Performance Appraisal In Nigerias Civil Service Commerce Essay

The Nigerian civil service comprises of all Nigerian authorities employees other than the military. Most employees are career civil retainers, come oning through the ranks on the footing of makings and senior status. Section 277 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( 1999 ) defines the Civil Service as the “ Service of the Federation in a civil capacity, as staff of the office of the President, the Vice President, a ministry or section of the Government of the Federation assigned with the duty for any concern of the Government of the Federation ” ( FRN, 1999 ) . In kernel, the civil service was set up to transport out Government concern and to render loyal service to any disposal without bias and insulated from partizan political relations. On the other manus, Gberevbie ( 2010 ) opined that the Civil Service is an establishment established for the execution of Government Policies associated with societal service bringing and substructure development. This depicts that Nigerians look up to the Civil service in footings of explicating development schemes, policies and plans in such a manner that will excite societal and economic alterations.

The Nigerian civil service is patterned based on the British theoretical account. It consists of political category and administrative officials of changing profession and proficient expertness. The civil retainers are divided into categories, administrative category, executive category, professional category, clerical and sub-clerical category. Each category is farther divided into many groups known as cells ; each cell has from four to eight classs or promotional degrees. It is chiefly organized around the federal ministries, which are responsible for assorted parastatals ( government-owned corporations ) headed by a curate who is politically appointed by the president. The Nigerian civil service has five basic maps, viz. policy[ 1 ]execution ; proviso of inputs for policy preparation ; fact-finding and regulative maps ; guaranting continuity of public disposal ; and enlightening map ( Office of Head of Service of the Federation, 2009 ) . It is an of import establishment of the province which occupies an indispensable and alone place in the preparation and execution of National development programs. In kernel, the policy preparation map embedded in the civil service requires skilled and well-motivated work force.

In order to measure the public presentation and advancement of the state it becomes necessary to measure the public presentation of civil retainers. The Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management defined public presentation assessment as a method of stock pickings that presents an chance to reexamine single public presentation quarterly, semiannual or in most instances yearly. Gilbert ( 2010 ) asserts that before 1979, Confidential Reporting System was used in the Civil Service where assessment was done in secret and appraisees were non informed about the consequence or result of the rating. However, following the Udoji study of 19741, the Open Reporting System and Management by Objectives ( MBO ) techniques were introduced as portion of the recommendation for the reform of the Civil Service system. This brought about major alteration in rating system whereby employees reads and agrees to whatever has been written on him and besides has the right to dispute the evaluations by his superior officer. The Panel besides recommended uninterrupted occupation rating and scaling, unluckily all the recommendations sing public presentation rating standards were partly or randomly implemented.

The Civil Service adopted the Annual Performance Evaluation Report system ( APER ) based on the Udoji study of 1979. The APER system is an one-year rating process whereby employee ‘s work moralss, accomplishments and capablenesss are assessed for the suitableness of publicity and preparation ( Mustapha, 2008 ) . However, it is simply in theory instead than pattern because most publicities particularly to managerial cell, preparations and occupation arrangements are based on political association, nepotism, tribalism, or favouritism. This pattern leads to hapless public presentation and ineffectualness within the civil service. As confirmed by Echu ( 2010 ) that occupation assignment and publicity may non needfully be based on competence and making. Furthermore, the Public Service Review committee chief study ( 2004 ) asserts that “ The present Annual Performance Evaluation Report ( APER ) system is undependable as a agency of appraisal of an officer ‘s public presentation ” . The study farther stated that the system is cumbrous and complicated ; deficiencies objectiveness and the steps are non ever quantifiable.

In November each twelvemonth, the one-year assessment procedure ( as shown below ) starts with the distribution of the assessment forms to employees by the Human resource sections. The necessary parts of the signifiers are so later filled and submitted to the reexamining officer. The well defined clip period for the distribution and subsequent entry of signifiers makes it possible for the rating procedure to be conducted on clip. It farther gives ample clip to the employees and reexamining officers to fix for proper rating and interview. The rating interview is structured in signifier of a coaching-style system. It usually takes a signifier of replies and inquiries session where both sides have to support its place and make an understanding on concluding class for the ratee ; nevertheless the concluding determination falls on the rater. Finally, the assessment system is tied to a wages construction in signifier of public presentation based fillips, which is to be paid at the terminal of each twelvemonth for good public presentation. The fillip paid is calculated as a per centum of ratee ‘s one-year wage based one ‘s place in the organisation. In contrast, civil retainers who have non performed to outlook are either issued with a question or given a verbal warning.

