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The Impact Of Icts Facilities And Infrastructure In Rural Area In Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

Information Communication Technology (ICT) has the potential to contribute to development, especially in rural areas of developing countries. But the mechanisms through which ICT can be combined with development agendas and an understanding of the actual development process and impacts of ICT are less well understood or properly defined in the academic literature. The objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate the impact of 1CTs facilities and infrastructure in rural area in Nigeria. The Survey research design was adopted. A structured questionnaire was the data collection instrument adopted, Data were analyzed for frequency and percentage using the cross-tabs sub-programme of the SPSS V16. The study revealed that majority use radio, television and cell/mobile phone more than any other 1CT facility in the two locations. Findings revealed that majority of them obtained information always through radio, television and cell/mobile phone in the two locations. However, most of the respondents in the rural Community were reported to be able to use landline telephones more than cell phones. In the two locations, the respondents were capable of using radio and television very well. Respondents in both locations were able to use landline telephones more than their cell/mobile phone because of it complexity. The young set of respondents was also capable of using ICTs more than the older people. The study concludes that it is important to note that rural area still remain the focus of international observers for policy research and developments .Based on the findings, It thus recommends that government should help solve the problem of inadequate ICT infrastructure by for instance, 1CT imports duty free so that a lot of people could be able to afford them, the government needs to evolve policies aimed at bridging and encourage particularly increasing ICTs facilities penetration in rural areas.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Information and Communication Technology abbreviated as ICT consist of Information technology, enterprise software, audio-visual system, middleware using which user can access, Store, transmit and modify information as required. Exponential growth of internet user, invention of modern communication devices, significant development in cloud and grid computing etc. have helped ICT to flourish as an rapid developed technological field in the last decade. Khalil, (2008). Mass use of information and communication technology With proper guidance helps a nation to create information rich society and helps in Supporting livelihoods (Kumar, 2012). According to world bank report about 46.14% of World population are from rural area. Rural development is a systematic ongoing process of improving the quality of life by socioeconomic well being of the people living in rural areas. In this work we have mainly concentrated on the improvement of education, agricultural process, health care facility, disaster management, tourism (if exist) etc. with the help of Information and communication system and thus contributing towards economical growth and changing quality of life.

In rural Nigeria, majority of the people are poor. They are the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society who often face impediments to use productivity enhancing resources in the same way they may lace impediments to make good use of ICT facilities and infrastructures, Gulati, Shalni (2008). Some of the constraints to ICTs facilities and infrastructures in rural Nigeria are surmountable while others require a shift in both human and organizational communication and working patterns which may take longer to change. ICTs facilities arid infrastructures rely on physical infrastructures a (electricity, telecommunications and good road network) and even when such infrastructures are in place, difficulties arise when they are poorly maintained or too costly to use. 1CIs are dependent on national policy and regulation for telecommunications and broadcasting licenses which is now receiving commendable attention in Nigeria (Obayelu A. Elijah and Ogunlade, I. (2006).

The development of the information communication and technology society and especially the impact of Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) on Spatial development is now a question of discussion. One reason for this is probably simply the fact that, as Gulati, Shalni (2008) argued, we do not understand how these technologies will shape the growth of development. Modern ICTs are newcomers and their application is still in the early stage, although rapidly increasing. Within half a century, they have changed the world and affected millions of lives in ways that no one could have ever foreseen or imagined. They have also changed the nature of work we do, the range of occupations and skills requirements, making it necessary for workers to acquire a broader, add more adaptable knowledge base etc. They are transforming the ways in which we learn, Communicate, do business, enjoy our leisure and live our everyday lives. 1Cls defining characteristics are their capacity to harness, access and apply information and diffuse knowledge at electronic speed to all types of human activities and endeavors, thereby giving rise to contemporary knowledge-based economies and societies.

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According to Mittal, Surabhi. (2012), ICTs present an unprecedented opportunity to make new knowledge, services and opportunities available in underserved areas. In 1995 and 1997, the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) also investigated the benefits and risks of 1CTs and the results showed many instances (Such as n health, education, banking, etc.) where its use affords widespread social and economic benefits (World Bank, 1998). The growth and development of ICT has led to their wide diffusion and application, thus increasing their economic and social impact. The OECD (2007) undertook a wide range of activities aimed at improving our understanding of how ICTs contribute to sustainable economic growth and social well-being and their role in the shift toward knowledge-based societies. It has therefore become imperative to access and use 1CTs everywhere especially in a developing Country such as Nigeria.

Information is raw material for development for both urban and rural dwellers. Prosperity, progress, and development of any nation depend upon the nation’s ability to acquire, produce, access, and use pertinent information. A report on older rural people (2008:3) indicates that, “Access to information and advice is a key resource for local people in maintaining active and independent lives. Access to information is also critical to letting people know their entitlements to welfare benefits and sources of support to overcome social exclusion.” Information is the lifeblood of any society and vital to the activities of both the government and private sectors. The development of countries globally cannot be achieved without the development of the rural community. This is because 75 to 80 percent of the people in developing countries live in the rural areas need positive, relevant and prompts attention in their daily activities.

