This research work aptly examines the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Abuja Municipal Area Council as a paradigm of Local Government Areas in Nigeria. The study contends that for government to fulfil their non-negotiable functions, ICT is a necessity. Moreso, for more effectiveness, these innovations should start from the grassroots i.e. the Local Governments.
Thus, there is the dire need for actions to be put in place to institute viable ICT units and Departments and also Local Government Information Systems (LGIS).
The data used in this study was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources were questionnaires and oral interview. Some research questions were asked as a guide to the respondents. The questionnaire contained nineteen structured questions designed in both open and close ended style. The secondary sources of data collection on the other hand included textbooks, journals, government publications and internet sources. The data analysis revealed that ICT usage will enhance worker’s productivity in Local Governments: that ICT usage will improve financial accountability in Local Governments: that ICT will heighten human resource development: and that ICT will boost human resource inventory management in the Local Governments. Based on these findings, the study made a number of recommendations bordering on key actors- the Federal and State Governments, the leadership of the Local Governments, the staff members of Local Governments and the people at large.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE. . . . . . . . . . .i
CERTIFICATION/APPROVAL PAGE. . . . . . .ii
DEDICATION. . . . . . . . . . .iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. . . . . . . . .iv
ABSTRACT. . . . . . . . . . .v
TABLE OF CONTENTS. . . . . . . . .vi
1.1 Background to the Study. . . . . . . . .1
1.2 Statement of the Problem. . . . . . . .4
1.3 Objectives of the Study. . . . . . . . .7
1.4 Significance of the Study. . . . . . . .8
1.5 Scope and Limitations of the Study. . . . . . .9
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND METHODOLOGY/RESEARCH METHOD
2.1 Literature Review. . . . . . . . . .10
2.2 Hypothesis. . . . . . . . . . .65
2.3 Operationalization of Key Concepts. . . . . . .66
2.4 Theoretical Framework. . . . . . . . .67
2.5 Methodology. . . . . . . . . .73
2.6 Method of Data Collection. . . . . . . .74
2.7 Population Size. . . . . . . . . .76
2.8 Sample Size. . . . . . . . . .76
2.9 Method of Data Presentation and Analysis. . . . . .77
3.1 Historical Overview and Review of AMAC. . . . . .78
3.2 The Structure/Organogram of AMAC. . . . . . .80
3.3 Background to ICT in AMAC. . . . . . . .81
3.4 Dimensions for ICT in AMAC. . . . . . . .82
3.5 Present Level of ICT Use in AMAC. . . . . . .83
3.6 Obstacles Militating against ICT Use in AMAC. . . . .84
3.7 Measures Taken to Enhance ICT in AMAC. . . . . .90
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND FINDINGS
4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis. . . . . . . .93
4.1 Test of Hypothesis. . . . . . . . .110
4.2 Discussion of Findings. . . . . . . . .114
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary. . . . . . . . . . .116
5.2 Recommendations. . . . . . . . . .117
5.3 Conclusions. . . . . . . . . .121
1.1 Background to the Study
‘Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire; it wafts across the electrified borders’. Reagan (1988)
All organisations have a non-negotiable predetermined objective of functioning effectively as well as efficiently. One of the reasons is for the sake of continuity and cohesion. This applies to local governments.
As a third tier of government, local governments are charged with the responsibility of delivering and services to the masses at the grassroots level. It has statutory roles which are embodied in the 1999 constitution but which has its antecedents in the 1976 local government reforms and other subsequent thrust and government proclaimation. However, the success or the failure as well as the efficiency or otherwise of the local government in discharging its responsibilities and functions depends on a whole number of factors. Broadly speaking, the major factors range from the human resources and then to the financial resources available to the individual local government amongst other veritable factors.
Speaking more critically, the continuity of any organisation depends on how innovative that organisation is. Innovation here entails the introduction of new
ideas and ways of doing things (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th
Edition). If such organisations do not seem to be innovative as to change positively with the changing times, they seem to loose their cutting edge as well as their competitive advantage not to mention their service capacity. Thus, it is truism to state categorically that aside the financial and material resources factor, innovation is centrally responsible for the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations.