2. Performance rating procedure in the civil service

In add-on, Mustapha ( 2008 ) affirms that some of the challenges confronting the effectual execution of the APER system includes but non limited to inefficient feedback mechanisms, hapless objectiveness, deficiency of preparation and cognition on the function of the assessment construction, and fright of reprisals in instance of inauspicious studies. This was further confirmed by Gilbert ( 2006 ) when he identified the factors responsible for the uneffective assessment system including deficiency of proper apprehension ; deficiency of objectiveness and bravery by the supervisors ; desire to give close friends and dealingss more advantage over others ; and ignorance of vision and mission of the organisation.

Furthermore, subjective assessments may originate due to the one-year rating of employees because the higher-ups may hold forgotten certain facets of the public presentation which failed to be recorded. This is confirmed by Dogarawa ( 2011 ) when he states that one of the chief jobs of public presentation evaluation is periodic assessment which is frequently influenced by recent important behaviour instead than corporate past effectual and uneffective behaviours. Furthermore, Mustapha ( 2010 ) suggests that assessment should be conducted continuously by direct higher-ups for maximal measuring of end products instead than merely inputs. The issue of favouritism and nepotism was noted by Gilbert ( 2006 ) that the APER system is invariably being abused by prefering some employees over others either due to personal relationships, or tribalism thereby doing the system lose its credibleness.


The APER signifier applies to all classs of service and civil retainers ; hence there is no difference between proficient and administrative staff. However, there are some fluctuations between the senior cell and the junior cell. The annual APER is divided into five subdivisions. The first portion contains employee ‘s personal record and go forth records ; portion two contains undertakings and marks set, occupation description, cardinal accomplishments, training/course attended in the twelvemonth under reappraisal and occupation public presentation ; in this portion the employee fills his undertakings and marks based on his occupation description for the twelvemonth to mensurate whether he has performed to outlook. The 3rd portion evaluates character traits, appraisal of public presentation by superior, work moralss, leading qualities, developing demands and teamwork ; the 4th parts specifies next twelvemonth ‘s undertakings and marks, remarks by the employee on the appraisal, declaration/signature by the employee and the coverage officer ; the last portion is the counter subscribing officer ‘s study, who is usually the immediate higher-up of the coverage officer. The countersigning officer makes the procedure more transparent and creates room for feedback mechanism and monitoring which can command supervisors and referees from being subjective to some extent.

In add-on, The APER signifier is good structured and comprehensive. It captures all the relevant facets of what is to be measured in appraisal procedure in footings of occupation descriptions and character traits ; hence it is more of a developmental attack format. Furthermore, the signifier makes it possible for employees to stipulate their hereafter preparation demands which will further hike their callings and do them more efficient thereby besides cut downing the tasked placed on the human resource section of finding the sort of developing an employee demands. Declaration subdivision is besides a mark of objectiveness because an employee can show his/her sentiment about the assessment procedure and one is non apt to subscribe the signifier if he/she feels the procedure is subjective. In response to inquiries on the fullness of the APER signifier, interviewees commended the bing format and stated that the job does non put with the design of the signifier but instead on the rating procedure and how the assessment is conducted. However, Gilbert ( 2006 ) observes that by the usage of APER signifiers, Markss are so liberally awarded to the extent that in a given group of employees to be assessed no one scores less than 90 five per centum with some exclusion hiting up to hundred per centum which is impractical and impossible in nonsubjective assessment, yet no grounds of high public presentation or excellence exist in the Nigeria ‘s public sector.

In decision, the Public Service Review committee chief study ( 2004 ) believes that the present assessment system should be abandoned due to its inefficiency and the old confidential coverage system re-introduced, later the APER signifier should be redesigned to conform with the confidential coverage system. On the other manus, Gilbert ( 2010 ) affirms that Government should committee advisers walking with in-house commission to redesign a standardised appraisal format and develop new public presentation direction system.


Based on the analysis of available literature on public presentation assessment and the assessment system in Nigeria ‘s civil service, and consequence of interview conducted with functionaries of the Civil Service Commission, one can non state that the system is unsatisfactory nevertheless the inefficiency of the procedure overrides its effectivity. Some of the challenges presently confronting the assessment system include embedded organisational civilization, Lack of participatory leading, ill-defined occupation description, unequal preparation, discontinuous assessment procedure, deficiency of committedness to employee development, and subjectiveness in appraisal.

Organizational civilization has a deep impact on employee ‘s public presentation which can be either positive or negative depending on the norms and values of the organisation ( Shahzad, 2012 ) . Harmonizing to interviewees the assessment procedure has non been effectual because employees tend to follow the organisational civilization hence at that place has been no room for betterment and the system besides fails to acknowledge the importance of the assessment procedure. Furthermore, it has been reference in the literature reappraisal that one major job that leads to ineffectiveness of the assessment procedure is its deficiency of inclusion in the organisational civilization and pattern ( Grote, 1996 ; Kondrasuk, 2012 ) .

