TECH : Nigeria declines in global ICT ranking

Nigeria has declined in global rankings of countries that deploy
Information Communications Technology (ICT), and other new
technologies to increase the growth and well-being of their citizens.

The country ranked 113 out of
144 countries surveyed in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), declining by one rank from its position of 112 (out of 142) in
the previous last year’s Report.

However, the country inched up
by 0.1 points in actual NRI scores
to 3.3 points this year from 3.2
points in 2012, when measured on
a scale of one (lowest) to seven

According to the latest World
Economic Forum (WEF) report on
Global Information Technology
Report (GITR) 2013 and published with the theme Growth and jobs in a hyper-connected world, it measured the extent to which 144 countries took advantage of ICT and other new technologies to increase their growth and well-being.

Highlight of the report about
Nigeria’s ICT competiveness
showed that though the country improved in its NRI ranking for this year to 113 from last year’s 112 , the country has remained in the lowest quartile of countries sampled in both reports.

This shows the extent to which the
country still grapples with the necessary conditions to close the
ICT competitiveness gap with most advanced economies.

Notwithstanding this gap, the
report notes that the country has
improved in seeking the delivery
of societal benefits from ICT by initiating a broad-based National
Broadband and ICT Plan,which focuses on greater broadband adoption through intensifying the motivators of technology use.

“This is attributed to ICT Skill
Development Plan incorporated in
Nigeria’s National Information
Communication Technology (ICT)
Policy Draft 2012. This development has led to Nigeria’s significant improvement in one of
the ten NRI pillars – Social Impacts – ranking 88 in 2013
from 102 in 2012,” the WEF report noted.

The report also acknowledged
that Nigeria’s market and regulatory framework has been able to support high levels of ICT uptake, adding, however, that the
cost of accessing ICT, either via mobile telephony or fixed broadband internet, has remained
a constraint towards widespread technology adoption in the country.

The GITR 2013 underscored
Nigeria’s clear divide in ICT usage
between individuals and businesses. While corporate organisations in the country have intensified their efforts to integrate ICT into business processes – improving in that regard to a rank of 68 from 77; the penetration of ICT among
individuals has deteriorated – to a
rank of 111 from 105 in the last
one year.

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