PRODUCTION METHODS AND PROBLEMS OF PRODA
(A CASE STUDY BY PRODA ENUGU).
A question might be asked as to why I chose to study and write on the production methods and problems of PRODA. I would like to point out the fact that I was motivated to take up this topic so as to provoke mire academic discussion as a way and means of providing a lasting solution to the numerous and telling problems that usually, if not always, confront business enterprises, more especially, in Nigeria. After due consideration I had the feeling that not much has been contributed in this sphere of study, otherwise, the much talked about production problems would have been minimized, if not eliminated.
Moreover, any person who is aware of the general trends of the performances of the business enterprises in Nigeria that engage in production would, no doubt, see with me that their performance have much to be desired despite the huge amount of resources invested in them and also when one considers the inevitability of production to the economic, social and political survival and development, of any country. Production oriented business enterprises emancipation and social development, have more or less, contributed less. This inefficiency, and ineffectiveness of these business enterprises, is instrumental to Nigeria’s continued dependence on imported goods and services.
Consequent upon the aforementioned, the project development institute, PRODA Enugu, was selected as a reference point to find out the methods and problems it encounters in its production process with a view of making recommendations and lasting solutions.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.1 Background of the subject matter
1.2 Problem Associated with the subject matter
1.3 Importance of studying the area
1.4 The problems the study will be concerned with
1.5 Definition of Important Term
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 The Origin of the Subject Matter
2.2 Schools of Thought Within the Subject Area
2.3 The School of Though Relevant to the Subject Matter
2.4 Different Methods of Studying the Problem
3.1 Data Presentation
3.2 Analysis of the Data
1.1 General Perspective! Background of the Subject Matter
One of the outcomes of industrial revolution is the increase in the size of viable businesses.
This, in its wake has brought about a separation, of the traditional role of the owner manager, the erstwhile sole proprietor, into shareholders, who bear the risk of uncertainty and failure and the professional manager charged with the day-to-day running of the business.
A further development is the segmentation of the management task as the organization grows in size and complexity. Thus, in large organizations, management is primarily segmented into production, personnel administration, marketing and finance. Other differentiations are made as the need arises. But one thing is clear. By whatever name it is known and by whom performed, production management is basic to all organization, naturalistic or formal, manufacturing or service and its activities are critical to the survival of the system.
When we hear the term “Production Management”, many of us think factories production such as automobiles and steel. Certainly, factories require production management, yet other kinds of organizations, also engage in production. In this book “Operations, management,” Barry Shore points out that any organization which transforms inputs into outputs, is engaged in production”. According to Hicks and Cullet, in their book, “Management”, in analyzing the contention of Barry, put it thus!.
As we think about this statement, it becomes clear that almost any organization fits this definitions adding that, for instance, a school takes students inputs and process them through a series of learning experiences, transformation or production and the outputs knowledge or attitude resulting from these learning experiences.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM! PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
It is a well-known fact or even truism that Nigeria is an undeveloped country, though, to save face, we Nigerians claim that we are a developing, country. In countries where productivity is high, we say that such countries have developed economics whereas in countries where the reverse is the case, from which Nigeria is not excluded, we say that their economics are underdeveloped.
A number of regulations exist to encourage and promote industrialization, but so far, there has been no comprehensive national industrial policy. The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the domestic product is still relatively small, accounting for about 8 percent of the gross domestic product.
From year to year, government sets down policy guidelines designed to encourage and enhance the economy of the country. Factors, which have, in the main, received particular attention, have been inflation, income’s policy and increase in local production. There can be no fixed policy guideline, but it is important to accept as a fundamental objective, the need to create a favourable investment climate. In the respect, a fiscal policy, which encourages, a continuous plough-back of profit without the corresponding benefit, is considered a destructive to investments. The year 1977 saw the promulgation of the pressures, which had built up since 1968. Those pressure culminated in the setting up of the promotion board, which was charged to advance and develop the promotion of enterprise in which citizens of Nigeria should participate fully and play a dominate role. Two principal objectives were indicated in a government press release as the motivating factor to the indigenous businessmen; and to raise the level of intermediate capital goods production.
