ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF ICT ON THE NIGERIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

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 ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF ICT ON THE NIGERIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Information and communication technology (ICT) offers the promise of fundamentally changing the lives of much of the world’s population. In its various forms, ICT affects many of the processes of government and business, how individuals live, work and interact, and the quality of the natural and built environment. The development of internationally comparable ICT statistics is essential for governments to be able to adequately design, implement, monitor and evaluate ICT policies (Madueme, 2010).

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has now been accepted as one of the main driving force behind organizational competitiveness in the present day business environment. Presently, ICT is having dramatic influence on almost all areas of human activities and one of the areas of economic activities in which this influence is most manifest is the banking sector. The banking industry is one of the critical sectors of the economy which makes invaluable contributions to the pace of economic growth and development of nations (Ajayi, 2003; Madueme, 2010). However, this study seeks to examine the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development.

Most developing nations including Nigeria have embarked on various reforms that foster the use of ICTs in their economies. These reforms tend to yield little or minimal benefits to economic growth and development, especially when compared with the developed countries of the world. Technological advancement is known to impact fast rate of economic development. In Nigeria, policy on adoption of Information and Communication Technologies was initiated in 1999, when the civilian regime came into power of government. The operations of the licensed telecommunication service providers in the country has created some well-felt macroeconomic effects in terms of job creation, faster delivery services, reduced transport costs, greater security and higher national output (Emmanuel and Adebayo, 2011).

Attempts to ensure sustainable economic development and poverty reduction of most nations usually involve the development of agriculture, mining, industrial as well as the service sectors. The Industrial Revolutions in Europe and America, generally and specifically, have been premised on technological breakthroughs. During the late 1990s, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was the largest contributor to growth within capital services for both Canada and the United States (Harchaoui, 2002). Similar trend has been observed with the economic development of China, Korea, Taiwan, India, South Africa, and other emerging economic powers (Fuss and Waverman, 2005).

At the wake of 2000, the Federal Government of Nigeria embarked on an aggressive drive towards the provision of more efficient services in the nation through its privatization and deregulation policies the ICT subsector. The policy thrives led to the establishment of National Telecommunication Policy in December 2001. The policy, among other things, recognized the need for the establishment of an enabling environment for deregulation and rapid expansion of the telecommunication services in the country. The mission statement of the government was to use ICTs for Education, Creation of Wealth, Poverty Eradication, Job Creation, and Global Competitiveness. The policy objective was to develop globally competitive quality manpower in ICTs and related disciplines. This entails developing a pool of ICT engineers, scientists, technicians and software developers. Consequently, attractive career opportunities will emerge in addition to development of software’s and computer components that can earn the nation some foreign exchange. The implementation of ICTs policy led to the adoption of Global System for Mobile-Communications (GSM) and its related components in Nigeria.

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 ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF ICT ON THE NIGERIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

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