Problems of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria
No invention has changed us as much as technology, and the internet is; what we today call Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The implementation of these tools in the context of globalization has generated and is still generating, such profound changes that we are a completely different generation from all the generations that have passed throughout history. It is worth reviewing eight problems of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.
The implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in society has generated new circumstances that can be classified as problems or as opportunities for change, doors of innovation. However, from the Nigerian context, it is essential to pay attention to take action in these circumstances. Here are some of these new circumstances.
Importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used by public administration bodies, companies, families and individuals. The rapid spread of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is changing societies’ way of life. It assumes importance in current collective and individual life.
Nigerian society has taken advantage of these technologies in administration and the Nigerian business structure. The advantage of the diffusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has helped to simplify administrative processes and to reduce the associated costs. Also contributing to streamlining the relationship with citizens and companies. The main form of interaction with citizens and technology is the existence of channels directed to online suggestions and complaints, payments and filling out forms/declarations.
Benefits of Internet
The internet is the most useful and used technology today. Internet communications can help to transport information to a large number of people and at a reduced cost. We can say that the use of the internet contributes to the development of society, information, and also improves the lives of citizens.
The internet improves communications and access to information. Nowadays, this means of communication is used at home, work, to do work or simply leisure.
The main advantages of the internet are:
- Communication between people quickly and effectively, via email and chat;
- New opportunities to form networks of people and groups, which were not possible before the emergence of new technologies;
- Possibility of establishing links on a global scale;
- Improves the ability to manage information.
Uses of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria
These gadgets have led to a change in the way information is now gotten and sent. With telephones, television and computers, audiovisual communication is affected.
Also, as a result of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), one can access information from anywhere whether your home, street or even office.
Problems of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria
Cost and Duplication
It is quite expensive to acquire gadgets and other software that comes with it for many Nigerians. As a result of many changes and different brands, there has been an increase in duplication and proliferation of gadgets and software. Take, for instance, mobile phones come from different brands such as Techno, Samsung, Nokia, Gionee, Itel Huawei Lenovo, Infinix and others, and each of these makes have several models to their name, being released one after the other, as though a series. We can also say the same for Computers. Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung. Televisions also fall prey to this proliferation and duplication as they come in different shapes from different brands. Each of these gadgets has their attendant installation packages and software, which, when purchased, turns out to leave a huge financial drain on the buyer.
A decline in Social Activities
As a result of the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), there has been a quite significant decline in social activities and physical interactions between individuals. Indeed, the internet is a virtual world meant to connect people; however, it affects the physical world as a lot of individuals prefer to stay in the virtual world.
Many factors have been adduced to this behaviour ranging from the continued development of gadgets in addition to the fact that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is becomingly fused in the daily lives of people and these developments enhance the need to comprehend and master these hardware and software; another factor mentioned is the fact that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tends to provide a form of escape from reality.
As a result of technology advancements, humans are now so reliant on these gadgets that the brain now seems to be passive for storing information. Storage devices such as flash drives, hard drives have now become the new ‘human brain.’
E-War and Hate Propaganda
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets are now being used as a weapon to foster disunity in Nigeria. Social media platforms are now filled with so many inter-tribal wars and hate speech between different ethnic groups. This has resulted in the breakdown of the national integration plan of Nigeria. Gadgets that should be used as a source of connecting with others have become a tool for war.
Aside from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) being weaponized as a divisive tool, it is also being used to carry out a lot of cyber crimes ranging from frauds to assault. In fact, Nigeria has a reputation for being cyber crime experts. The anonymity the internet provides makes it possible to forge and fake one’s details and pictures; this deceives unsuspecting victims into parting with their money with the belief of either purchasing am item or supporting a cause.
Spread of Terrorism
As a result of their wide reach, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets are now being made used by terrorists to create awareness about their activities, thereby instilling fear in the minds of many Nigerians. Take, for instance, the terrorist group Boko haram, nowadays share videos and audio recordings of their heinous killings on social media. These gadgets are used to seek for information, human and material resources, gather sympathizers, recognition and maybe even respect. The wide dissemination puts the state in a condition of disarray, another feather in the cap of the terrorists.
Deceit and Kidnapping
The purpose of social media, which is to connect with others, has now been defeated many times as it has led to the untimely death of many individuals who have been victims of kidnappers and ritualists. Through these gadgets, people are deceived into meeting strangers all in the name of having physical friends from the virtual world.
Loss of Identity
A lot of Nigerians have now attached significant importance to acquiring the latest gadgets. They value likes and comments more than their lives outside social media. In fact, the failure to be gratified on social media has led to desperation from many people in Nigeria which eventually results in actions such as posting nude and seminude pictures.
Solutions to the Problems of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) In Nigeria
Regulations on Importation
There is a need for a regulation of the flow of importation of these gadgets into Nigeria. There is over-saturation of these gadgets in Nigeria, hence the need to make laws that will no longer position Nigeria as a dumping ground for these gadgets’ manufacturers.
A balanced flow of information
Another important activity that should be used in solving the problem of ICT in Nigeria is by creating a two-way flow of information. By so doing, messages and information about Nigeria also get across to the rest of the world. In this manner, there is a balanced view of Nigeria rather than the erroneous believe that Nigeria is a haven for criminals.
There is a need for acculturation; with this, no culture becomes domineering on other cultures as they all rub off on each other.
Events and gatherings that can foster the interest of people who similar interests should be created and promoted.
There should be a regulatory body that monitors the usage of the internet to nip in the bud terrorist and cybercrime activities on the internet.
There is a need for a reorientation of minds on the usage of ICT in Nigeria for young ones to know that there are many benefits that can be accrued from using social media.
From the above, we can learn and see that ICT is very present in our lives and that even the most insignificant object can revolutionize the world. We can see that the development of ICT gadgets does not increase isolation, nor does it harm society, culture and human relations; on the contrary, it appears that ICT is useful to stimulate cooperation, share knowledge and ideas, develop partnerships and enriching activities.