Problems of finance, management capabilities and other sociological problems hinder the activities of these indigenous entrepreneurs. The attendant frustration produces outcry for better conditions and for freedom from unhealthy competition from foreign investors.
In defense of what is regarded as.
Their undeniable right, they apply pressure on the government to legislate and restrict other Activities of the foreign counterparts to minimize Competition in their area of competence
Over the years, it has become quite clear that the approach to technological education in the third world, particularly in Nigeria, would keep us stagnating in underdevelopment. None of the educational institutions, particularly, at the higher level felt the need or had the where withal to produce, practically oriented, imaginative and innovative, technologists whose limitative and activities could catapult us from, the miseries of under development, to the heights at which we would be responsible for producing these fruits of technology, that we enjoy very much.
Recently, there has been a greater awareness of these failings in the Nigeria educational system and efforts have been made to correct the imbalance in theoretical and practical content of our University education.
With the establishment of the Anambra State University of Technology, whose bold philosophy of producing locally trained engineers whose hands on experience can be taken for granted as they leave the university, many more university, of technology have sprung up all pursuing, the same goal of providing Nigeria with competent highly trained technologists with production capabilities.
A glaring requirement in all of these Universities of technology, and in fact, in most Universities teaching engineering, is a manufacturing or industrial center which would provide teaching and training facilities similar to what a teaching hospital provides to medical schools for the training of medical doctors. Ajumobi, in this book, makes a case for the establishment of teaching manufacturing technological centers in Nigeria University. “Our educational planners have lost sight of factors such as this in planning the technological, growth of Nigeria. It could be for reasons of their not being technocrats or simply because there has been obvious short sightedness in educational planning in Nigeria. According to Ofodile, “The teaching manufacturing Technology Center being explored is comprehensive and capable of producing fit-to-practice engineers and technologists. These centers, according to him, “would hopefully also maintain a close liaison with industry in order to keep current with industrial practice”.
There have been lately a lot of talks about technology transfer, appropriate technology, technology from within, advanced technology, international technology, etc. It reads like poetry and there have been a little too many meetings, committees and times consumed in talking about technology. The talks are interesting, informative and make one to be aware of the situation but why not just do it? What then is technology? It can be defined as the mastery of details and methodical application of intelligence and imagination in the exploitation of natural resources by man. It is the “utilization of manufacturing methods” and the application of know-how to practical takes in industry. It involves a combination of ingenuity and glowing creativity and it has to do with the searching for, developing and perfecting a system or device in the desire of man to re-create his world by exploiting his natural endowments. It is the systematic application of scientific principles in achieving anticipated goals.
Thus, both the refinement of an existing process and procedures as well as inventions may well come down purview. Unfortunately, technology development has been severally and persistently postulated and perceived as an exclusive prerogative of the industrial nations.
We have been perversely misguided through various illogical insinuations that Nigeria can only survive as a nation, technologically, by either importing technology from abroad or we humbly wait for the industrialized nations to pass technology to us like an ancestral legacy.
But sensibly inquiring, is this perception not as preposterous as a customer? Or have we forgotten that our forebears, before the birth of Western Civilization, has fantastic habitudes upon which we can build for a better today, and tomorrow?.
Even now, we can, at the risk of overt aggrandizement, point at a number of technological feats that have taken place on our own dear soil.
In the early, part of 1960 or thereabout, a Nigerian came up with wooden aircraft in which he proudly flew around.
We also heard of Joseph Onyeokoro, who invented a multiple-circuit wires radio set, capable of picking radio stations both within and outside Nigeria. Perhaps, one spectacular thing about this invention was that the radio set needs no batteries or electrical energy to function. It worked with the use of local materials including local herb.
However, much as we should congratulate ourselves, for jobs well done, we still must realize that we could have attained greater heights but for certain impediments. We have been too impatient to refine the crudity of our local stuffs. We feel that we cannot meet up and, hence, submit ourselves to the forces of global exploitation, economic enslavement and the vicissitudes of imperialists’ technology. Our out molded, belief in the “wooders” and the pseudo-liberal overtures and national policies of industrialized nations as well as our overt reliance on the goodies of imported technology have all combined to make us almost impotent of initiatives. If at all, very little opportunities have been created so far for scientific and industrial research and as such, people with burning desires and innovative prowess have always found their ambitions killed due to lack of adequate incentives,. The glaring obsession with foreign products, our deep productivity towards articles to which our contribution is either minimal or non-existent. This situation must have to be reversed.
