Service compact and service delivery in Southwestern Nigeria
The study analysed the role of Service Compact (SERVICOM) on service delivery in the selected federal parastatals in Southwestern Nigeria; and examined the strategies adopted by SERVICOM in realising its objectives. It also examined the extent of implementation of SERVICOM in the study area and analysed the challenges facing SERVICOM in the discharge of its functions in Southwestern Nigeria. These were with a view to providing information on the effect of SERVICOM as one of the variants of New Public Management (NPM) on service delivery of federal parastatals in Southwestern Nigeria. The study utilized primary and secondary data. The primary data were collected using questionnaire administration and conduct of interviews. The study population (6,290) consisted of senior staff members (levels 7-17) of three purposively selected federal parastatals who were the first to embrace SERVICOM in the Ministries; the SERVICOM as well as the customers that patronized the federal parastatals. Out of 1,152 copies of questionnaire that were administered on respondents who were selected using purposive sampling techniques based on the fact that they were pioneer ministries to embrace SERVICOM through service compact with all Nigerian citizens, a total of 1,064 copies of questionnaire (representing 92%) were completed and retrieved. The study covered three selected Southwestern states namely: Lagos, Ekiti, and Osun, representing 50% of the states in the geo-political zone. The study covered three Federal Ministries-Finance, Health and Transport. The following parastatals were selected being the first to embrace SERVICOM in the Ministries: Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS); Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and ObafemiAwolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC); and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The distribution of the questionnaire was as follows: Federal parastatals staff (566); SERVICOM staff (136) and customers (450) in the three states using proportional sampling to select them in each states. Furthermore, indepth interviews were conducted with purposively selected nine key senior officials each at the SERVICOM office; three key senior officials each at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Federal Teaching Hospitals (FTHs) and Federal Road Service Commission (FRSC) offices in the selected three states. Secondary data were sourced from relevant textbooks, journals, government publications and internet. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and content analyses. The results showed that SERVICOM played significant roles in service delivery and impacted positively on citizens in Southwestern Nigeria with the respect to ensuring (efficiency 72%) and (service delivery 75%). The results also showed that public service delivery before the establishment of SERVICOM was poor. With the percentage of respondents suggesting each in parenthesis; using indicators such as efficiency (10%), effectiveness (12%), corruption (100%) and service delivery (11%); the level of extortions and corruption was high. The results also revealed that the strategies adopted by SERVICOM in realising its objectives enhanced service delivery in Southwestern Nigeria. This was with respect to ensuring efficiency (75%), effectiveness (77%) and influencing public policy (82%) and corruption (36%). The level of extortion and corruption had reduced drastically since inception of the Fourth Republic through service compact initiative policy. Furthermore, the results showed that the extent of implementation of SERVICOM influenced positively service delivery in the Southwestern Nigeria with respect to ensuring trained personnel (67%), delegated of authority (65%), performance (74%) and courteous treatment (70%). Finally, the study identified some of the challenges facing SERVICOM in the discharge of it functions among which are inadequate SERVICOM personnel (37%), equipment (39%) and fund (34%) which incapacitated the performance of SERVICOM in Southwestern Nigeria. The study concluded that the inadequacy of human and material resources led to poor implementation of service compact policy in Southwestern Nigeria.