Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy for Rural Community Development in Nigeria: A Blue Print Formulation without Implementation
AbstractRural communities in Nigeria are suffering from lack of access to better information for their development. Lack of access to adequate and right information at the right time to the rural communities undermines the
efforts at improving the living conditions of rural dwellers. However, not only infrastructures and information technologies are absent in the rural communities but even health care facilities, educational facilities and library
and information services are all a thing of the past in most of the rural areas in Nigeria. It is against this background that the Nigerian Government has formulated Information and Communication Technology policy that will bridge the digital and information gap that hitherto exist in the rural areas of Nigeria through National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). As stated in the IT policy, by 2005 Nigeria was to become “an IT capable country in Africa.” We are now already in year 2013; can we say that Nigeria is a capable IT country? To put it plainly, Nigeria is not yet an average ICT country in Africa. The desire is there, the awareness has been created but the will power to budget sufficient funds to propel the ICT wheel of progress has been lacking. Up till today, eight years after the policy formulation, rural communities in Nigeria are yet to feel the impact of the implementation. Nothing has changed; neither a single infrastructure was deployed to rural communities nor the IT infrastructures. The information, digital and development gap that exists within rural and urban communities continues to be widening every single minutes of the day.