1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Information to a modern organization is a resource that is parallel in importance to land, labour and capital. It is a very vital and priceless resource. For centuries, man has tried to collate, store, process and retrieve information, and most importantly distribute or communicate it via the fastest means. It follows, therefore that man has tried various ways and methods to record and disseminate information in his attempt to proffer solutions to competing tasks over the centuries. Information therefore, is data that have been processed into meaningful and usable form, and it contains knowledge that reduces uncertainty in a particular situation (Senn, 1999). A powerful force drives the world towards a converging commonality, and that force is technology (Levitt, 1992). From the beginning of the world technology has being one of the most essential and important factors for the development of mankind (Coombs et al, 1987). During the last two hundred years, technology changes have often been related ‘to economic growth in the form of new types of goods and services.
However, information technology is a term which • generally covers the harnessing of electronic technology for the information needs of businesses at all levels. It Is a computer- based system as well as telecommunication technology for storage, processing, and dissemination of information, (Princhard and Cole 1997). It is no longer news that we are now in information age that is revolution and an information superhighway on which every corporate entity and profession must adopt if it is to survive in the 2 N century. The world of business and governance in the information age is further complicated by such concept such as democratization, competition, deregulation, privatization, commercialization, liberalization, internalization and computerization. This makes it impossible for an organization or country to survive and grow without information technology.
Today’s business environment is very dynamic and undergoes rapid changes as a result of technological innovations, increased awareness and demands from customers. Business organizations, especially the banking sector of the 21st century operates in a complex and competitive environment characterized by these changing conditions and highly unpredictable economic climate. Laudon and laudon, (1991), contend that managers cannot ignore information technology it because R plays a critical role in the advancement of contemporary organization.
The adoption of information technology concepts, techniques, policies and implementation strategies to banking services has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all banks. This is owing to the fact that it is a prerequisite for local and global competitiveness. Information technology has directly influence the products and services that are offered in the banking industry. It has continued to change the way banks and their corporate relationship are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative devices available to enhance the speed and quality of service delivery. The banking industry in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous changes linked with the developments in information technology 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 information technology through the use of automated devices imperative in the banking industry. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the impact of information technology on the growth and development of banking industry in Nigeria with particular reference to United Bank for Africa plc, (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria plc (FBN), and Zenith Bank Nigeria plc.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Nigerian banking industry is characterized by high degree of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Banks in Nigeria render substandard and non-qualitative services to their customers, and their delivery systems are antiquated and poor. Many banks in Nigeria have failed and liquidated as fraud and related financial crimes is being committed daily in our banks and financial institutions. This is owing to the fact that our banks still depend on ledger card and branch local network banking transactions when banking transactions is now do it yourself affairs in the advanced countries through network and online service provider.
Also, accurate records are not maintained in most of our banks, and prompt and fair attention is not granted to customers. All these lapses and deficiencies has accounted for the underdevelopment that is being experienced in our banking sector. And this has made it difficult for the Nigerian banking sec1or to withstand global competition from other banks in developed nations. The problem arises as to how information technology can be applb to banking operations in order to develop and improve the Nigerian banking industry.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study include;
– To ascertained whether the introduction of information technology in the banking sector has enhanced efficiency in Nigerian banks.
– To evaluate the level of customers satisfaction since the implementation of information technology in Nigerian banks.
– To carry out a survey on the perception of bank employees towards the introduction of information technology in Nigerian banking industry.
– To ascertain4 whether information technology has contributed in minimizing fraud and other financial crimes in Nigerian banking sector
– To examine the effect of information technology on the profit-position of Nigerian banking sector.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions for this study are as follows;
– Has the introduction of information technology in banking operations enhanced the efficiency of Nigerian banks?
– Has the implementation of information technology increased the level of customers satisfaction?
– Has the rate of financial anomalies and impropriety reduced in Nigerian banking sector since the adoption of information technology?
– Are bank employees comfortable with the introduction of information technology in Nigerian banking industry?
– Has information technology paved way for high productivity in Nigerian banking industry?
– Has the implementation of information technology improved the profit-base of Nigerian banks?
1.5 HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
The hypotheses for this study are as follows:
NULL (Ho): The introduction of information technology in Nigerian banks do not facilitate wide and speedy service delivery.
ALTERNATE (Ha): The introduction of information technology in Nigerian banks facilitates wide and service delivery.
NULL (Ho): The level of customers’ satisfaction has not increased since the adoption of information technology by Nigerian banks.
ALTERNATE (Ha): The level of customers’ satisfaction has increased since the adoption of information technology Nigerian banks.
NULL (Ho): Information technology has not contributed positively to the efficiency and productivity of banks in Nigeria.
ALTERNATE (Ha): Information technology has contributed positively to the efficiency and productivity of banks in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study concentrates on the impact of information technology on the growth and development of banking industry in Nigeria, with special reference to United Bank for Africa plc (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria plc (FBN), and Zenith Bank Nigeria plc
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is as follows;
– It will throw more light on how information technology has assisted Nigerian banks in meeting up with the high expectations of customers.
– It will unveil new products and services information technology has provided to Nigerian banking sector which had enabled them to maintain high level of efficiency and productivity.
– It will reveal new customer services Nigerian banks renders to their customers via information technology in order to ensure that customers’ needs are adequately satisfied.
– It will bring to the knowledge of the general public the new service delivery channels information technology has introduced to Nigerian banking industry.
– It will suggest to the government ways in which information technology can be used as a cornerstone in reforming the financial sector which is aimed at increasing the speed and reliability of financial operations, and equally to strengthen the banking sector.
– It will serve as a body of knowledge to… be referred to by other researchers.
– It will clearly elucidate ways in which information technology can provide the Nigerian banking sector with the wherewithal to deal with challenges in the economy.