Instead we have been bewildered by the gimmick of technology importation as manifested in the emphasis, placed on the philosophy of import substitution.
The result is obvious. We can now produce virtually any thing with imported machineries, imported raw materials and perhaps, imported labour.
We have to tap our human resources for expertise, in technology, motivate the people, provide needed financial support and let the people loose to design and produce.
The statement of problem can hardly be complete without the following quotes from the matriculation speeches of late Professor K. Dike, the then president of Anambra State University of Technology.
“Enterprises required not only the training of high level manpower but even more a greater output of technicians”.
“Industrialization throughout the world has nearly always been pioneered by the indigenous people (I know of no country in history in which one people transferred technology to another”.
The real problem is not whether there is the need and the necessity for technology, the real problem is how do we set about expressing our scientific theories in practical term”.
Our new University will have to develop differently from the traditional.
Pattern… The role of our new university is, broadly speaking, in the area of applied high level manpower training. From the very beginning the new university will engage in research and development projects relevant to the problems of our Environments and in accordance with natural priorities.
“The hand grants Colleges enabled the American colonist, to adopt science to the needs of their new environment, and in tackling the practical problems of their developing society”.
“The emphasis is shifting away from education for its own sale towards a more directed technological education which is aimed at providing Nigeria with the technical base she needs for the take-off of her industrial advancement.
“There is no question that it is largely industrialization, that we can aspire to become self reliant and able to protect our national interest.
Industrialization is an expensive, very slow and difficult process but is there any worthwhile goal that can be achieved without sweat and tears.”
“In vain, we have been waiting for the originators of foreign technologies to transfer their pool of knowledge to us. Understandably, those industrialized nations had toiled for decades to get to where they are today and they now rely on these fantastic feats to restore their economic strength, to further create wealth and to further improve on the living conditions of their people through international business transactions. Be that as it may, how rational then is our expectation that such a vital source of their economic and political powers can be disposed by so magically or tragically.
Most certainly, the industrialized in continually seeing us as a steadily voracious consumer nation from generation to generation; ensuring that our domestic markets readily absorb its goods and services; hoping that we perpetually depend on them for all our requisite bolts and nuts.
This accounts for the reason why the licensing agreement, to commence manufacturing modern garri processing machines did not materialize at a time between the proposed licensor Newell Dunford of England on one hand and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRD); The metal construction (W.A) limited on the other.
The concept of technology transfer is more or less a product of ideological mis-orientation and wishful thinking. We need not be told the success stories of Japan, American or the Soviet Union. Succulently put in the words of professor Babs Fafunwa, “Nigeria can acquire technology only through self-reliance, self denial, experimentation and judicious use of her natural resources and talent”.
India was conscious of this fact when her citizenry obliged to patronize the only type of locally manufactured, car.
It needs be stressed, however, that the Industrialized nations have a way of pretentiously manipulating us into believing in the illusive rewards of technology exportation or technology transfer while they vigorously pursue those actions that are aimed, overtly or covertly, at protecting their insignia. In the opinion of Bade Onimole, “the international of foreign monopoly capital is associated with the imperialist monopolization, of technology”.
The multinational corporations maintain this technological, monopoly through the system of industrial property rights consisting of patents, trademarks, licensing, and so on. Hence technology transfer has been an illusion even in joint ventures as they conduct their research and development activities in their foreign headquarters and insist on expatriate quota for monopolizing their industrial sectors.
Though, technology transfer may be justified considering our stage of development and if we realize the truism that we cannot develop our own technology in a vacuum.
It is possible for us to create a unique version of imported technology by simply dismantling and studying the underlying scientific principles involved in the creation of such technologies and adapting our own version to suit our local environment through the application of our own ingenuity and innovations.
