interest of
all. This point to the fact that there is no clear links between democratic forms of
government and economic growth. Efforts to test this relationship empirically have been
inconclusive, contradictory or both (Sirowy, 1990:5).
One can say from the above analysis that these steps have had positive effect on
the political and socio-economic development of nation states across the world. Little
wonder, democracy is now a universal concept for economic and political development
made possible through good leadership roles and dedication to good policy measures.
Health Care Delivery In Rivers State
Equity in the provision of health care to citizens is important. It is evident that the
poor masses lacked access to the basic health services and received low quality medical
care due to inability to pay for quality care. Moreover, government spending went
disproportionately to the affluent in the form of free or below cost care in sophisticated
public tertiary hospitals which was the basis of evolving a new National Health Insurance
Scheme (NHIS). This is shown below:
Table 2.1: Nigeria Health Statistics (2007-2013)
Medical Delivery Variables 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Population per physician
3,707 3,744 3,781 4,977 4,479
Population per Nursing Staff 605
1004 906
Population per Hospital Bed 1,477 1,555 1,632 1,738 1,564
Life expectancy at birth
Source: CBN Annual Report and Statement of Account (2013:32).



From the above the maximum population per physician among Nigerians was put
at 3,707 in 2007. But later rose to 4,675 in 2013. This indicates an additional increase of
more than 100%. This is due largely to overpopulation as a result of lack of government
policy in birth control. The same case holds true about Nigerias population per nursing
staff of 605 in bed and 2,124 in 2013 respectively. Moreover, life expectantly ratio
increased considerably in 2007 and dropped sharply to 45 years in 2013. The factor
responsible for this could be inadequacy of drugs to control diseases in Nigeria.
Research Methodology
This section deals with mechanisms for gathering of information for analysis of
data. The population of study consists of the entire 5,689,087 people in Rivers State
according to 2006 population census. The sample size shall then be chosen to involve at
least four (4) cadres of staff in the Rivers State Ministries and the general public
randomly selected. The sample selection of the selected respondents recognized by this
population definition was done randomly through a probabilistic sampling technique. The
sample size of the study was determined as follows:
Principal staff
Management staff


Middle management staff

Junior staff


General Public
Therefore, the sample size =
305 Staff
The collection of data was based on two sources namely; primary sources and
secondary Sources. Primary data were generated from samples of the study. The
instruments used to source these data were structured and unstructured questionnaire as
well as random interviews of the staff of the Rivers State Ministry, Port Harcourt. The
secondary source of data consisted of desk research reviews of related literature which
formed the foundation of this study; they were derived from standard texts, academic and
professional journals. The tools of data analysis included: Simple averages, percentages
and ranking which have been proved to be useful mathematical tools in data analysis.
Data Presentation
A sample of 305 staff from the Rivers State civil servants and others was drawn
for the study, for which the sample elements consisted of 4 cadres of staff, (principal,
management, middle management, junior) and the general public. Accordingly, 305
copies of questionnaire were administered on the civil servants in Rivers State and as
well the general public. Out of the 305 copies of questionnaire administered, 281copies
were retrieved and after going through them 270 (i.e. 88.52% response rate) copies were
found useful for data analysis.
Table 1:

Administration and Retrieval of Questionnaire from the Respondents

of Number
of Number
of Response
Retrieved from found useful
for the study
Principal staff
89.28 %
Management staff
Middle management 53
Junior staff
General Public
Source: Survey Data, 2014
Table 1 reveals how the copies of questionnaire were distributed to the sampled
elements in the Rivers State civil service and the general public, the number generated
there from and the number found useful/relevant/valid for the data analysis. The data
analysis indicated that 28 copies of questionnaire were administered on the principal staff
in the Rivers State civil service and 25 copies of them were actually retrieved, and 25
copies of questionnaire were found relevant, this represents 89.28% response rate of this
segment. Equally, 45 copies of questionnaire were administered on the management


staff in the Rivers state Ministries, 44 copies were collected from them, after going
through them all the 42 copies (i.e. 93.33% response rate) were found useful for the
study. From the middle management staff of the civil servants in Rivers State; 53 copies
of questionnaire were administered on them, and 51 copies retrieved, and 50 copies
(representing 94.33% response rate) were found useful for the study. Also, 77 copies of
questionnaire were administered on the junior staff in the Rivers state Ministries while
70 copies were collected and after going through them 67 copies of questionnaire (i.e.
87.01% response rate) were found useful in this segment. For the respondents in general
public segment; 102 copies of questionnaire were administered on them, and 91 copies
returned while only 86 copies of questionnaire (representing 84.52% response rate) were
found useful for the study.
In all, the study administered 305 copies of questionnaire were administered on
the civil servants and the general public in Rivers State, while 281 copies of
questionnaire were actually retrieved from the respondents. However, after editing the
copies of questionnaire 270 copies (representing 88.52% response rate) were found
useful for the data analysis in this study.
Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents
Table 2:
Sex of the Respondents
Number of Respondents
Source: Field work, 2014

