Performance Appraisal In Nigerias Civil Service Commerce Essay

The Nigerian civil service comprises of all Nigerian federal employees other than the armed service. Most employees are career civil servants, progressing through the ranks on the basis of skills and seniority. Section 277 of the Constitution of the Federal government Republic of Nigeria (1999) defines the Civil Service as the "Service of the Federation in a civil capacity, as personnel of any office of the Chief executive, the Vice Leader, a ministry or department of the federal government of the Federation assigned with the responsibility for just about any business of the Government of the Federation" (FRN, 1999). Essentially, the civil service was set up to carry out Government business and render dedicated service to any administration without prejudice and protected from partisan politics. Alternatively, Gberevbie (2010) opined that the Civil Service can be an institution proven for the implementation of Government Regulations associated with sociable service delivery and infrastructure development. This depicts that Nigerians look up to the Civil service in terms of formulating development strategies, insurance policies and programs so that will activate social and monetary changes.

The Nigerian civil service is patterned based on the English model. It consists of political school and bureaucrats of varying profession and technical skills. The civil servants are split into classes, administrative school, executive school, professional class, clerical and sub-clerical category. Each category is further split into many organizations known as cadres; each cadre has from four to eight grades or promotional levels. It is mainly organized throughout the federal ministries, which can be accountable for various parastatals (government-owned organizations) headed by way of a minister who's politically appointed by the chief executive. The Nigerian civil service has five basic functions, specifically policy implementation; provision of inputs for insurance policy formulation; investigative and regulatory functions; making sure continuity of open public administration; and interesting function (Office of Brain of Service of the Federation, 2009). It is an important establishment of their state which occupies an essential and unique position in the formulation and execution of National development plans. Essentially, the plan formulation function embedded in the civil service requires skilled and well-motivated labor force.

In order to assess the performance and progress of the united states it is needed to evaluate the performance of civil servants. The Nigerian Institute of Workers Management described performance appraisal as a method of stock taking that presents an possibility to review specific performance quarterly, half-yearly or generally annually. Gilbert (2010) asserts that before 1979, Confidential Reporting System was found in the Civil Service where appraisal was done in secret and appraisees weren't informed about the result or result of the analysis. However, following Udoji survey of 19741, the Start Reporting System and Management by Objectives (MBO) techniques were created as part of the recommendation for the reform of the Civil Service system. This brought about major change in evaluation system whereby employees reads and agrees to whatever has been written on him and also offers the to challenge the evaluations by his superior officer. The Panel also recommended ongoing job analysis and grading, sadly all the advice regarding performance analysis criteria were partly or haphazardly put in place.

The Civil Service implemented the Total annual Performance Evaluation Record system (APER) predicated on the Udoji report of 1979. The APER system is an annual evaluation process whereby employee's work ethics, skills and features are evaluated for the suitability of promotion and training (Mustapha, 2008). However, it is merely in theory alternatively than practice because most offers especially to managerial cadre, trainings and job placements are based on political affiliation, nepotism, tribalism, or favoritism. This practice leads to poor performance and ineffectiveness within the civil service. As validated by Echu (2010) that job appointment and promotion may not necessarily be based on competency and qualification. Furthermore, the Public Service Review commission main statement (2004) asserts that "The present Annual Performance Evaluation Statement (APER) system is unreliable as a means of assessment of your officer's performance". The record further mentioned that the machine is cumbersome and complicated; lacks objectivity and the steps are not always quantifiable.

In November each year, the annual appraisal process (as shown below) begins with the distribution of the appraisal forms to employees by the Individuals resource departments. The required helpings of the varieties are then consequently filled and submitted to the looking at officer. The well identified time frame for the circulation and subsequent distribution of forms allows for the analysis process to be conducted promptly. It further gives ample time and energy to the employees and critiquing officers to get ready for proper evaluation and interview. The evaluation interview is structured in form of an coaching-style system. It usually takes a form of answers and questions program where both sides have to defend its position and reach an contract on final quality for the ratee; however the final decision comes on the rater. Finally, the appraisal system is linked with a reward composition in form of performance based bonuses, which is usually to be paid at the end of each year once and for all performance. The benefit paid is determined as a share of ratee's annual pay based one's position in the organization. In contrast, civil servants who've not performed to expectation are either issued with a query or given a verbal alert.