No serious, active, conscious, sensitive, and organized government would want to neglect rural communities. Lack of development has a positive correlation with the neglect of rural areas. Rural neglects brings negative consequences Such as exodus of rural dwellers to urban areas, with resulting problems of unemployment, crimes, prostitution, child labor, insecurity, money laundering, bribery, poverty, proliferation of shanty living areas, spread of diseases, and overstretching of the facilities and infrastructures in the urban areas. Any nation that neglects the development and empowerment of the rural communities Should not expect meaningful development.  Alegbeleye and Aina (1985: 13) reiterated that the third world countries have recently come to realize that unless the rural areas are well developed, hardly would any meaningful development occur in these countries. Development can only be effective if rural dwellers have access to the relevant, diverse information for their activities. Efforts must be made to give access to knowledge and information by non-literates who constitute the majority of rural dwellers. Okiyı (2003:1) says that, “Rural development is a basis for economic development and information is an important ingredient in development process. People in rural areas whether literate or not should have access to any kind of information which will help them to become capable and productive in their social and political obligations, to become better informed citizens generally. ”

In the Nigerian context, accessibility to information by both urban and rural communities is stated in its development plans. But with emphasis to the support of government propaganda and many programmes that are not fully relevant to the development of rural communities. The information received by the rural dwellers is either not reliable or distorted in the process of transmission. This unhealthy Situation constitutes a major impediment, which keep the rural communities in Nigeria and other developing far away from development indicators. The developed countries undertake rural projects to reduce the gap between the urban and the rural communities to the barest minimum. A report on a rural project (2007) outlined that, “Access to and the ability to use information and knowledge are not equally distributed (between urban and rural communities).About seven million adults in England are judged to be functionally illiterates. Affluent families are far more likely to be able to give their children access to b0oks, computers, and the internet than poorer families. If we do not guard against it, the economic returns from Knowledge and skills will go disproportionately to those groups and places that are already rich in both.”

They require initial capital investment for hardware and software. They are also dependent on the Skills and capacity necessary to use, manage and maintain the technology effectively. Matching the most appropriate communications technology with people’s needs and capabilities is a crucial task for ICT providers in Nigeria. These conditions are hardly met in the rural areas of Nigeria. I he information communication technology (1CT) revolution has had divergent impact in almost every area human endeavour. From business, industry, government and non-profit organization. ICT has simplified business processes such as sorting, summarizing, coding, editing, Customized and generic report generation in a real-time processing mode. However, ICT has also brought unintended criminal activities such as spamming, ATM fraud in to the rural areas in Nigeria. This study seeks to identify impact assessment of ICI and infrastructure facilities in rural areas in Nigeria in sub Saharan African With a view to assess success of the ICT n the rural areas. Today’s business environment is very dynamic and undergoes rapid changes as a result of technological innovation, increased awareness and demands from customers. Information Technology (IT) is the automation of processes, controls, and information production using computers, telecommunications, software and ancillary equipment such as automated teller machine and debit cards Khalifa (2000). It is a term that generally covers the harnessing of electronic technology for the information needs of a business at all levels.

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Information and communication technologies (particularly computers and the internet) are widely acknowledged as important resources for socio-economic advancement in both developed and developing countries. This is doubly so against the backdrop of the global economy which is driven by the “information age”. Developing countries, however, face enormous challenges in their ability to utilize these resources for their growth and development agenda. Limitations range from infrastructural constraints to an individual’s ability to convert access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) into tangible benefits in light of other environmental constraints. In this context, shared use models of access such as telecentres, libraries and internet cafes, are important means of making ICTs available. Not only do they bring the technology closer (physically and financially) to people who would otherwise have no access, but they may also provide additional value in the teaching and learning environments they foster.

ICT’s facilities and infrastructures therefore, is a very vital resource in human activities. The need and consequent use of ICTs facilities and infrastructures has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the world in all spheres, agriculture inclusive. Research results are frequently communicated to the end-users in channels that are applicable. In agriculture the extension activities serve as the link between policy makers and scientist/researchers on the other hand, and end-users on the other hand. Ekoja, 2000 was of the view that, “information dissemination form a core activity in extension service”.

There is a general consensus among experts in ICTs facilities (Ekoja, 2000) that; information is a factor to be reckoned with in improving the agricultural services in any state. Therefore, it is the provision of timely information that will occupy a prominent position in the hierarchy of priorities in Nigeria. Ekoja (2000) highlighted (that, “much as agricultural information is important making it available for the intended end-users is equally important”.

Hence one of the agencies or services put in place to diffuse agricultural information in Nigeria is agricultural extension services.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Over the years, deliberate, though ineffective efforts have been made by various regimes in the Nigerian government to bring about ICTs facilities and infrastructural development without much to show for it. Much of the failure can be attributed to the treatment of information delivery by the Nigerian government, Information is essential ingredients in rural development programs but Nigerian rural seldom feels the impact of ICTs facilities and infrastructural innovations either because they may not have access to such vital ICTs facilities or because it is poorly disseminated.

