INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR CREATING JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a major tool for gaining competitive advantage in the corporate world and as such has been integrated into the operations of most high performing organizations in every economy. A recent policy note released by the World Bank says that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the world of work, creating new job opportunities and making labour markets more innovative, inclusive, and global. ICTs are influencing employment both as an industry that creates jobs and as a tool that empowers workers to access new forms of work, in new and more flexible ways (Samuelson, 2008). The emerging ICT-enabled employment opportunities matter because countries around the world are looking to create more good jobs, which have positive economic and social implications for workers and for society. ICT is critical to Nigeria’s quest to becoming one of the leading economies in the next five years, as spelt out in the Vision 20:2020 agenda. The world is increasingly becoming technology-driven, and ICTs remain a key driver of any economy, as it has the potential to address the rising unemployment trend in the country.
In a recent report published by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, it revealed that the ICT sector had boosted the Federal Government’s job creation efforts by creating over 12 million jobs in the past two years. It described this current contribution as an improvement on the job opportunities created by the sector between 2002 and 2012. The ICT sector in Nigeria is currently boosting the federal government’s effort in job creation with the creation on an average of about 12 million jobs from 2012 to date, that is, a significant improvement on the 2.5 million jobs the sector created between 2002 and 2012. This is in addition to contributing about nine percent to the growth of Nigeria’s GDP.
The Ministry of Labour and Productivity in Nigeria says the Federal Government is set to declare total war on unemployment and joblessness in the country with the use of ICT systems and operations which is aimed at training unemployed Nigerians. Fakiyesi (2010), opine that despite the exploitation of negative aspect of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by a few Nigerian youths, ICT has raised the economy of the nation, especially the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 1.62 per cent (Oluleye, 2006).
Although he lamented that apart from the improvement on the economy, ICT has also enhanced falsehood, dissemination of harmful information as well as fraudulent activities in the transaction of businesses.
Being without a job is indeed an enforced idleness of wage earners who are able and enthusiastic to work but cannot find jobs. In societies in which most people can earn a living only by working for others, being unable to find a job is a serious problem. Because of its human costs in deprivation and a feeling of rejection and personal failure, the extent of unemployment is widely used as a measure of workers' welfare. The proportion of workers unemployed also shows how well a nation's human resources are used and serves as an index of economic movement (positive or negative) (Ramey, 2008).
Unemployment has call for a greater concern in the Nigeria economy. It has continued to be the major macroeconomic objectives of the government. Unemployment constitutes a series of serious developmental problems and is increasingly more serious all over Nigeria. The major policy of the government and the international agencies is targeted at reducing the rate of unemployment.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to a Nigerian Communications Commission, one million "indirect jobs" have been created by the mobile telephony sector in the past five years (Ramey, 2008). "This figure indicates that mobile telephony could boost job creation and poverty alleviation if the conditions that would stimulate its spin-offs are introduced and nurtured in a consistent manner." About 10,000 "direct jobs," or people employed by the mobile phone operators in Nigeria, have been created by the industry. ICT has also created employment in the area of mass media and entertainment, blogging, graphic design and word processing etc. however, this study is examining ICT use as a tool for creating job opportunities in Nigeria
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives for this study:
1. To determine if Information communication and technology (ICT) can be used as a tool for creating job opportunities in Nigeria.
2. To identify various types of jobs that can be created with the use of Information communication and technology (ICT).
3. To identify the detrimental effect of Information communication and technology (ICT) use on Nigerian youths.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Can Information communication and technology (ICT) be used as a tool for creating job opportunities in Nigeria?
2. What are the various types of jobs that can be created with the use of Information communication and technology (ICT) in Nigeria.
3. What are the detrimental effects of Information communication and technology (ICT) use on Nigerian youths?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. Outcome of this study will be a useful guide for the general public especially Nigerian teaming unemployed youths on how they can tap into the advent of Information communication and technology (ICT) for the purpose of creating self employment.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the Information communication and technology (ICT) as a tool for creating job opportunities in Nigeria will cover various sub sections of ICT that youths can take advantage of to be self employed.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Fakiyesi, T. (2010) ICT raise Nigerian GDP, IT Realms Links, Monday, May, 2010
Oluleye, F.A. (2006) Unemployment and inflation: An empirical investigation of validity of Phillips relation in Nigeria, Benson Idahosa University: Nigeria.
Ramey, C (2008), Nigeria is Mobile: A book Review, [accessed 12 May, 2011]
Samuelson, P. (2008)Thoughts about the Phillips Curve, Chatham, Massachusetts