INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE PRODUCTIVITY OF MICRO-BUSINESS ENTERPRISE IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF SELECTED ORGANIZATIONS IN AMUWO-ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS STATE
Today we live in an information society in which more people must manage more information, which in turn requires more technological support, which both demands and creates more information. Electronic technology and information are mutually reinforcing phenomena, and one of the key aspects of living in the information society is the growing level of interactions we have with this complex and increasingly electronic environment. The general consequence is that we deal with large volumes of information, new forms and aggregations of information, and new tools for working with information Marchionini, 1997. These new tools we use to manage information at corporate, governmental and societal level are tools we must learn to use, pay for, and maintain. The primary tool of the information society is the computer. Microprocessors are used to improve the performance of other technologies, and computers are increasingly used to control and integrate other kinds of information technology (e.g. TV, radio, telephones).
Current literatures have it that ongoing advances in information systems and communication technologies allow organizations to achieve greater levels of productivity, efficiency and service delivery Brown, 2000; Dawes et al, 1997; Drucker, 1995; Tapscott and Caston, 1993. For example, one electronic mail message replaces the dictation of a memo which is then typed, copied and distributed. Electronic workflow processing allows operational reports to be stored and forwarded to appropriate units for follow-up without a host of manual intervening steps.
One other thing that is crucial as far as ICTs are concerned is that, because of technological and communication innovations, geographic boundaries that once defined citizens, client and customer service jurisdiction no longer apply. The move toward e-commerce, e-banking and egovernance provides an excellent example of how organizations are no longer restricted to, a contained geographic boundary. In this 21st century, organizations all over the world have come to realize that only those that overhaul the whole of their administrative systems and operations are likely to survive and prosper.
Due to the pressures of competition and the need to maintain a high level of efficiency andproductivity organizations have been forced to catch on to the technological craze. Thus in order to place themselves in a favorable position to meet the growing expectations of their customers, and become organizations or co-operations to be reckoned with, more organizations are making use of it to smoothen and speed up the process of administration. They have not only started ensuring that their PC per capita use is one for every staff, but have also started brining PC’s together to form local and wide area networks.
Many organizations use computer systems to run their inventory, control accounting, manage human resources, etc. Businesses are no longer relying on trails of paper work to conduct every day transactions. With an installed modern computer interconnectivity backbone, establishments can keep in touch, synchronize and co-ordinate activities with the utmost ease.
Managers now realize that information technology can be used as an engine to speed up processes, eliminate or reduce paperwork, increase the quality of output and service delivery, decrease storage costs, and enhance information sharing and communication. They also realize that they have to achieve not only management / staff wide computer literacy, i.e. knowing how to locate, analyze, store and use information. All staff in modern organizations needs to be able to search and gather data from different sources, analyze them, select the relevant ones and organize them in such a manner as to allow them make decisions based on the information.
These being the case how are Nigerian Micro-Business Enterprise faring in joining the information technology bandwagon? What are the micro business enterprise doing to increase their productivity and efficiency through the use of IT? What constraints or challenges are organizations facing in overhauling their management? In what ways exactly is ICT infrastructure enhancing efficiency in the Nigerian Micro-Business Enterprise? These and related questions structure the argument of this study.
Micro-Business Enterprise entrepreneurs in Nigeria engage in business practices for survival as they are local in their nature of operation but they need to forge ahead only through global integration even though the local institutional frame work are not stead fast encouraging the development of small and medium enterprise towards the world economy as those of other countries. Thus, the problem that is identified for this study is how can small and medium scale businesses be developed to meet the challenges presented by globalization in the face of available infrastructure and utility in Nigeria.
The primary aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria and secondly to explore the impact of ICT on Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria. Specifically the objectives of this study are;
- To understand the general characteristics of Micro-Business Enterprise and these might contribute to the development of Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria.
- To explore the different areas of Micro-Business Enterprise where the use of ICT can improve productivity of Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria.
- To suggest ways and mechanisms on how best to enhance the full potential of ICTs as an enabler of socio-economic development of Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria.
In order to achieve the objective of this study, the following questions will be answered.
- What are the main characteristics of Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria?
- What is the impact of ICT on Micro-Business Enterprise in Nigeria?
The significance of this study can be highlighted as follows;
- To provide for small scale business stakeholders the need to propagate their resourceful processes and practices towards global needs.
- To incline individuals, agencies and government to create an enabling environment within which small scale businesses can grow.
- To emphasize on the value of the business processes and practices that are globally oriented.
- To help students and others alike see that the neglect of non-oil sector in Nigeria has been the major factory impending small and medium enterprise for better global status.
The study is based on the performance of Micro-Business Enterprise through efficient and effective institutional practices in Nigeria. However, the location of the study is Lagos State, Nigeria where the activities of Micro-Business Enterprise are mostly concentrated.
DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
- GLOBALIZATION:This refers to the manner in which is exercised in the management of a country economic and social resources.
- GLOBALIZATION: This refers to the process of liberalization of trade, free movement of capital integration of market and acceleration development in information technology (interest and exchange rates, terms of trade, tariffs) such that they are on the positive and favorable scale.
- PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURAL AND UTILITY: These refers to those facilities (such as road, urban and rural area, power supply, potable water, hospitals, schools, telecommunication) provided by the government to support practices of small scale development.
- PRODUCTIVITY: This refers to the ratio of output to the corresponding input of factors of production (labour, land, capital and technology).
- LEGISLATURE FRAMEWORK: This refers to the legal basis created for establishment and improvement of the survival and growth rate of small scale business in their practices
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: This refers to the technology that involves the electronic acquisition storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information.
- NEO-LIBERALISM: This is the system of minimizing the state’s (nation) interference in the economy.
- WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (W.T.O): This is an international body or institutions that regulate the trade relationship or agreement among countries through formulation of integrated constitutions.
- ECONOMIC FACTOR: These are the institution or organization whose activities are relevant to economy of any nation. They are trade, professional and business association or academic institutions or agencies.
- SMALL SCALE BUSINESS:CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria)1993 define small scale business whose total cost excluding working capital above ₦1Million(€4,595.31)but not more than ₦10Million(€45,991.35)