Nigeria, Africa’s Largest Information Technology (IT) Market; Need For Effective Utilization For Nation Building – Nnate Ernest(Information Technologist)

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By Nnate Ernest

Nigeria is regarded as Africa’s Largest Information technology (IT) market with about 82% of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29% of internet usage.
The government of Nigeria recognizes IT as the enabler for developing other critical sectors including education, healthcare, agriculture, and manufacturing.

What is information technology ?

IT is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data.
However, IT is used in the context of organisation/business operations as opposed to technology used for personal and entertainment purposes. The commercial use of IT involves both computer technology and digital communication.

It is a common technology used by every enterprise to upscale their business skills. Global companies incline towards using IT to manage and innovate data according to their processes. A fine example is a business owner using smartphone credit card readers to collect payments. Using a spreadsheet to track Organisation monthly expenses is a fine example of using IT.

What is the Role of Information Technology ?

The role of IT is vast and provides a foundation for the current workforce of any organisation. Starting from communications to data management, information technology plays a vital role in driving productivity to its peak.

Where does Nigeria stand ?

Nigeria drives to diversify its economy from oil and gas to Information age, technological innovations and artificial intelligence. The government is encouraging partnerships between local IT companies and foreign investors. To promote these partnerships and grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the technology sector, the Nigerian government has supported government or private sector led incubator hubs, youth innovation programs, and science technology parks.

It’s clear IT will lead Nigeria to the path of trajectory as a nation. Asian countries like China, Singapore, and Japan are great examples of the impact of IT in an economy. The private sector has immensely contributed to the development of technology, despite the challenges that comes with running a business in Nigeria. This sector has created jobs, opportunities and improved standard of living.

Impacts of IT in Nation Building ?

Nigeria once regarded as the African giant now poses to be a nation in shambles. A lot of projects has been proposed and not completed, this is not a political article so we will focus on the impacts of IT in nation building for Nigeria:

• Education Sector
IT is used in education to support teaching and learning activities. This gives students a better and improved understanding of any subject being taught. Teachers can use learning management systems (LMS), online course materials, and collaboration tools to facilitate distance learning and enhance classroom instruction.
Courses like robotics and computer skills can be taught.
This births human capital development, where the country have well skilled individuals who are competent enough.

• Healthcare Sector
IT is used extensively in healthcare to manage patient records, support clinical decision-making, and facilitate communication among healthcare providers. Electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, and health information exchange (HIE) systems are examples of how IT is used in healthcare.

• Government Sector
IT is used in government to support a wide range of functions, including tax collection, law enforcement, and public services. Governments use IT systems to manage their operations and provide services to citizens, such as online portals for tax filing, electronic voting system, utilities bills and passport applications.

• Business Sector
IT is used extensively in business to support a wide range of functions, including accounting, finance, marketing, and supply chain management. Businesses use software applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and business intelligence (BI) tools to manage their operations and make informed decisions.

• Database Management System
IT is used to create well structured database that can be used to store file & records electronically in a computer system, as there won’t be any need for bulky papers. This records can be easily retrieved when requested for.

• Research and Innovations
IT helps in carry out research studies that can aid in innovations. Research centers in Nigeria do not have substantial impact and her considered to be dormant. This could be due to lack of funding and resources.
Thr fact remains with edge cutting technologies big data can be collected and processed to aid in decision making and Innovations.

We now have a better understanding of what information technology is and how it can aid in national development. Information Technology is the backbone of the developed nations. This article will help us identify how to spot opportunities and be partakers of IT. It also helps us to make informed decisions about the various aspects of the benefits of technology.

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