Innovation, which is a necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and innovations cannot be exhaustively talked about without the mention of Information Communication Technology. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a relatively modern invention as in time past, some less sophisticated and more crude paraphernalia has been used generally by people and organisations alike.
Within the last decade, there has been an unprecedented leap and growth in the application of new technologies in organisations to the extent that organisations that use such modern technologies are christened ‘modern organisations’. These modern organisations overtime, have been able to make reasonable headways remotely and immediately as a result of the application of the tenets and doctrines of Information Communication Technology. A reasonable percentage of such organisations that utilise ICT techniques are private organisations. Thus,
the question of ‘what about the public organisations?’ becomes a very wise question to ask.
Any organisation without a well equipped and updated Information Technology is more or less a dead one if not passive. Thus, Information Technology is the blood that flows in and through the veins of any modern organisation without which any other activity whether embodied in human resources, financial resources, information resources etc. will be poorly managed, objectives not considerably achieved, communications truncated and abated and overall efficiency cum effectiveness goal, defeated. Hence, if only a low amount of public setups use ICT principles and innovations, or if at best they use it in a low capacity, what will be their fate? Public setups even as the name suggests has a ‘people’ orientation i.e. its impact is people centred and thus its activities will definitely rub off on the people/masses. Put in another form, if public organisations, parastatals and even local government councils do not embrace the ICT application in its entirety that leads to overall productiveness, efficiency and effectiveness, which should be their ultimate goal, will be defeated and this will tell negatively on the masses they represent. Thus, the overall will and essence of the government is defeated. Therefore, ICT use and application is of paramount necessity to public organisations as well as local government councils.
Coming from another standpoint, ICT usage in the public sector has however recorded a fairly significant success as a result of its mediocre usage especially at the broader levels of government i.e. the federal and even the state level. But the same, unfortunately, cannot be spoken about the local/grass root level. A typical analogy was a case situation where an assignment given me entailed getting the internally and externally generated revenue of six local governments (including my own). This entailed an uphill task of going to the individual local governments umpteen times after which old files which were hitherto dumped were exhumed. The sorting of these files was a different tale in volumes altogether. Instead of an academic lift through the information to be gotten, I became utterly bamboozled as a result of the haphazardness of the whole process. The point being made here is that if this research work was state centred or even federal centred, the answers would have been just clicks away on the computer. This goes to show how rudimentary the local governments are in the use of ICT principles.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the 19th century which practically ushered in computer innovations and modern ICT devices, the western world seems to have embraced it hook, line and sinker perhaps because it is as a result of their undoing. The by-product of this ICT assimilation has been tremendously advantageous to the extent that the socio-economic and political life of these western nations have taken a quantum
lift. To this end, these nations that embrace ICT innovations are ranked higher than those that do not in its entirety. What is being meant here is that the level of ICT and ICT usage in independent countries overtime has seemed to have become an index in the ranking and placements of nation states.
Nigeria as well as other third world nations are still playing catch-up and are yet to fully assimilate the tenets of ICT. Perhaps, this lapse is cardinally responsible for some of the avoidable problems bedevilling the socio-economic and political system of the country. Some of these problems include the perennial issue of corruption and other grafts, the poor and grossly inadequate information which is central to the effective and efficient decision making, inaccurate human resource inventory which precipitates unbureaucratic and unadministrative practices, the general negative attitude of the human resources as a result of these lapses, inter alia.
At the broader sphere however, ICT techniques and principles have been applied although below capacity. For instance, ICT has actually been used in the voting process of Nigeria especially in 2011. From time to time, the federal government enunciates plans to imbibe e-government etc. The point been highlighted here is that ICT to an extent has been encouraged at the broader stage but the same cannot /has not been spoken of the government at the grass root level in the country which is the local government councils in Nigeria. This is rather ironic yet even more ironic to decry emphatically without prevarication
or equivocation that most literature do not seem to highlight the point of the dearth in the use of ICT in the local government councils in Nigeria. Perhaps, they are of the view that ICT usage at the broader level is used below capacity and thus, speaking less about the local government councils will be merely complicating issues. This view however is on parallel bars with mine in that I do think charity should begin at home.