Our problem, as enunciated by DR. M. B. Musa of the university of Lagos, include “the fact that in order to implement certain national policies, we have tended to input technological gadgets which are either out of date or over sophisticated and which are soon discarded for lack of spare parts or our liability to operate or maintain them.
Moreover, we also have the problem of unsettled political climate as well as lack of “patriotic political leadership” with a visionary outlook.
Further more, there is this “spill over” effect of the traits of our conservative colonial masters and their overwhelming legacies.
As it was rightly put by Femi Adewara, in his analysis in the country, “those who work for, or with the multinational corporation received neocolonial education, became industrialist by the grace of multinationals, and therefore had no alternative other than to serve the exclusive interests of those corporations, which unavoidable, are always at variance with our national goals and aspirations and more so that they must make use of capital resources mostly raised and disbursed from the parent firm’s heads offices abroad.
Apart from imbibing neo-colonial orientation, it becomes impossible by Nigerian in managerial positions, in these multinational corporations to lead the crusade of other basic industrial inputs because these corporations were deliberately pursing a policy of enhancing the development and promotion of inputs in water to keep their home economies in sound shapes.
Ironically, too some well-placed Nigerians were being used as instruments to ensuring that government perpetuated inputs substitution strategy to the detriment of indigenous initiatives.
Consequent upon what was said in paragraph one of this statement of problem section, there no gain saying the fact that this difference in levels of productivity is a function of the difference in methods or land magnitude and the nature of the problems encountered in the course of production.
In consideration of the aforesaid, therefore the researcher is of the view that the third world countries, in which Nigeria is ground, are economically back-ward, because productivity in these countries is very low and thus low productivity may be, among other things, a function of their backwardness in technology and the techniques of production.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY/IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING THE AREA.
The functions of production management have existed before since people began employing organized effort to improve their life. The life style of early time was simple as compared to modern society, yet the goals of production management were basically the same.
Many early civilizations enjoyed a high degree of managerial skill. The Egyptian pyramid, the Great wall of China and the Roman aqueous are some of the many samples that illustrate organized production in ancient time. In all these efforts, the functions of production management were performed. Product design, methods of production, production control and materials handling were dealt with by the production managers of those great projects. The modern production manager must address similar question. The basic different lies in the degree of sophistication methods and techniques.
A research into production is deemed necessary, because man’s existence on earth cannot be assured without production. It is also evident that all the advanced countries of the world came to their present levels of development because productivity in those countries is high. Therefore, it would follow that the fact that Nigeria and other third world countries are underdeveloped or developing countries is because productivity in those countries is very low.
In view of the aforementioned importance of production, the researcher deems it necessary to carry out an investigation of the methods and problems of production with special reference to Projects Development Institute. (PRODA), Enugu.
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY DEFINITION OF IMPORTANT TERMS
This study is primarily descriptive in nature, and it is on the production methods and problems of PRODA, Enugu.
Source of Data
As this is an empirical research study, a considerable, proportion of the data for the exercise was obtained from primary sources. Nevertheless, the above does not mean and should not be taken to mean that the data got from secondary sources are not substantial and significant- as good use was also made of them, especially for the review of related literature.
A. Primary Sources
Data from these sources comprised responses to interview guide administered to the production manager and production engineer and some other senior staff of the institute. The questions required the respondents to give ensures which are assumed to be what is obtainable, in the Institute. The nature of the question did not only require ticking what they thought was the appropriate, answers but rather the questions required some sentences to give answers to the questions.
B. Secondary Sources
Data were gathered from secondary sources, which consisted of both published and unpublished articles. Majority of the data from these sources were used in the chapter in view of related literature, Most of these were obtained from text-books, journals and newspaper, articles from the university of Nigeria library, Enugu Campus, the national and state libraries in Enugu as well as the library at PRODA Enugu.
Method of Investigation
Interview guide was used to investigate the objectives of this study.
On administering the question, the researcher personally visited all the respondents and had informal talks with them. The researcher visited the Institute’s head office and its branch where capital takes place several times before she could finish administering the question to the respondents.
At any opportune time, however, the researcher had lengthened discussions with the members of management of the Institute who expressed and expressed their views and opinions on the problem of the Institute.
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