Percentage Response

Table 2 shows that the respondents were made up of 58% male and 42% female.
The male respondents from figure 1 above are slightly bigger than female composition.
This perhaps implies that the workforce of Rivers state Government civil service is
slightly dominated by male employees. As female employees, they are most likely to be
encumbered by family pressures emanated from raising children and other family
commitment. This may tell on timeliness and satisfactory manner with which they
deliver service or perform their job in the state government.
Table 3: Educational Qualifications of the Respondents
No of Respondents
Source: Field work, 2014
Table 3 above shows that the respondents possess educational qualifications
which they may have acquired before gaining employment into the service of the the
state government council or while on the job. With 140 respondents representing 52%


possessing B.SC/BA/HND certificate, it could be said that the workforce possess some
form of educational qualification and capacity that could enhance their performance in
service delivery; while 30(11%) of the respondents have masters degree, only 10 (4%)
respondents have a PhD degree with none coming First School Leaving Certificate, 30
(11%) respondents possess SSCE while 60 (22%) respondents have ND/NCE.
Table 4: Awareness of Social Service Delivery Expected from Rivers state
No of Respondents Percentage
Source: Field work, 2014





Table 3.4 reveals that majority of the respondents 81.5% are aware of the social
service provision like health care services, potable water, market stores, security of
lives and property expected from Rivers state Government. While11.1% of the
respondents said they are not aware, 7.4% were undecided in their position. It can be
inferred that this high level of awareness among respondents is a strong potential that
can be harvested for quality, effective and satisfactory service delivery in the
Table 5: List of Social Services (Medical Deliveries)Provided By Rivers state
Government from 2007 to 2013
S/N Project Description

Social Service Type State of


Refurbishing and Equipping of Braithwaite Healthcare project Completed

Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt

Children under 6 years, adults over 60

years, pregnancies leading to caesarean
sections and first 24 hours of emergency
medical service are all free

Children and

Immunization activities are carried

through. All the 354 primary health care
facilities in the state

Free Medical

Maternal and Child Health/Family Planning Free maternal and

& Safe Motherhood
children free
medical services
6 Health facilities in PHALGA
Health care

and in Use

% of











Needs regular
maintenance for lasting
Needs continuous
maintenance and
practice for full
beneficial effect
Commendable efforts
The state government
and should be
Good programme
embarked upon by
Needs improvement and




350 health centres, in addition to 10 general General Heath

care projects

Re-training of all categories of staff in the

Health Sector of the State.

Training and
human capital
development of
staff in the health


Massive healthcare
projects that are needed
for full beneficial impact
by the community
Very commendable
programmes that
require continuity

for effective


Construction of Karibi-Whyte Mega

Hospital at the cost of $98 million.

Establishment of
hospital project



Maintenance contracts are being instituted Maintenance and

for different equipment in the Hospitals
equipping of

for effective


More maintenance efforts

In this area

Government has embarked on massive

infrastructural development all over the

for effective


Commendable and




Governor Amaechi personally and met with Committee for

Doctors in the State and set up a Committee heath care
on Health Policy.
The State government is in the process of Health Insurance
starting the State Health Insurance


for effective


Recruitment of qualified staff to address

the severe manpower shortage in the Health Manpower
recruitment in the
health sector




for effective

Adequate supply of basic water and

sanitation, Prevention and control of the
stately endemic diseases and injuries.
Appropriate treatment of common diseases
and injuries. Provision of essential drugs.
Mental health Control of HIV/AIDS.