In the light of the afore-discussed, the basic problem in this study is to investigate the following research questions:
- Is there need to wholly practice ICT at the local government councils even when ICT has not been fully imbibed at the broader sphere?
- Can ICT aid in improving significantly, the operational activities of the local government councils in Nigeria?
- To what extent can ICT enhance the level of efficiency in the use of resources in local government councils in Nigeria?
- Can ICT actually aid significantly in mitigating grafts ‘traditionally’ associated with local government councils in Nigeria and to what extent?
- What are the problems that impede the use of ICT in Local Governments?
- How can these problems be remedied?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This work is the researcher’s noble intention to study the level of ICT usage in Abuja Municipal Area Council as a paradigm of local government councils in Nigeria. The study aims at highlighting the importance and benefits of ICT usage in the local government councils as well as analysing the existing level of ICT usage in the local government councils.
However, the broad area that this research work covers has been constructively pruned down into specific variables which are subject to empirical verifications. Consequently, the specific objectives of the study are:
- To ascertain actually if there is the need to encourage ICT usage at the local government level despite the circumstances prevalent in the country.
- To discover if ICT can contribute tremendously in improving the operational activities of the local government councils.
- To examine the extent to which ICT can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning, organising, coordination and control of resources-human, materials and money in the local government councils
- To ferret out if ICT can really help in mitigating corruption, misappropriation, embezzlement, and other forms of grafts associated with local governments in Nigeria.
- To know the problems that impede the use of ICT in Local Governments.
- To suggest how the various problems can be remedied.
1.4 Significance of the Study
No doubt, the significance of this study is broadly grouped into two viz:
- The theoretical/knowledge based significance
- The practical/problem solving significance
Speaking from a theoretical standpoint, this research work aims to help students/scholars as well as the general public who would love to conduct further research on this topic as well as other related topics. This study aims to provide a base for researchers in the establishment of a gap thereby precipitating an even further research on the issue at hand. In other words, this research work aims to be a veritable secondary source of knowledge to researchers and young scholars of public administration alike.
Finally the theoretical significance of this work is to accumulate sufficient yet factual information and to generate sufficient insight into the need for good ICT base for the overall development of the Abuja Municipal Area Council.
Speaking from the practical point of view, this work aims at extolling the strategic role of training as a conditio sine qua non for skill development in the use of the ICTs in local government councils. The future global economy of the nations will be greatly dependent on the technology professionals even at the local government level to sustain and even surpass present efforts to take Nigeria to the information age.
Secondly, the apparently slow pace which ICT has diffused into Africa and Nigeria in particular can be likened to what IT professionals have called ‘the
nature of our society’. In otherwords, Nigeria’s structural formations are patterned by its traditional roles and value systems which are ascriptive and undynamic to current changes in the society. Consequently, the relevance of this research work will help all stakeholders and communities to overcome the shortcomings of the societal structures and embrace ICT after seeing their merits.
Finally, since the use of ICT seems to be an index in the ranking and placement of nations, this work aims at projecting the use of these ICTs. Thus, it is not wrong to say that to meet up with the vision 20:2020, ICT needs to take a leap and that is what this work stands for. Therefore, the significance of this research is aimed at challenging local governments to acquire and utilise appropriate and adequate ICT facilities and re-orientate them to awaken the ‘e-spirit’
1.5 Scope and Limitations of the Study
This work was centred on the use of ICT in Abuja Municipal Area Council as a paradigm of Local Governments in Nigeria. The study also is restricted to the staff members of AMAC.
Research is known to be purely the dispassionate pursuit of knowledge. In the course of this research, limitations as constraints of time, financial and material resources were encountered. Following these limitations is lack of TOTAL co-operation from respondents which may emanate from respondent’s ignorance, general lack of appreciation for social research. There is also the experience of severe difficulty in retrieving the research instruments administered on the respondents.
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