Studies by different researchers in shows that ICTs have helped Smallholder farmers to adopt new technologies including new varieties and also to access market and other important information.

The extension system in Imo state, like in many other parts of Nigeria, is also gradually changing to the use of ICTs to deliver appropriately packaged agricultural information to farmers so as to improve agricultural productivity. In a study by Mtega and Msungu (2013) established that ICTs are suitable for the provision and dissemination of agricultural information among farmers due to a number of services they offer, portability, infrastructural coverage and affordability. However, the study did not describe how effective the ICTs are in terms of accessibility, as well as the relevance and timeliness of the information provided. Understanding ICTs’ effectiveness would therefore help the extension system to properly utilize them to convey agricultural information as required by farmers. It can also be guiding the extension workers on which ICTs or combination to use.

The non-provision of ICTs facilities and infrastructural, lack of available teaching aids, Electricity, non-provision of essential inputs, capital as well as personnel motivation and evaluation of ICTs facilities programmes are some of the key factors that has greatly limited ICTs facilities in the rural development in Nigeria. This research therefore is to investigate the impact assessment of ICT facilities and infrastructures in rural area of Nigeria and to test how both ICT facilities and infrastructures factors influence Nigeria towards achieving development.

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1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main objective of this study is to determine the access of farmers to ICTs available in the study area.

However, the specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Determine the level of farmers possession/accessibility and reception of ICT components in the study area.
  2. Determine the extent of agricultural information received by the respondents from the ICTs in the study area.
  • Examine the farmers problems on ICTs possession/accessibility for agricultural development

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Has the increase in telephone lines made any significant impact on the growth of GDP in Nigeria?
  2. Does the employment rate exert a significant impact on GDP growth in Nigeria?

STATE OF THE HYPOTHESIS

For the guidance of the research to search for the appropriate data relevant to the study under review, the following tentative assumptions are held:

  1. Increase in the number of telephones lines has made no significant impact on the growth of GDP in Nigeria.
  2. Unemployment rate does not exert a significant impact on GDP growth in Nigeria.

1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES

HYPOTHESIS ONE

Ho:    There is no relationship between problems or challenges faced by Nigerians on ICT facilities and infrastructure?

Hi:     There is relationship between problems or challenges faced by Nigerians on ICT facilities and infrastructure?

HYPOTHESES TWO

Ho:    There are no benefits of using ICTs facilities in the rural areas of Nigeria?

Hi:     There benefits of using ICTs facilities in the rural areas of Nigeria?

HYPOTHESIS THREE

Ho:    There are no ICTs facilities and infrastructure that have access to in rural areas in Nigeria?

Hi:     There are ICTs facilities and infrastructure that have access to in rural areas in Nigeria?

1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDDY

The findings of this study highlight the effectiveness of radio, television and mobile phones in disseminating information to rural dwellers who are mostly farmers. This will enable farmers and extension staff to be in a position to understand the importance of these ICTs in extension services and hence be able to fully utilize their potential to complement other extension and knowledge services.

This research also provides evidence based on methodological assessment of the effectiveness of ICT’s in delivering agricultural information to smallholder farmers. It is therefore projected that the study will help the policy makers and the government to design policies and programs that use the right mix of ICTs available for agricultural extension service delivery. This will lead to the improvement of agricultural extension service provision for better farm productivity.

Furthermore, the study will help the extension staff to properly utilize the present ICTs to provide critical access to knowledge, information and technology that farmers require in their farming activities.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study 1s limitedly narrowed to impact of information communication technology on the development of rural areas in Nigeria.

1.8. DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS

Effectiveness:  The ability to bring a desired result. Under this study effectiveness reflect the ability of ICT to bring about timely and relevant agricultural information to the farmers for improved livelihood.

Smallholder farmers:  are farm households that own and/or cultivate less than 2 hectares of land

Livelihood:  A set of activities that help the smallholder farmers to secure their basic necessities that is food, Shelter and clothing; and the capacity to acquire the named necessities to meet the requirements of the self and his/her household on a sustainable basis with dignity.

Agricultural Productivity:  is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs

ICT:  Information and Communication Technology abbreviated as ICT Consist of Information technology, enterprise software, audio-visual system, middleware using which user can access, store, transmit and modify information as required.

Information:  Information is defined knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody (Ukonu, And Wogu, 2008)

Technology:  The branch of knowledge dealing with scientific and industrial method and their practical use in industry.

Hardware:  They are the physical components of a computer system, which can be seen and felt. Examples are keyb0ard, printer, monitor, mouse etc

Software:  they are programs developed by the computer programmers, With the main function of igniting life in a computer system, and aiding in having a task done. They are classified under operating system and application system programs.

Programs:  This are logically related instruction that are giving to the computer to carry out a specific task.

Automated system:  This 1S a system whereby everything works machinery and without the effort/works of men.

 Automation:  the act or practice of using machines, that need little or no human control e.g in office.

Computerize:  to store information in a computer or to control regulate an operation

Communication: This is the process of passing information form one person.


Pages:  49

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References

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