Facilities and
Services for drugs
and control of

for effective

Establishment of a worthwhile Auto

Disable Syringe factory that currently
produces 160 million syringes annually

Medical supported Completed





More classrooms still

needed and this should
be matched with
enhanced teachers
welfare which is
currently poor
Laudable project. More
of this type of project is
needed and this should
be matched with
enhanced staff welfare
which currently is not
very good poor

More meetings and

committees classrooms
needed on healthcare
State government should
implement the Health
Insurance Programme.
that should be matched
with enhanced staff
Commendable efforts
by The state
government and should
be encouraged

Very good project that

other states in Nigeria
should emulate

Source: Field work, 2014

Table 5 above shows in specific terms some of the healthcare projects, facilities
or services executed by the Rivers state Government from 2007 to 2013. The data give

details of the Projects, social service type and the state of completion as well as the
percentage of work done. The data have revealed the refurbishing and equipping of
Braithwaite Memorial Hospital in Port Harcourt which is a good healthcare project that
has been completed and delivered. The data equally show that children under 6 years,
adults over 60 years, pregnancies leading to caesarean sections and first 24 hours of
emergency medical service are all free medical services rendered by the Rivers State
government. The table also shows that immunization activities are carried out through all
the 354 primary health care facilities in the state. Maternal and child health/family
planning & safe motherhood, 6 health facilities in PHALGA, 350 health centres, in
addition to 10 general hospitals as indicated in the table above are provided by the
government. Re-training of all categories of staff in the health sector of the state,
recruitment of qualified staff to address the severe manpower shortage in the health sector
are equally the social services delivered by Rivers State government. Construction of
Karibi-Whyte Mega Hospital at the cost of $98 million, maintenance contracts are being
instituted for different equipment in the Hospitals. Government has embarked on massive
infrastructural development all over the 23 LGAs.
Table 5 also reveals that Governor Amaechi personally met with Doctors in the
State and set up a Committee on Health Policy, the state government is equally in the
process of starting the State Health Insurance Programme. The analysis reveal that
adequate supply of basic water and sanitation, prevention and control of the stately
endemic diseases and injuries, appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries,
provision of essential drugs, control of HIV/AIDS, establishment of a worthwhile auto
disable syringe factory that currently produces 160 million syringes annually have been
executed by the Rivers State government from 2007 to 2013.
Table 6:

Performance of Rivers State Government in Social Service Delivery to

the People
Performance Variable
No. of Respondents
Excellent in terms of quality, timeliness, and
Poor and lacking adequacy, effectiveness and
Moderately well in effectiveness, quality and
Source: Field work, 2014
Table 6 shows the rating of Rivers state Government in social service delivery to
the people. The rating reveals that Rivers state Government has performed
moderately in the provision of healthcare, water, security, market stores, etc in
effective, quality and satisfactory manner. This is evidently seen in the 44.4% of the
respondents who supported the above rating. Closely followed to the above rating are
the 33.3% of the respondents who believed that the state government authorities have
not performed well as the state government services to the communities in the state
under study lack adequacy, effectiveness and transparency. This rating or evaluation
agrees with findings of Afrobarometer study conducted in 2008.


Table 7: Are there factors that hinder social service delivery in Rivers state
No of Respondents








Source: Field work, 2014

Obviously, from table 7 , there are factors that s low down the wheels of
service delivery in Rivers state. These factors from the results of interview and
observation are essentially financial inadequacy caused by corruption, low internally
generated revenue, irregularly payment of salaries and poor staff welfare which have
affected workers commitment to duty, heightened cases of absenteeism among
workers. Other factors are divided loyalty caused by pressure on council chairmen to
meet unholy and unethical demands from politicians and undue political
interference. Because council authorities have been unfaithful in the payment of
salaries and allowances they lack the moral courage to challenge erring workers.
Table 8: Corruption as one of the Causes of Poor Service Delivery
Source: Field work, 2014

No of Respondents


It is evident from table 8 that corruption contributes to the state of service delivery in
Rivers state Government nay the state governments in Nigeria (93% vs. 7%).
Table 9: Insufficient funds as one of causes for inadequate and low
quality of services rendered.
No of Respondents Percentage
Source: Field work, 2014



From the result in table 9 above, it is inferred that insufficient finds suffered by
the state governments account for ineffective service delivery in Rivers state
Government Area. This is because; those who supported the above position are greater
than those who are in support of the opposite form (89% vs. 11%).