2. Performance evaluation process in the civil service

In addition, Mustapha (2008) affirms that a few of the issues facing the effective execution of the APER system includes but not limited to inefficient responses mechanisms, poor objectivity, insufficient training and knowledge on the role of the appraisal framework, and fear of reprisals in case of adverse reports. This was further validated by Gilbert (2006) when he determined the factors accountable for the inadequate appraisal system including insufficient proper understanding; lack of objectivity and courage by the supervisors; desire to provide close friends and relations more benefits over others; and ignorance of vision and mission of the organization.

Furthermore, subjective appraisals may happen because of the annual analysis of employees because the superiors may have overlooked certain aspects of the performance which didn't be recorded. This is proved by Dogarawa (2011) when he expresses that a person of the primary problems of performance rating is periodic appraisal which is often inspired by recent significant patterns alternatively than collective earlier effective and inadequate behaviors. In addition, Mustapha (2010) shows that appraisal should be conducted continuously by immediate superiors for maximum measurement of outputs alternatively than simply inputs. The problem of favoritism and nepotism was noted by Gilbert (2006) that the APER system is continually being abused by favoring some employees over others either anticipated to personal interactions, or tribalism therefore making the machine lose its credibility.


The APER form applies to all types of service and civil servants; hence there is absolutely no difference between technological and administrative staff. Nevertheless, there are a few variations between the mature cadre and the junior cadre. The annual APER is divided into five portions. The first part has employee's personal record and leave documents; part two contains responsibilities and targets place, job explanation, key successes, training/course went to in the year under review and job performance; in this part the employee fills his tasks and targets based on his job information for the entire year to evaluate whether he has performed to expectation. The 3rd part evaluates character traits, examination of performance by superior, work ethics, authority characteristics, training needs and teamwork; the fourth parts specifies next year's tasks and targets, reviews by the worker on the assessment, declaration/signature by the worker and the reporting official; the last part is the counter-top signing officer's report, who's normally the immediate superior of the reporting official. The countersigning officer makes the process more transparent and creates room for opinions device and monitoring which can control supervisors and reviewers from being subjective somewhat.

In addition, The APER form is well organised and comprehensive. It catches all the relevant aspects of what's to be measured in appraisal process in conditions of job descriptions and character characteristics; hence it is more of the developmental methodology format. Furthermore, the proper execution makes it possible for employees to specify their future training needs that will further boost their careers and make sure they are more efficient in that way also lowering the tasked positioned on the individual resource office of determining the type of training a worker needs. Declaration section is also an indicator of objectivity because a worker can share his/her thoughts and opinions about the appraisal process and one is not liable to sign the form if he/she seems the process is subjective. In response to questions on the comprehensiveness of the APER form, interviewees commended the existing format and mentioned that the condition does not lay with the design of the form but instead on the evaluation process and how the appraisal is conducted. However, Gilbert (2006) observes that by the use of APER forms, marks are so generously granted to the degree that in a given band of employees to be assessed no one scores less than ninety five percent with some exception rating up to hundred percent which is impractical and impossible in objective appraisal, yet no evidence of high performance or excellence can be found in the Nigeria's general population sector.

In conclusion, the Public Service Review percentage main report (2004) feels that the present appraisal system should be discontinued because of its inefficiency and the old private reporting system re-introduced, consequently the APER form should be redesigned to conform with the private reporting system. On the other hand, Gilbert (2010) affirms that Authorities should payment consultants walking with in-house committee to redesign a standardized assessment format and develop new performance management system.


Based on the evaluation of available books on performance appraisal and the appraisal system in Nigeria's civil service, and consequence of interview conducted with officers of the Civil Service Commission payment, one cannot say that the machine is unsatisfactory however the inefficiency of the procedure overrides its efficiency. A number of the challenges presently facing the appraisal system include inserted organizational culture, Insufficient participatory control, unclear job description, insufficient training, discontinuous appraisal process, insufficient commitment to worker development, and subjectivity in assessment.

Organizational culture has a deep effect on employee's performance which is often either positive or negative with respect to the norms and prices of the organization (Shahzad, 2012). Corresponding to interviewees the appraisal process has not been effective because employees tend to follow the organizational culture hence there's been no room for improvement and the machine also does not recognize the importance of the appraisal process. Furthermore, it has been talk about in the books review that one significant problem that contributes to ineffectiveness of the appraisal process is its insufficient addition in the organizational culture and practice (Grote, 1996; Kondrasuk, 2012).

