AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN NIGERIA
Globalization is one of the major phenomena of our times and its scope is very extensive and versatile affecting factors such as economics, political, cultural, lifestyle and most especially sciences and technological advancements
The process of globalization is said to include the information technology evolution characterized by advancement in electronics, computers and telecommunications made possible by the scientific and technological breakthroughs in miniaturization of integrated circuits, transistors and semi – conductors (Mike 1999:343).
Emerging technologies are playing a vital role in allowing globalization of economic and social activities to thrive. It is correct to say that the era of globalization has brought about the rapid spread and application of computers, the internet, satellite and the mobile phones innovations in the world, particularly in Nigeria where communication has been difficult and communication facilities were inadequate in our major cities, semi-urban and rural areas. Presently, with the introduction of mobile phones, many rural areas now have access to communication facilities and they communicate easily with the rest of the world.
It is important to note that globalization does not eliminate the scope and eliminate the scope and activities or nation or a state, but fundamentally redefines its role and affects its operations. The real issue today is not the debate about whether globalization is real or not, or whether it is desirable or not, but to analyse how the emerging technologies can be better channeled to promote more growth, more trade, greater modernization and better living standards of Nigerians with the aims of helping the country to re-emerge from its present social and economic difficulties. The challenges facing our nation are complex and they required good visioning, sound strategic plans that will correctly identify viable development paths and to resolve to translate such strategic plans into meaningful and fruitful and efficacious action (Abhulimen, 2000).
Globalization and growth of information technology and other emerging technologies do not imply the local production of technology hardware. Many developing countries like India and Malaysia have embraced the emerging technologies, particularly information and communication technology (ICT), and are experiencing unprecedented economic growth as a result of this. Many developing countries however have yet to integrate successfully into global economy.
Some 2 billion people around the world particularly in Sub – Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union live in countries that are slow in getting onto the train and are thus being left behind. These countries have been unable to increase their integration into the global economy: their ratio of trade to GDP is either maintaining a flat trend or in some cases actually declining. On average, these economies have contracted; poverty has increased and education levels have arisen less rapidly than in the more globalized countries. (Abhulimen, 2002).
Considering the evolution in information and communication technology (ICT) in Malaysia, India, South Africa and other developing countries with remarkable achievement and comparing their potentials with that of Nigeria, one can say that Nigeria has a better opportunity of evolutionalizing its information and communication technology (ICT) sector than those countries mentioned above. This is obvious, with its teeming population of unemployed graduates, a vibrant labour force, rich crop of high netwoth of individuals imbued with different entrepreneurial spirit, all that is needed is very much available, but the stepping stone of information and communication technology (ICT) evolution is the schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Emerging technologies as a result of globalization have effects on economic and social activities of nations, particularly in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). Therefore, the purpose of this research is to find out how some developing countries embraced information and communication technology? Does location of country affect its development in information and communication technology? What are the basic facilities needed to have a viable information and communication technology sector? What are the enabling policies and infrastructures for effective and efficient information and communication technology in Nigeria? These and many other questions are raised from the problem areas that require solutions to enhance the effective assessment of the impact of globalization on information and communication technology in Nigeria. It is hoped that this study will provide the required solutions for effective assessment.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
For every action there are objectives. Therefore, the objective of the study is to examine the effect of globalization on information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria. And to assess and help Nigeria to be prepared to reap the ample economic and social benefits offered by the emerging information and communication technology that links the whole world together as a global village.
To achieve these objectives, the following were examined:
- The awareness of the public on Information and Communication Technology in the country.
- The availability of the required facilities for the full application of Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria.
- The availability and adequacy of government of policies and strategies for the effective application and utilization of Information and Communication Technology.
- The pricing strategies used for the services provided through the Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria.
- To suggest how to enhance the effective application of the Information & Communication Technology to achieve adequate communication linkages in all aspects of human endeavour towards improving our standard of living in Nigeria.
1.4 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers only information and communication technology (ICT) as an emerging technology influenced by globalization. The spanned over a period of six years from 1999 – 2004. This is because, it was in the year 2001, that information technology (IT) policy was formulated tagged “IT 2001”. This period provides an ideal period for assessing the impact of the government
policies in encouraging the acceptance and utilization of Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria
1.5 THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
For the conduct of this research, secondary sources of data was employed. The population of the study is the Telecommunications which include; telephone (mobile and fixed), internet services and Vsat services. The method used in analyzing data was descriptive statistics; as percentage and barchates.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research work has its limitations, which posed to making; thorough and exhaustive conclusions. These are:
- Time: The time available for the work was not enough for theresearcher to travel to many places to gather data.
- Finance: It is a known fact that; in any undertaking, availability offunds is very important adequate funds constrained the researcher from gathering enough data for the research.
- There is also lack of up-dated statistics, this had constrained the researcher to make comprehensive research work.
1.7 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study has a lot of significance to individuals (Public), government, and investors (business).
- INDIVIDUALS (PUBLIC)
- The study will help in informing the general public the importance and contents of information and communication technology.
- Provide the public with employment etc.
- It helps to bring out Information and Communication Technology problems for necessary actions by governments
- Provide means through which government can improve its foreign exchange generation.
- INVESTORS (BUSINESS)
- i) Help businesses to spot problems and make necessary corrections for more profits.
- To explore areas of investments.
1.8 DEFINITION OF RELEVANT TERMS
WEB SERVICES: web services are enterprise applications that exchange data, share tasks and automate process over the internet.
INTERNET SERVICES: Pieces of software written in different languages, or running on different operating systems, to talk to one another cheaply and easily.
E – MAIL: Electronic mail, means by which text, pictoral etc. messages are sent or received.
IAP: Internet Access Providers
ISP: Internet Service Providers
FDP: Foreign Direct Investment
‘BRIDGES’: Is a research and an advocacy non profit organization that promote ICT: (Information and Communication Technology) in developing countries through research, testing and promoting best practices for sustainable technology use.
SOFTWARES: Are components in computer which can not be touched e.g. program etc.
HARDWARES: These are components in computer which can be touched e.g. Key board etc.
WIRELESS PHONE: Phone that is not directly connected to wire (mobile).
IT: Information Technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictoral, textual and numeric information by a micro – electronics based combination of computing and telecommunications. TELE – DENSITY: Number of telephone lines to number of population