Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has formidable potentials in Nigeria for attaining Vision 20:2020. It is obvious that advanced and sophisticated nations, to some extent, developed through the use of technology and the sciences. Nigeria is a nation starving from the new trend of technologies the worlds are revolving around which moves them “fast” forward economically, socially and even politically.
This paper puts its weight on how Nigeria should use ICT to achieve mission. It also made clear indications that Nigeria has a high chance of occupying the status held by “super powers” of the world: America, the UK, China, Germany, France and the likes who boasted inventions that, today, makes the world a “global village” and makes life much easier and also provide affordable whim and caprice to most commoners.
Keywords: ICT, Vision 20:2020, development, technology, information, communications, Nigeria, national. Introduction Not too long ago, Nigeria celebrated its Golden Jubilee amidst toughest battle to provide basic amenities to its inhabitants including but not limited to good roads, education, food, energy and the rest. Even with the teeming population, the nation fails to achieve the necessary development that could easily be attained from its abundant human and natural resources available.
Absence of basic amenities, socio-economically, a nation has to be grossly dependant on those with the necessary science and communications technology at their disposal to cater for the needs of its people, comfort of their living and that is where the definition of “under-develop” applies (TeachMeFinance). Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 Early this year, the Ministerial Committee on ICT Policy Harmonization produced a draft; National Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy quoted National Development Plan titled “ICT NIGERIA VISION 20:2020” which acknowledged the following as verbatim:
In respect of knowledge and digital divide the situation remains worrisome. This is, in terms of knowledge generation, penetration of ICT, access to and usage of internet and telephone penetration (fixed and mobile) and physical infrastructure. The knowledge and digital divide cuts across geographical, gender and cultural dimensions. It exists among the 36 states of the Federation plus the Federal Capital Territory, the 774 Local Governments, rural and urban areas, men and women, rich and poor, young and old, able bodied and disabled, illiterate and educated. Committee on ICT Policy Harmonization, 2012) Despite these nuances, when properly implemented in Nigeria, information and communications technology would save the nation from depending on other developed nations and would lead to full utilization of the available resources, human and natural to improve activities from manual to semi-auto, automated and electronic kinds, such as governance, agriculture, engineering, businesses, products and services. The Challenges
We had series of talks, development plans, national policies and visions all directed towards a greater Nigeria. With that entire load, an erudite Nigerian opines: The government of Nigeria has never had a sustained focus on the development and application of technology for transforming its national economy, and the education curriculum was not designed to deliver a leadership base in science and technology. (Emmanuel O. , 2012) The backwardness of our nations lies under so many factors, amongst which are: Education: ICT is a field that require intensive education to be effective, either academic, vocational training or capacity building to enable participants to acquire necessary skills which will enable them ease their activities using ICT. Our educational curriculums, as argued just above, are not fully considering technological advancements.
•Infrastructure: The use of computers and gadgets are a pervasive way of using the ICT in any society but in Nigeria only few have access to them. Conservativeness: Technology is rapidly changing in hyper-geometric ration and to get along, nations has to embrace the dynamic nature of ICT trend to achieve substantial development. • Inferiority Complex: Because the technology came to us “late”, ICT are heavily outsourced in despair that things can not be done locally; hence the total reliance on developed nations at government level and the masses lean to cheap-china for even the commonest technology. Income Level: The per capita income affects the acceptance of ICT facility in society.
Acquisition and maintenance are good consideration when investing on technology. • Energy/Power: For the fast 52 years, Nigeria is still crawling to get energy nation-wide. This seriously affects the ICT infrastructure procurement, maintenance and usage. With all these ballyhoos, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India are good examples that things can be put to right. In Nigeria, there were numerous unimplemented plans to better technological situation but they prove to be in limbo and, perhaps, they are clandestine. Recommendations
This paper may not go about point-by-point ante dotting the problems stated above but will make a generic, a sort of common denominator to that effect. Create Awareness: There is insatiable need to “educate” both illiterates and the elites about what ICT can offer to better our socio-economic life. Provision of Alternative Energy: Biogas, windmill/aerogenerator and solar are alternatives to the over-weighted hydro-electric energy that is supplying the national grid. The Government should collaborate and engages research centers to coming up with what could be produced and used locally.
Vocational Centers: Considerable number youths loiters our streets with various intentions; begging, stealing, snatching which was lead by massive unemployment in the country. Training center should be created and made it absorb non school-goers to acquire skill that will enable them earn a living rather than waiting the government to provide job for them. Segregation of Politics and National Development: Political view, according to the situation, ought to be eschewed as they often hinder technological advancements of a nation.
In Nigeria, its new administration, new policy and neither predecessor nor the successor follow their words to the later. Learn From the Best: Admiring the giants in Asia; China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India won’t, in anyway, solve our incessant and impending problems and obstacles in our way to Vision 20:2020 though, East Asia is the only region in the world that has been able to maintain strong, consistent growth patterns over several decades (Mimiko, 1998; Adelma, 1995). We must critically analyze the differences between their continues success and our continues failure. Is it natural or human resources?
NO! Is it population? NO! Is it race? NO! Chinese and Indians are distinctly different and so with Americans and Germans. Is it geographical location? South Africa is our next door and is doing remarkably well. You might agree with monotonous NO! Attaining the Vision is much simpler than that; simple dedications, total commitments, openness of mind and a strong will could just do the tricks.
Diversify Scholarship Programmes: Well-to-do citizens should take certain steps in taking social responsibility that will help teeming youth attain education and/or skill through scholarship schemes that would encourage competition in he society. Who Will Do the Job? Nigeria reached its 52nd Independence Anniversary; we are economically growing, socially starving, and culturally mono, Vision 20:2020 is eight years away, who could do the job of making effective use of ICT in attaining the goals therein? Is it government, organizations, individuals, or foreigners as in the current case? You and I, governmental and non-governmental, parents and friends should come in and arrest the situations together and simultaneously as neither single entity can bear blames nor holds responsibility in providing solutions.
Conclusion With proper preparations, eight years to Vision 20:2020, in terms of ICT is attainable with total devotion to youth empowerment programmes and other sectors. ICT is the new currency for global economy and make use of computer devices, software, system development methodology, technical skills, web applications, programming, networking, multimedia, Internet and smart/mobile phones that have ability and capability to optimize and improve the efficiency of a nation, its people, institutions and organizations.