THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ON MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA.
The primary objective of this study is to examine how the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Manpower Development in Nigeria. A case study of Enugu North L.G.A. In carrying out this study, the researchers were able to make use of survey research method for data collection. Also, questionnaire was used to collect data from a target population of 300 respondents, comprising of computer operators, academics, labour employers, operators of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the general public in Enugu State in particular and Nigeria in general. The researchers asked four research questions were also raised. The relevant literatures were reviewed for the study. Also, data generated was interpreted and analyzed. The results obtained showed that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role in manpower development in Nigeria in general and Enugu State in particular. It was also found that manpower development contributes to the socio-political, economic and other related wellbeing of people living in Enugu State. At the end of the study, the researchers made a number of recommendations for further studies and for policy formulation on how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role in manpower development in Enugu North L.G.A.
1.1 Background of the Study
The relationship between manpower development and the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. It is absolutely an indisputable one. The existence of man on earth is to expand in all aspects of human endeavor both in the management of existing resources as well as creation of new ones. Man by nature is adventurous and as such, will always thrive to succeed.
Among many ways he (man) has thrived to develop his surrounding and improve his environment and other forms of existence is through manpower development. As days turn into weeks, weeks to months, months to years, etc., man’s means of survival and development moves from one idea to the other. For instance, man in the earliest form of his existence did most of his personal and group works in a crude manner. But as he advanced, he abandoned the idea of doing most of his works alone and introduced machines. These compliment man’s effort to succeed.
In line with this idea, man produced such earliest forms of calculating machines known as “Abacus”, and then adding machines like calculators, computers and a host of others emerged with the sole aim of helping man to develop himself and that of his environment. This is to enable him achieve industrial growth and other forms of manpower development.
The need for manpower development in any society like ours is to encourage the development of the state (society in general) in such areas like agriculture, community service, socio-economic services etc. As Elom and Chukwuanukwu (2006: 24) would state,
The importance of human resource development (capacity building) in any country cannot be overstressed. Little wonder the proliferation of tertiary institutions of learning in Nigeria today that provide opportunity and facility for the training of the Nigerian workforce… manpower development and training helps to improve a nation’s economic and political status.
These objectives have never been realized in Nigeria without some shortcomings. In line with this, the need to study the relationship between manpower development and the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria becomes very necessary, for a country like Nigeria, in order to succeed in her bid for the achievement of manpower development. As Ndolo (2006:1) would state on the relevance of Communication in human existence, he opined that “… every growth, survival and continuity depends on among other things, a system of communication, through which people could exchange ideas and feelings. The system of communication formed the mainstay of all the other systems, which came to depend on it for effectiveness”.
This is why the researchers will not isolate the relationship between ICT and communication in general in the development of manpower in Nigeria, particularly in Enugu North Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of Research Problems
The emergence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has revolutionalized how man contributes to the development of different workforces particularly those that bother on human and material development, for easy manpower growth.
But, there has being a consistent disparity among the masses that the ICT has not contributed enough to manpower development while others argue that Information and Communication Technology has done enough to encourage how manpower is developed in our society today. Whether the two views held by these people are to be accepted differently or collectively, will to a great extent be determined by appropriate application of statistical tools necessary for this study. Also, the place of Information and Communication Technology in our society will be examined and those hindrances which do not encourage manpower development will be assessed, particularly in Enugu North L.G.A This will go along way to determine whether the application of ICT is necessary for manpower development in areas of skill acquisition, industrial development, human resource management and a host of others in Enugu North L.G.A.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study is to determine the following factors.
i. To determine if Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Has a positive Impact in manpower development in Nigeria.
ii. To determine whether manpower development has properly applied ICT for its Effective operation in Enugu North L.G.A.
iii. To find out if computer illiteracy is a problem of manpower development in Nigeria;
iv. To determine if people living in Enugu North L.G.A embrace ICT for their socio-Political and economic wellbeing;
v. To determine if ICT have been effectively used in the overall development of Enugu State in particular and in Nigeria in general;
vi. To determine whether poverty has contributed to poor use of ICT for manpower development in Nigeria;
vii. To make recommendations for further studies on the topic of study and on policy formulation by our captains of industries both at the federal and state levels.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The major significance of this study is to understand how Information and Communication Technology has contributed to the overall development of manpower in Nigeria in general and Enugu state in particular. Also the study will benefit students of tertiary institutions, colleges of Education, students of Vocational and Technical schools amongst others who want to acquire skills through one way or the other using Information and Communication Technology.
Also, this study will benefit both employers of labour and their employees in Nigeria on the relevance of ICT in manpower development. The study will go a long way to benefit Enugu state government and the Federal Government on how best to make policies and implement programmes which will encourage appropriate application of ICT for manpower development in the federal, state and local government levels.
This study will go along way to promote the socio-political and economic wellbeing of the masses who understand the relevance of ICT in manpower development in our society.
1.5 Research Questions
The researchers asked the following research questions. They include:
1. Do Information and Communication Technology has positive impact on manpower development in Nigeria?
2. Has Information and Communication Technology being properly applied for effective manpower development in Enugu North L.G.A?
3. Is computer illiteracy a problem in the development of manpower in Nigeria?
4. Have people living in Enugu North L.G.A embraced ICT for their socio-political and economic wellbeing?
1.6 Definition of Terms
The major terms that formed the topic of this study were defined conceptually and operationally. They include;
Conceptual meaning: The degree in which somebody or some One is involved in a situation or an activity. The effect of something on a thing.
Operational meaning: The actual function or role played by ICT in manpower development in Nigeria in general and Enugu North L.G.A in particular.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Conceptual meaning: The study, design, implementation, support or management of computer based information systems particularly software application and computer hardware.
Operational meaning: those software and hardware electronic devices used in manpower development within and outside Enugu North L.G.A.
Conceptual meaning: The growth and professional advancement of workers needed to do a particular job.
Operational meaning: The use of computer and other electronic devices to gather and disseminate information on how best to develop manpower in Enugu state in particular and Nigeria in general.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
This study intends to cover the entire areas of our national life that involve manpower development. Such areas include academic institutions, financial institutions, medicine, labour and productivity and a host of others. Also, the study will be concentrated on the ICT such as computer application, internet, e-commerce, etc. it will also cover how industries train and retrain their staff for proper skill and professionalism in manpower at state and federal level.
Amongst the limitations of this study are;
1. Limited Time: Time needed to accomplish this study is too short and as such posed a lot of challenges to the researchers. This made the researchers to maximize the use of the available time for the study.
2. Lack of Basic Infrastructure such as good road network, electricity, communication networks, etc constituted a great setback during this study.
3. Lack of Fund: Fund was insufficient and not really available to the researchers to acquire research tools needed for the study.
Despite these constraints, the researchers tried to make use of the available research instruments for the purpose of being objective in the study.
Based on the objectives of this study, the research questions asked and the hypotheses formulated, the researchers made the following assumptions.
1. It is assumed that Information and Communication Technology makes e an important impact on manpower development in Nigeria.
2. That Information and Communication Technology have been applied for manpower development in Enugu state, particularly Enugu North L.G.A
3. It is assumed that computer illiteracy is a problem in manpower development in Nigeria.
4. That people living in Enugu North L.G.A. embraced ICT for their socio-political and economic wellbeing.
5. The researchers assumed that poverty has been the bane of poor use of ICT for manpower development in Enugu state and beyond.
6. The researchers also assumed that most of the hypotheses will be confirmed if given both empirical and logical support.