EFFECT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE PERFORMANCE …
Prior to the introduction of information communication technology in Nigerian government ministries, departments and agencies, it has been seriously criticized for lack of efficiency and effectiveness; it is often seen as epitome of maladministration. This is what has prompted the introduction of information- and communication technology in public service organizations especially in making them efficient and effective in their service delivery to the people. This is because, the success or failure of any government is often evaluated on the performance of its workforce especially public service organizations who relate directly with the people on a daily basis and this is the reason why governance around the world has evolved over time to adjust to new system or measures of confronting new and old challenges or threats which confronts man on a daily basis in order for such system to be efficient and effective in its responsibility. The study adopted was survey research method and deployed chi-square to test the stated hypothesis. It was found that information communication technology significantly affect operation of public organisation and public sector employee. Therefore, this study looks at the effect of information communication technology on the performance of public service organizations. Based on the findings the following recommendations was made that government should invest in information communication technology for both purchase of new and modern equipments that will facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of public organizations and also for proper maintenance, There is need for consistent training of public organization employees in order to make them more productive, every public organization should be restructured to have ICT units where provision and maintenance can be guaranteed and there is need for effective political will to inculcate the use of ICT in public institutions in Nigeria.
1.1 Background of the Study
The success or failure of any government is often evaluated on the performance of its work force especially public service organizations who relate directly with the people on a daily basis. In recent times, there has been a new proclivity towards public sector reform around the world. This trend is primarily driven by citizens, who are placing new demands on their governments in the area of efficiency, accountability, transparency and better service delivery (Edward and Charles, 2014). Therefore, the preoccupation of many countries in recent time is how to reposition their public service for effective and efficient service delivery. Consequently government of nations have taken it upon themselves to carry out various reforms in the public sector by redesigning the structures, systems and processes to improve the delivering of services to their citizens (Adeyeye & Aladesanmi, 2010 cited in Ewuim, Igbokwu and Nkomah, 2016:13).
In confronting these problem of red tapism, inefficiency, ineffectiveness of public organizations etc, information communication which is the lubricant which organization runs on and various technological innovations which is aimed at making task fast and less stressful has attracted scientific attention round the world. As defined by Jackson (1998), a strategic information system is that which helps an organization create value by enhancing its ability to achieve its strategic goals (as cited in Osibanjo and Damagum, 2011). In order words, the focus is to make public service organizations efficient and effective towards societal demands which are also a major problem in Third World countries.
Therefore, it is on this premise that Osibanjo and Damagum(2011) observe that activities’ relating to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has experienced an unprecedented evolution, leading to increased sophistication in both computer hardware, and software and the emergence of high technology driven communication facilities such as the Global System Mobile (GSM) phones, the Electronic Mail (Email), and the Internet.
The Nigeria government has since 2001 taken noticeable steps to put the country on track in the area of ICT development and utilization in governance. In March 2001, the Nigeria government launched her National Information Technology Policy and thereafter, began the implementation with the establishment of National Information Technology Development Agency (Edward and Charles, 2014).
The advent and deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria public service present opportunities for its use to facilitate effective service delivery as many countries have embraced it as a way forward (Ewuim, Igbokwu and Nkomah, 2016).
However, prior to the introduction of information communication technology in the Nigerian government ministries, departments and agencies, it has been seriously criticized for lack of efficiency and effectiveness. This is what has prompted the introduction of ICT advancement on how tasks are done in public organizations. However, the indept evaluation of how it has affected the performance of public organization over the years has been a major concern considering the quantum of resources that has gone into it. It is on this note that this study seeks to investigate the intricacies of ICT and public service organization in Lagos State Waste Management Agency.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem with the public service in developing countries is synonymous with one another, a visit or engagement with the Nigerian public service has been popularly characterized with criticism, it has in most cases left empirical experience of inefficiency, ineptitude, ineffectiveness, staff lackadaisical attitude, red tapism, corruption etc. Ewuim et al(2016)further argue that public service delivery in Nigeria has been described as poor, inefficient and ineffective. It is often subject of ridicule because of its rigidity. There are problems of corruption, transparency and accountability, high cost of administration and wastage.