Moreover, if there is no participatory labor force attitude in the appraisal whereby the process is put in place from the very best to the bottom then it is commonly unsuccessful (Grote, 1996; Kondrasuk, 2012). Inside the civil service, the process was designed and put in place without considering employees contributions. Hence the procedure is principally geared not participatory which results in lack of determination for the employees and blocks chances of innovation and creative imagination about how to reform the process. It further widens the distance between the supervisors and employees, in that way so that it is impossible for employees to speak up through the interview process anticipated to fear of negative repercussions.

In addition, lack of clear and defined job description makes the procedure inadequate because performance measurements expectations must be set up according to individual job description that ought to be tied to organizational goals and aims. Hence if there is no clear job description then your question becomes what is actually measured? Replies from the interview pointed out that no written job information was specified upon their recruitment; alternatively they may be just expected to do what they are being told by the supervisors. The books review uncovers that appraisal problems occur scheduled to misinterpreted goals or insufficient clarity of goals and objective appraisal can only be performed if there are sensible goals to compare the effect with. (Dressler 2000). Hence, failing to align performance criteria with job description leads to misunderstandings, insufficient satisfaction, ineffectiveness, and misunderstanding in the appraisal process (Daley, 2002; Condrey 2012).

Similarly, it's been witnessed that supervisors are not well equipped on the appraisal process. As proved by Gilbert (2006) & Mustapha (2008) in the literature review, that the appraisal process is ineffective in Nigeria's civil service credited to insufficient understanding and insufficient training. It's important for supervisors to acquire skills about how to evaluate present and previous performance and also how to teach employees on future advancements. Without clear understanding of the process, the machine tends to be used and hence it is used as a means of specialist and power somewhat than for development purposes.

Moreover, if the appraisal process is conducted for worker improvement then there may be need for a consistent evaluation process. Quite the opposite, the appraisal in the civil service is done on a annual basis hence supervisors have a tendency to forget earlier performance thereby analyzing appraisee based on recent occurrences, performance and identity characteristics. Furthermore, the appraisers neglect to consider the process as part of the job responsibility somewhat they view it as a every year burden. This develops because the appraisal process is conducted once a year.

Despite this simple fact, the machine also does not develop employee's career. Despite the fact that the APER form has a provision for training needs, it is only theoretical rather than sensible. Regarding to available books, one of the aims of appraisal is for development, adding value to employees. Hence is the machine fails to recognize and assess employees needs the other wonders why the system was setup to begin with. In several conditions, it has been seen that, employees are nominated for training based on personal romance with supervisors alternatively than on good performance or need for training. This does not inspire employees because they believe training is in addition to the process, in other words despite having the appraisal process their needs are not considered.

In realization, all the difficulties elaborated causes subjectivity in appraisal diagnosis. Banjoko has similarly summarized the issues the following: "In Nigeria, performance appraisal has been found in many organizations today as a political tool for assisting to advance the span of favourites or for obstructing and thwarting the job path and improvement of 'villains' whose faces the appraiser would not like to see. Thus subjectivity and favoritism by those supervisors who highly have confidence in the 'Coker is my cousin syndrome'". If some may be not trained well in the process then there are high likelihood of favoritism. In the same way if organizational culture depends on personal interactions and rapport then it contributes to nepotism. Likewise when there is no clear job information and dimension standard, then supervisors can use their discretion to accord evaluations based on personal judgments. Furthermore, when the process is not conducted continuously then there are high likelihood of errors and bias. Matching to literature researched, when you can find limited training, then performance analysis can be utilized as an instrument of threat, harassment, electric power or authority, in doing so stagnating employee's expansion and declining the value of the performance evaluation method (Grote, 1998; Roberts, 1998; Kondrasuk 2012). All of the obstacles facing the Nigeria's civil service performance appraisal are therefore relevant and considered sufficient to adversely have an effect on process.


The review and research of available literature and consequence of interview pointed out some challenges affecting the Nigeria's Civil service appraisal system. Despite the fact that, the research

Enhance rater's training

Job specific criteria

Self evaluation

Multisource feedback-the 3600


The performance appraisal system for civil servants in Nigeria still has a long way to go and far work needs to be achieved to ensure its success. On this research, we have reviewed scholarly literature on performance appraisal system in general, reviewed the current appraisal system in Nigeria's civil service, and determined and reviewed some challenges influencing the success of the system.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)