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ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF ICT ON EMPLOYEES IN THE NIGERIAN BANKING SECTOR

10,000 3,000

: A STUDY OF FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC, ENUGU METROPOLIS

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INTRODUCTION

  • BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Today’s business environment is very dynamic and undergoes rapid changes as a result of technological innovation, increased awareness and demands from customers. Business organization, especially the banking industry of the 21st century operates in a complex and competitive environment characterized by these changing conditions and highly unpredictable economic climate. Information and communication technology (ICT) is at the centre of this global change curve. Laudon and Laudon 1991:80) contend that managers cannot ignore information systems because they play a critical role in contemporary organization. They point out that the entire cash flow of most fortune 500 companies is linked to information system.

The application of information and communication technology concepts, techniques policies and implementation strategies to banking services has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all banks and indeed a pre-requisite for local and global competitiveness, ICT directly affects how mangers decide, how they plan and what products and services are offered in the banking industry. It has continued to change the way banks and their corporate relationships are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative devices available to enhance the speed and quality of service delivery.

Harold and Jeff (1995:73) contend that financial services providers should modify their traditional operating practices to remain viable in the 1990s and the decades that follow. They claim that the most significant short-comings in the banking industry today is a widespread failure on the part of senior management in banks to grasp the importance of technology and incorporate it into their strategic plans accordingly,. Woherem (2000:52) claimed that only banks that overhaul the whole of their payment and delivery systems and apply ICT to their operations are likely to survive and prospect in the new millennium. He advices banks to re-examine their service and delivery systems in other to properly position them within the framework of the Dictates of the dynamism of information and communication technology. The banking industry in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous changes linked with the developments in ICT over the years. The quest for survival, global relevance, maintenance of existing market share and sustainable development has made exploitation of the many advantages of ICT through the use of automated devices imperative in the industry. This study eradicates the response of Nigerian banks to this new trend and examines the extent to which they have adopted innovative technologies in their operations and the resultant effects.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM     

Nigeria is faced with enormous problems of information access. These problems especially that of low telephone penetration and uneven access, appear to be insurmountable. The penetration rate in Nigeria in the twentieth century was less than one line per 1000-population. In spite of efforts made by successive governments in Nigeria to improve on the penetration rate, the country had continued to nose dive as a result of fresh challenges in terms of building information and communication technology (ICT) related management and communication infrastructure. This has resulted in almost negative benefit, both to the economy and the society as a whole.

It is quite evident that Nigeria at present lacks innovation capacities and capabilities in information technology (IT) management and hardware maintenance. This notwithstanding, the country has been and will continue to import and use a wide range of durable consumer electronics, computers and telecommunication equipments. It must therefore begin to accumulate the capabilities to repair and maintain these vantages. Indeed, if Africa is not to be left behind in global trade and development, it must be able to master certain basic capabilities in ICT. In addition, the rate of technical obsolescence is likely to be much faster with ICT, compared with the natural technologies (such as steel, textiles and petrochemicals). The technological followers in Africa may therefore face the difficulty of sourcing for parts, components and peripherals, unless they begin to accumulate the capacity for component manufacturers.

Available technology is largely obsolete- electromechanical switching system. Presently, some countries are engaged in massive modernization efforts: Nigeria for instance, has at present, about 500,000 lines with about 160,000 lines just added through the on-going digitalization programme. Technology absorption and masterly takes more than importation of technology, learning which demands explicit investment is a pre-requisite for building the technical and managerial capabilities. Given the foregoing, the diffusion of ICT will have widespread; albeit differentiated impact on all countries, industries and factors policy must therefore begin to look at variables such as;

  • Change in the structure of industry and services
  • Employment structure, training and manpower
  • Industrial organization and management
  • Telecommunication infrastructure and revolution of service delivery of existing infrastructure, especially power systems;
  • How the accelerating growths on trade and long range competitiveness and maturation of African industry.
  • Information technology supply.

These are some of the key issues, which form the focus of this study. This study also examines the impact of ICT in the light of these variables starting with the Banking industry. While the importances of other sectors are generally accepted, the Banking Industry sector has not always received as much attention. There are several reasons why a systematic study of ICT impact on the banking industry is important. First, because of the routinized character of producer of services such as the Banking and finance and others like Accounting, they are also readily programmed and therefore impacted by ICT (especially computerization). Secondly, services such as banking services have undergone tremendous technological transformation in the use of management based and information intensive technologies.

In other service sectors such as aviation industry, computerized reservation system (CRS) has led to the handling higher volumes of cargo, greater complexity large volumes of traffic and subsequent higher productivity, computerized signaling system in rail transport has increased safety and raised traffic volume.

There is very little in terms of a systematic study on the impact of ICT adoption on these factors in Nigeria. Hence the decision to examine how ICT has been adopted and diffused in the Nigeria banking industry. Issues of significant importance in ICT, especially in the area of computerization, include:

  • How services organizations like banks and management have been altered by the emergence of ICT.
  • How much of ICT is being employed in the banking services outputs, to make significant impact,
  • The strategies adopted by Nigerian banks to acquire ICT- based technologies.
  • The role and attitude of the Nigerian state in encouraging easy acquisition of ICT technologies by operating banks in the economy.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of the study is to examine the effect and impact of the new ICT on employees in the banking industry, the study emphasis will be on computers, other information and communication technologies and selected peripherals.

The specific objectives not necessarily in order of priority are;

  1. To review the literature on the emerging ICT at the global and regional levels and to highlight their implication for Africa in general and especially, Nigeria.
  2. To assess the nature of technologies driving ICT, required technological capabilities and capabilities available to operate, maintain and adopt systems.
  3. To assess the status of ICT and the necessary technological.
  4. To assess the status of ICT and the necessary technological infrastructure in Nigeria.
  5. To generate systematic data on the effect and impact of ICT on employees in the Nigerian banking factor.
  6. To make recommendation based on the findings of this study as to how to enhance the impact of ICT on employee in the Nigerian banking sector.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To help guide us in this investment, the following research questions have been formulated by the researcher:

  1. How has the adoption of ICT impacted on employees in the Nigeria banking factors?
  2. What nature of technologies driving ICT, required technological capabilities and capabilities available to operate, maintain and adopts systems?
  3. What are the status of ICT and the necessary technological infrastructure in Nigeria?
  4. How has the ICT adoption, impacted on banks operations?
  5. What is the nature and the extent of adoption of ICT by Nigerian banks?
  6. What is the degree of utilization of the identified ICT devices in banking operations?

1.5   HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses form the basis for carrying out this study:

Ho:   The adoptions of ICT have no impact on employees in the  Nigerian banking sector.

Hi:    The adoptions of ICT have impact on employees in the   Nigerian banking sector.

Ho:   The adoptions of ICT have no impact on banks operation

Hi:    The adoptions of ICT have impact on banks operation

Ho:   There is a low degree of adoption of ICT by

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