In view of this, ICTs integration in government has widely been advocated by scholars and development agencies as a means to obtain efficiency, accountability, and transparency in governance (Stanforth, 2007 as cited in Edward and Charles, 2014). The introduction of information technology by the federal government in 2001 has subsequently opened the door for states within the country to entrench and feel the impact of globalization in its system. In other words, Edward and Charles (2014)states that such arguments have led many African governments, including Nigeria, to undertake various e-government initiatives to prop up development. Since its introduction, there have been a number of e-government initiatives that dots the African landscape.
Thus, in Nigerian public service, ICT has been referred to as an effective tool to ensure increased access to government services, improved value for money as well as increased productivity, transparency and better service delivery (Achimugu, 2011; Ewuim, Igbokwu and Nkomah, 2016).However, the effect of information communication technology has come in various ways and has impacted in so many ways how public sector organization operates. But although the impact has been felt in some public organization, most of them have not been able to maximize the benefits which it offers. Rather than move the organization to another level just as it has been in other part of the world, most of these organizations have been revolving round those imminent problems within its system like inefficiency, ineffectiveness etc. Fatile (2012) observe that Government departments in many developing countries publish information on web sites as a first step towards e-government. Many of these sites are poorly designed and the department does not update or monitor the quality of information.
From the foregoing, we can deduce thatthe deployment of Information and Communication Technology in the public service delivery has not made much difference (Ewuim, Igbokwu and Nkomah, 2016). This has been a major problem for scholars and development agencies whichis what this study seeks to unravel.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to examine the effect of ICT on the performance of public service organization. The specific objectives of the study is to;
i. Examine the effect of information technology on the operations of public organizations.
ii. Examine the effect of information communication technology application on the performance of public sector employees.
iii. Investigate the effectiveness of public participation on electronic service delivery.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are the research questions which this study seeks to unravel
i. What is the effect of information technology on the operations of public organizations?
ii. What is the effect of information communication technology application on the performance of public sector employees?
iii. What is the effectiveness of public participation on electronic service delivery?
1.5 Statement of Research Hypotheses
i. H0: Information technology does not significantly affect operations of public organizations.
ii. H0: Information communication technology application does not significantly affect the performance of public sector employees.
iii. H0: Public participation is not significantly affected by electronic service delivery.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The important of this study cannot be overemphasized, especially at a time when the performance of public sector organization has been a thing of concern compare to how public service organizations function in other part of the world. Therefore, the following are those who this work seeks to benefit.
Public: This study will be a template for those who may be interested in the subject of discourse as a basis for knowledge. It will also serve as a basis for further academic research on the topic being investigated.
Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments: The study will also serve as a template for confronting various problems in government and learn how to effectively and efficiently entrench ICT to aid and maximize effective and efficient performance. It is pertinent to note that the study will also be useful for private organizations who may want to study the challenges and how it can be confronted in order to improve organizational performance.
The outcome of the study will be a template for requisite legislation on how to move the public sector forward and a basis for policy making for development agencies.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study will cover how information communication and technology has affected the performance of public sector organization with special focus on Lagos state waste management authority (LAWMA). This will help the researcher to deduce and evaluate the impact of technological innovations on the operation of this organization. Specifically, the research willexplore issues related to electronic service delivery or e-administration on public participation.
On the other hand however, factors that may hinder the study include time lag, the available time allotted for the completion of this study may not be enough to carry out the survey. Also, the stress of combining the study with other academic activities and work due to the nature of the programme may be too stressful for the researcher. Another factor that may hinder the study is that, the cost of carrying out the study may be too much for the researcher.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Information Communication Technology (ICT): This is a generic concept that refers to all form of technological innovations like telephone, internet, television, email etc
Public Service Organization; It can be referred to as an organization of government that offers direct service to the people within a system.
Performance: This simply refers to the effectiveness or efficiency of a particular organization i.e it entails the measurement of the result of an organization against target goal.
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Ewuim N., Igbokwe B. and Nkomah C. (2016): ‘’Information and CommunicationTechnologyand Public Service Delivery in Amuwo -Odofin Local Government Council of Lagos state-Nigeria’’. Singaporean Journal of Business Economics and Management Studies. Vol.5, No. 1
Fatile J. (2012): ‘’Electronic Governance: Myth or Opportunity for Nigerian Public Administration?’’. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Science, Vol. 2, No. 9
Nworgu, B. C. (2006). Educational Research: Basic issues and Methodology. Nsukka: University Trust Publishers.
Osibajo, O. and Damagum M. (2011): “Factors Affecting Application of ICT by Managers in the Nigerian Public Sector’’. Economic Sciences Series. Vol. LXIII No. 1