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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, provision of public infrastructure is grossly inadequate and poor. Necessary telecommunication services, as public infrastructure, needed for meaningful investment are lacking and, where found, are very costly. Teledensity in Nigeria is still very low. The introduction of the GSM in Nigeria was to expand the teledensity in the country and to make telephone services cheaper and accessible to the common person as it had been introduced in some African countries like South Africa, Ghana, and Benin Republic among others. GSM is ICT based telecommunication that can contribute to the growth and development of any nation. These Telecommunication Networks have created significant effects on the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria in terms of job creation, communication linkages, connectivity, security of lives, and reduced transport costs among other. Past studies on the developing economy have bothered on the challenges and roles of ICTs on economic growth (Carayamis and Popescu, 2005; Ndukwe, 2003, 2004; Igwe, 2005). Thus, this study examines the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to analyze the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development and the following are the specific objectives:
- To examine the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development.
- To identify ways by which ICT can contribute to economic growth and development.
- To determine the factor limiting the use of ICT in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development?
- What are the ways by which ICT can contribute to economic growth and development?
- What are the factors limiting the use of ICT in all sectors of the Nigerian economy?
HO: ICT has not contributed to Nigerian economic growth and development.
HA: ICT has contributed to Nigerian economic growth and development.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
The outcome of this study will be a useful guide to the government of Nigeria, policy makers and the general public on how ICT can be used as a tool for economic growth and development of Nigeria. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the impact of ICT on Nigerian economic growth and development will covers every area of ICT used in Nigeria and its effect on the economic growth and development.
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.