IT is still at its infancy in Nigeria. Most businesses are yet to involve computers in the day to day running of their business. Many businesses are yet to go online with a website. Internet access technology is still very poor in Nigeria. Low bandwidth means that most Nigerians are yet to experience the full power of the internet.

The low level of IT in Nigeria have led to inefficiencies in different areas like education, medical care, disaster monitoring and management, law enforcement, electoral system, dispensation of justice, and governance in general. Corruption is still very high largely because of the low level of IT deployment in business and governance in Nigeria.

However, businesses are beginning to appreciate the importance of IT and are beginning to deploy IT tools in order to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability. These have also led to an increase in the demand for IT skills in Nigeria. IT Training centres have also emerged to fill the IT skills gap in Nigeria. IT training scholarships are also available.

However, the perception that most Nigerians have about education is not helping IT development in Nigeria. Many people go for IT training just to acquire IT certifications that will enable them get jobs instead of focusing on acquiring knowledge that will empower them to use IT skills to have an impact in the world.

For example, Nigeria is said to be the country in Africa with the highest number of people with CCNA certification and the same can be said of other international IT certifications. But, the question is what do we have to show for it. Most IT Innovation in Africa is coming from South Africa and other countries in Africa other than Nigeria.

There is a lot of opportunity in IT in Nigeria and indeed in Africa and only those who focus on acquiring relevant IT skills that will empower them to take advantage of these opportunities will be able to explore these opportunities in IT and reap the rewards.

Government is also moving towards IT although slow. Soon Federal Government payment and transactions will be in electronic form. However, Nigerian Governments seem to lack sufficient understanding of what IT entails. When our leaders are talking about IT, they often talk about a deploying desktop and laptop computers in offices.

But, is IT only about computers? Although the computer is at the core of IT, it is not the end of it. IT is about organising and managing information and making it easily accessible when needed to those authorised to have access.

To take full advantage of IT there must be a network. It is only when computers are connected in a network that they become useful in IT. It is through the network that information is made easily accessible. Through the network knowledge and experiences can be shared.

It is also important to note that as far as an IT system is concerned a computer does not necessarily mean a laptop or desktop. Any device capable of manipulating and storing information as well as access the network is valid as a computer in an IT system. This last definition includes mobile phones especially Smartphones as computers in an IT system.

This means that government IT program should not end in deploying computers in offices they must connect those computers to a networks that makes information easily accessible and improve productivity. That is what IT is all about.


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