Table 10: Irregular Payment of Salary and Allowances as Reasons

for Absenteeism, lateness to work, lack of commitment and state
of service delivery
No of Respondents Percentage
Source: Field Survey, 2014



Table 10 above reveals that irregular payment of salary and allowances of workers
leads to cases of absenteeism, lateness to work and lack of commitment thus, a bane to
effective service delivery by Rivers state Government Authorities. This conclusion is
arrived at since those who supported the question posed are greater than those who did
not support it (81% vs. 19%). Discussions and observation revealed that workers are
presently owned salary arrears of four months. More so, they are sometimes paid half
or half of half of their monthly salary. In this situation, workers resort to private
business or farming as a means of survival. The above discovery is similar to that
made by Khemani(2004) in a survey of service delivery by the Kogi State
Government. Khemani(2004) revealed that workers were owned as much as six
months even when accounts of the state governments in the state show actual
expenditure for salary of the state government health personnel workers. Even when
budget allocations were sufficient to cover estimated actual costs, the staff survey
revealed non-payment of salaries for several months in the year before the survey.

Discussion of Findings

Corruption leads to insufficient funds suffered by the state governments and

may well be a strong reason for the occurrence of irregular payment of staff salary
and allowances. Irregular payment of staff salary and allowances has given birth to
poor work attitude, absenteeism, lateness to work and lack of commitment and
devotion to work. Workers are forced to seek for supplementary livelihood during
office hours as a means of survival. This in turn has affected their productivity. In a
study, Ushie, Agba, Agba and Best (2010), discovered that socio-economic status is a
significant factor in determining the extent of workers engagement in supplementary
livelihood strategies. The above point is corroborated by Okoh (2003) and Best
(1999) who maintained that, workers who engage in supplementary livelihood or who
push their personal interest above organizational goals and objectives adversely affect
the growth and effectiveness of the establishment. It was therefore not surprising to
discover that only skeletal services are rendered at Rivers state Government Area
because of the de-motivation of the workforce through irregular payment of salary
and allowances. Indeed, the inability of The state Governments in Nigeria to
satisfactorily and effectively provide social services has created service gaps.
Apart from the Primary level of health care in the state, the governor was
said has recorded some feats at the secondary level of health care, with
the reconstruction of Kelsey Harrison Hospital, the Dental Hospital and the
Rivers State University of Science and Technology Medical Centre. But the

Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, which was undergoing massive reconstruction

and its radiology department and clinical laboratories had been
re-equipped, with the Clinotech Group of Canada acting as technical
partners, is yet to engage the people perfectly in health care delivery
with the mindset of the government.
Amaechis efforts in health and education have been lauded. At the
Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, the ultra-modern modular theatre complex,
which has been said comprises three operating suites, a laundry unit, a
sterilizing unit and an oxygen-production plant, as well as an adjoining
intensive care unit, which were also been set up in the hospital, is
indication that Amaechi is in to help the people, but the people assigned
to Mann these infrastructures should show accountability and decorum.
The people have agreed that in the past, people hardly patronized the
primary health centres because of the ruined state of most of their
facilities. But now that the centres have been transformed into good health
institutions through the Amaechi-led government policies, they must give
services that must reach the primary health centres new outlook. Children,
pregnant women, old people of over 60 years and nursing mothers must be
given prompt attention, and not only with free insecticide-treated mosquito
nets and anti-malaria drugs given to them.
The deeper a countrys reservoirs of social capital and the more these are based on
horizontal and vertical relations emanating from both government and public realms, the
more formidable is the entire body polity. The benefits accruing to this not only enhances
social service delivery in Rivers State, it also transcends beyond the unknown in our
overall national life.
In the light of the findings and conclusion of this study, the following
recommendations have been made :
(i) Employment and promotion of the state government workers should be based
on the principle of meritocracy through emphasizing high performance,
ability, experience, skill and relevant qualifications.
(ii) The problem of corruption in Nigerian the state governments must be urgently
addressed in order to free financial resources for the provision of services in
this important tier of government. This can be achieved by bringing to book all
corrupt the state government chairmen and public officials.
(iii) The salaries and allowances of the state government staff should be
regularly paid in order to motivate the workforce for productivity
enhancement. For regular payment of salaries and allowances, the actual wage
bills of the state governments should be ascertain and deductions made at
source for direct payment to workers.
(iv) To solve the problem of inadequate financial resources, three things could be
done. One, financial allocations to the state governments should be increased
followed by prudent use of them. Secondly, the internally generated revenue of




the state governments should be increased. To get people to pay their rates and
taxes, the state government must perform. Thirdly, corrupt practices which
sapped available financial resources of the state government should be
addressed through bringing to book all corrupt public officials to serve as
deterrence to others.
Undue political interference and divided loyalty should be addressed by giving
the state government authorities the free hand to operate. Unethical Practices
which encroach into the autonomy of the state government should be stopped.
Importantly, there is need to cultivate the culture of maintenance of the state
government projects to the people and its properties like the council heavy
duty equipment.


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