1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Public management reform has become a priority on the political agenda of governments in major industrialized countries since the 1980s. Nowadays, the reform of public administration can be considered a stable and autonomous public policy and the object of a distinct stream of studies. Archer (2010) remarked that NPM concepts were thus wide concerned by countries of the planet that they currently have the standing of a global orthodoxy. Most developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, have embraced the movement and its principles within the usual manner of imitating policies from a lot of advanced countries. However, adoption and adaptation of policies usually found to be successful in developed countries to suit the environment of developing countries remain critical in public administration. Chittoo, Ramphul, and Nowbutsing (2009) posited that the NPM type of reforms implemented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries is finding new “buyers” in developing countries, if not as a matter of choice, but surely as a matter of necessity to ensure international competitiveness of their economies in an era of globalization. But, the question is whether the developing countries and Nigeria, in particular, have made sufficient progress in taking up elements of the NPM in their public administration processes and if not why? Road safety activities commenced as soon as motor vehicles were introduced into the Nigerian roads in the 19th century. However, it was when the number of vehicles continued to increase and consequently the accident rate soared that the issue of having a comprehensive legislation came to lime light. By independence, the number of vehicles nearly doubled with the resultant effect of sharp increase in the number of people involved in road traffic crashes. Road transportation is the most readily available mode of movement of goods and human resources from one point to the other. It is however not without its challenges. The traffic situation in Nigeria before the establishment of the Federal Road Safety Commission could best be described as chaotic, unpredictable and indeed dangerous as it was characterized by unprecedented wave of road traffic crashes with attendant colossal human and material losses. Within this era, public awareness and interest in Road Safety was minimal. There was uncoordinated and haphazard licensing of drivers and vehicles as well as absence of good driving culture. Deliberate policies and concerted effort at enforcing regulations was lacking. As a specific response to the Road Safety questions with the challenges and obvious crash incidences, loss of lives that accompanied the overall utilization of the available facilities and infrastructures, pushed the Federal Government of Nigeria to take a decisive step by establishing the Federal Road Safety Corps in 2009 vide Decree 45 of 2009, as amended by Decree 35 of 2010 which was later codified as CAP 141, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2011 and has now been repealed and replaced by FRSC Establishment Act, 2007. The Corps is saddled with the following responsibilities among other things to:
· Preventing and minimizing of Road Traffic Crashes;
· Clearing of obstructions on highways;
· Educating drivers, motorists and other members of the public on the proper use of the highways;
· Providing prompt attention and care to victims of Road Traffic Crashes;
· Conducting researches into causes of Road Traffic Crashes;
· Determining and enforcing speed limits for all categories of roads and vehicles;
· Cooperating with bodies, agencies and other relevant bodies engaged in road safety activities.
The Federal Road Safety Corps is also charged with the responsibilities for policy making, organization and administration of road safety in Nigeria. The purpose of this special issue is to take different perspectives on the contribution of public personnel policies to federal road safety performance, addressing both determinants and implementation issues. Part of the authors involved support the contention that public personnel policies drive better performance in government while others emphasize the role of internal and external factors that contribute to a successful implementation of personnel reforms or focus on the importance of addressing attributes that influence performance such as absenteeism and trust respectively.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Public service delivery in Nigeria has recorded a history of miserable failure and disappointment. As a result, the Nigerian civil service has often come under heavy criticism for poor organization, over-staffing, indiscipline, red tape and secrecy, insensitivity, rigidity, over centralization, apathy, incompetence, corruption and favouritism, rudeness and high handedness, laziness, truancy and malingering (Oyedele, 2015; Okon, 2008; Adamolekun, 2012). Too often, the public service is seen by citizens as plodding, inefficient, bureaucratic, change-resistant, incompetent, unresponsive and worst of it corrupt. Citizens often complain that the public service provides services that are inadequate, inappropriate, inferior, or too costly for their hard-earned tax payments (Muhammad, Muhammed & Aliyu, 2013). The Problem Prior to the establishment of the Federal Road Safety Corps in 2009, the World Bank had declared Nigeria as the worst country, only after Ethiopia, to drive a motor vehicle. This was due to the worrisome high rate of carnage on Nigerian roads. However, following a series of reforms introduced in line with the current (2011-2015) administration’s transformation agenda, the World Bank recently declared the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) as the best example of a lead agency in Africa and even recommended that other developing countries emulate Nigeria’s experience as a model for improving their country’s road safety profile. This impressive transformation was made possible due to some of the reforms, which were carefully conceived in line with the government’s transformation agenda. Despite these efforts for extensive reforms on the public sector for improved service delivery for almost two decades, the results expected are not so impressive. Minimal attention however has been given to the study on the impact of public sector reforms on service delivery. Therefore it is from this fact that this paper aimed to investigate to what extent the adoption and implementation of public sector reforms in federal road safety commission impacts service delivery.
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the effect of public reform management on the performance of federal road safety commission. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine public opinion on the performance of Federal Road Safety Corp.
2. To examine the reform actions in federal road and safety management.
3. To examine the effect of public reform management on the performance of federal road safety commission.
4. To examine the challenges facing organizational performance and capacity building in Federal Road Safety Commission.
5. To examine the relationship between public reform policies and the performance of federal road safety commission.
6. To proffer appropriate recommendations that will enhance the growth and performance of the Corps mandate.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the public opinion on the performance of Federal Road Safety Corp?
2. What are the reform actions in federal road and safety management?
3. What are the effects of public reform management on the performance of federal road safety commission?
4. What are the challenges facing organizational performance and capacity building in Federal Road Safety Commission?
5. What is the relationship between public reform policies and the performance of federal road safety commission?
6. What are the appropriate recommendations that will enhance the growth and performance of the Corps mandate?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no effect of public reform management on the performance of federal road safety commission.
H02: There is no significant relationship between public reform policies and the performance of federal road safety commission.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is that reforms introduced very fundamental changes to the system in an attempt to make it conform to the business orientation of most public services particularly the developed countries. The inadequacies in public service which culminated into inefficiency and ineffectiveness which render the public service unproductive need to be resolved and remedied, or else, the service will not be able to perform the expected roles in the socio-economic development of the nation. The study would also be useful to other researchers in supplementing the existing literature on the same study area and would also provide a rich ground for further research based on the gaps left out by this study.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the effect of public reform management on the performance of federal road safety commission: case study of Nasarawa command, Nasarawa State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
REFORMS: Reforms are about positive changes in a system, improving the quality of things, practice or structure. A reform is an acknowledgment of a problem, a problem that needs to be resolved. Reform is about creating a new life in a system. Overall, reforms are about creating improved opportunities for better performance, improved efficiency for enhance productivity. Reform is an all exercise and not just one time surgical operation. This is because no condition is permanent. No engine can permanently work efficiently unless it is also being constantly serviced and repaired. So ale are administrative institutions like the public service. They need to be oiled regularly by way of reforms in order to make them constantly be in good shape and in good condition.
Command: Federal Road Safety Corps operational area.
Commission: The entire FRSC organization that include the governing council as policy makers and its corps as the operational arm.
Corps: Consist of uniformed and non-uniformed members.
Performance: The accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed. In a contract, performance is deemed to be the fulfilment of an obligation, in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract.