ICT AND A NATION LIKE NIGERIA

From Banking to Education to Commerce to Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology has in a number of ways influenced various aspects of human life and the society at large. Despite the fact that we live on a “ball” where humans, structures and Nature hardly touch one another, ICT has made a global village much possible through an invisible connection from one end to the other. Due to the miraculous service this concept can render to humanity, almost all nations of the world have over the years employed its nimble hands to better their living. Interestingly, Nigeria is not excluded from this list.

Source: www.itan.org.ng

Source: www.itan.org.ng

Ever since Nigeria welcomed ICT till date, the country has witnessed drastic metamorphosis in different areas. From the era of one-horned Nokia 5100 and SIM cards worth well over N30, 000 to the age of pocket-size multi-task Android and Blackberry devices with SIM cards as cheap as N100, info-telecommunications have taken awesome dimensions. In the area of education, search engines like Google serve as portals to a large inventory of information from which various academic researchers from all fields can tap from and fulfil their respective academic requirements. Through electronic means, tertiary institution students can register courses online, pay school fees, access their school portals (e-portal), check results, and the list goes on. Not only has ICT facilitated educational advancement, it has also brought the other vast portion of the world nearer to the populace.

For instance, a social medium like Twitter creates an avenue for people to get fresh news updates while news agencies like BBC and Al Jazeera connect us with happenings around our world. Weighing the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economy, it would be noteworthy that ICT has bridged the gap between market and consumers, thus making convenience of exchange effortlessly attainable.

Even though the headway in ICT has given Nigeria a fair place among the economies of Africa; our ICT welfare, however, remain endangered by some menaces – chief among them being Cybercrimes. Consequently, recent statistics have positioned Nigeria as the third in the world in terms of cybercrimes. To make issues critical, the Government still seems not to have a clear vision of the magical and transformational effect of ICT on the nation’s economy. Should the Government heavily invest in ICT, in a matter of years, Nigeria could double her gain like many world leading economies where machines work more and humans, less.

Source: www.nigerianeye.com

Source: www.nigerianeye.com

Without pretending as though Nigeria has a good energy flow, it is noteworthy that a large percentage of ICT-related devices solely depend on electricity to function. However, connecting these dots might not require us travelling too far outside the continent. Instead, Nigeria could humbly borrow some hints from a smarter neighbour. In Kenya, for instance, Ushahidi, a non-profit technology company devised a means to kill two birds with a stone: a two-way solution for both power challenges and undulations in internet connectivity. Ushahidi’s innovation is a device known as BRCK. Awesome BRCK supports up to 20 devices, has Wi-Fi powerful enough to cover multiple rooms, has 8hours battery backup, among other functions. If supplemented by solar energy (a concern for energy stake holders), BRCK’s existence in Nigeria could bury power challenges in oblivion.

From observation, abuse of mobile phones and social media has negatively affected young Nigerians in ways too numerous to number. Young people have often misused the social media and the internet by making these as avenues to trade nudity and exhibit many other illicit habits. Since readymade answers are summarized on the internet, a good percentage of students have become too lazy to carry out more in-depth real life researches and even find it very difficult to read large texts. Duty demands on the part of educationally-inclined institutions – who value youth development and their role in the future – to organise orientation programs to save our future and its leaders.

Source: www.nigeriaheadlines.com

Source: www.nigeriaheadlines.com

The list of ICT challenges in a nation like Nigeria is still yet to be exhausted. Given the Nigerian status quo, the question of whether or not Nigeria can channel the advantages of ICT to invent a desirable economic future, remains unanswered. These and more similar questions need urgent solutions.

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Olumuyiwa Adeyemo

George is an intelligent and meticulous Essayist. The phenomenal OAU undergraduate is passionate about knowledge, literature and human capacity development. When it comes to conducting in-depth research, George is a force to reckon with.

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