ICT: The way out

The need to communicate has become a necessary part of our everyday lives. I the need to pass on timely and necessary information between doctors and their patients, government officials and the general public, business executives and their workers, lecturers and their students, cannot be overemphasized.

Communication advancement could be regarded to be an ancient practice on man. Man being an intelligent and social creatur desires a better way of life. These desires coupled with consistent diligent effort have brought about stages of communication development in human society history, the latest being the information era.

In this information age, I communication has enabled the transformation of the world into global village. Vast amount of simple and complex data are now transmitted from one location to another at unprecedented speed and accuracy. In addition, globalization could be said to have been boosted through ICT (information communication technology) enable activities.

The emergence of numerous innovative digital communication application platforms such as e-governance, e-business, e-science and engineering, e-health, e-learning, e-democracy, e-agriculture, e-procurement, e-banking and so on has changed the way communication activities around the world is presently being done.

Traditional means of communication are swiftly being replaced by digital platforms. Due to the fast adoption diffusion and use of ICT in the most parts of the world as well as the advantages made in developing these technologies, you can send and receive information about your organization, government, products ideas, etc to (or) from others anywhere in the world. ICT has impacted our lives in a way that not having it means poor or low standard of life.

The embrace of information and communication technology brings about an added way of life. I thus, ICT culture can be regarded as the way in which ICT objects affects the lives of people in a society. The communication objects include electronic text, audio, visual and video materials.

The ways in which these objects influence daily activities of people within a society contribute to the rate and extent of human development in that society. Information and communication technology devices have become valuable tools for aiding in accomplishing day-to-day personal and professional tasks satisfactorily.

Since man does not live in isolation and at one time or the other finds himself passing on information or engaging in communication.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is a vehicle with great potential to improve or accelerate the development process of any developing nation such as Nigeria. ICT is one of the driving forces of globalization by fuelling the rapid transformation of remote and isolated information units into global interconnected superhighways.

In today’s world, especially developing countries like Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, have witnessed an info-technological revolution that has given birth to effective data flow, computer inter-connectivity and the ability to go beyond the national boundaries.

Invariably, people and nations that are technologically marginalized are consequently consigned to live in poverty and deprivation. The world’s least developed countries are poor because of their technological isolation, most especially in the area of ICT. Indeed, affordable and highly embrace information and communication technologies can give developing countries, especially Nigeria, the privilege to leapfrog some of the long painful stages of development that developed countries had to go through.

ICT in Nigeria focused mainly on print and electronic media. This was attributed to the lack of emphasis on ICT development in the existing policy, that is, the full awareness of the potentials of ICTs to liberate the country from the shackles of poverty was totally absent. Meanwhile only the private sectors demonstrated ICT initiatives however, the quality of the existing ICTs in the country in the last decades was unreliable, unsatisfactory most especially the telephone systems which was unreliable congested, expensive and customer unfriendly.

The wireless era of phone-formed another notable phase in development of ICT in Nigeria. Though initially big and bulky phones were used, these later transformed into small phones with so many functions. In this phase of ICT development, Nigerians have only played the role of “users” of the finished products and thus the participation in the advancement of the technology has been lacking.

The development in the telecommunications industry all over the world is rapid as innovations replace each other in matter of days. In 2001, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was established to deserve a bureau for the implementation of National policy on information technology. This agency aimed at penetration of internet in all levels in Nigeria. The present and global use of GSM came into existence in Nigeria in January 2001. Initially, the development involved international private organisations (MTN and ECONET) but with aim to totally liberate Nigeria from information hidden corner, the local telecommunication Globalcom mobile system came into being.

Hence, Nigeria through the availability of GSM phones partially joined the ICT world leaders to effectively enhance the exchange of information vital for the development of the country.

According to Rouhana (2011) ending communication has become a major vehicle for enriching our “creative capital” that underpins our society vitality our economic growth and ability to compete on a global scale.

Communication technology is dominant and pervasive element of modern life. Infornation is a vital key to national development and is a sine qua non in all phases of development from birth to death.

Pamela is a 400 level Mass Communication student of Plateau State University, Bokkos

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