Furthermore, if there is no participatory work force attitude in the assessment whereby the procedure is implemented from the top to the underside so it tends to be unsuccessful ( Grote, 1996 ; Kondrasuk, 2012 ) . In the civil service, the procedure was designed and implemented without taking into consideration employees parts. Hence the procedure is chiefly geared non participatory which brings about deficiency of committedness on the portion of the employees and blocks opportunities of invention and creativeness on how to reform the procedure. It further widens the spread between the supervisors and employees, thereby doing it impossible for employees to talk up during the interview procedure due to fear of negative reverberations.

In add-on, deficiency of clear and defined occupation description makes the procedure uneffective because public presentation measurings criterions must be established harmonizing to single occupation description which should be tied to organisational ends and aims. Hence if there is no clear occupation description so the inquiry becomes what is really measured? Responses from the interview pointed out that no written occupation description was specified upon their enlisting ; instead they are merely expected to make what they are being told by the supervisors. The literature reappraisal reveals that appraisal mistakes occur due to misconstrue ends or deficiency of lucidity of ends and nonsubjective assessment can merely be achieved if there are realistic ends to compare the consequence with. ( Dressler 2000 ) . Hence, failure to aline public presentation criterions with occupation description leads to misinterpretations, deficiency of satisfaction, ineffectualness, and confusion in the assessment procedure ( Daley, 2002 ; Condrey 2012 ) .

Similarly, it has been observed that supervisors are non good equipped on the assessment procedure. As confirmed by Gilbert ( 2006 ) & A ; Mustapha ( 2008 ) in the literature reappraisal, that the assessment procedure is uneffective in Nigeria ‘s civil service due to miss of apprehension and unequal preparation. It is of import for supervisors to get accomplishments on how to measure present and past public presentation and besides how to train employees on future betterments. Without clear apprehension of the procedure, the system tends to be used and hence it is used as a agency of authorization and power instead than for development intents.

Furthermore, if the assessment procedure is conducted for employee betterment so there is demand for a uninterrupted rating procedure. Quite the antonym, the assessment in the civil service is done on a annual footing hence supervisors tend to bury past public presentation thereby measuring appraisee based on recent events, public presentation and character traits. Furthermore, the valuators fail to see the procedure as portion of the occupation duty instead they see it as a annual load. This arises because the assessment procedure is conducted one time a twelvemonth.

Despite this fact, the system besides fails to develop employee ‘s calling. Even though the APER signifier has a proviso for preparation demands, it is simply theoretical instead than practical. Harmonizing to available literature, one of the aims of assessment is for development, adding value to employees. Hence is the system fails to acknowledge and measure employees demands so one admirations why the system was set up in the first topographic point. In several instances, it has been observed that, employees are nominated for developing based on personal relationship with supervisors instead than on good public presentation or demand for preparation. This fails to actuate employees because they believe developing is independent of the procedure, in other words even with the assessment process their demands are non considered.

In decision, all the challenges elaborated leads to subjectiveness in appraisal appraisal. Banjoko has every bit summarized the jobs as follows: “ In Nigeria, public presentation assessment is being used in many organisations today as a political tool for assisting to progress the class of front-runners or for blockading and queering the calling way and advancement of ‘villains ‘ whose faces the valuator would non wish to see. Thus subjectiveness and favouritism by those supervisors who strongly believe in the ‘Coker is my cousin syndrome ‘ ” . If one is non trained good in the procedure so there are high opportunities of favouritism. Similarly if organisational civilization depends on personal relationships and resonance so it leads to nepotism. Likewise if there is no clear occupation description and measurement criterion, so supervisors can utilize their discretion to harmonize evaluations based on personal judgements. Furthermore, when the procedure is non conducted continuously so there are high opportunities of mistakes and prejudice. Harmonizing to literature reviewed, when there is unequal preparation, so public presentation rating can be used as an instrument of menace, torment, power or authorization, thereby stagnating employee ‘s growing and worsening the value of the public presentation rating method ( Grote, 1998 ; Roberts, 1998 ; Kondrasuk 2012 ) . All the challenges confronting the Nigeria ‘s civil service public presentation assessment are hence relevant and considered sufficient to negatively affect procedure.


The reappraisal and analysis of available literature and consequence of interview pointed out some challenges impacting the Nigeria ‘s Civil service assessment system. Even though, the research

Enhance rater ‘s preparation

Job specific standards

Self rating

Multisource feedback-the 3600


The public presentation assessment system for civil retainers in Nigeria still has a long manner to travel and much work demands to be done to guarantee its success. In this research, we have reviewed scholarly literature on public presentation assessment system in general, reviewed the current assessment system in Nigeria ‘s civil service, and identified and discussed some challenges impacting the success of the system.