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Price: 6000 Naira
1.1 Background of the Study
The process of creating and disseminating information via electronic means including email and via the Web is electronic publishing. Electronically published materials may originate as traditional paper publishing or may be created specifically for electronic publishing. It is also known as: e-publishing, web publishing and internet publishing Kist (1989) defined electronic publishing as “the application by publishers of a computer aided process, by which they find, capture, shape, store and update information content in order to disseminate it to a chosen audience” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, electronic publishing includes the digital publication of e-books and electronic articles, and the development of digital libraries and catalogues. A popular electronic encyclopedia, Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1995.
The information technology has changed the way that information is stored and disseminated and has threatened the traditional approaches to the library and its services. The digital revolution has taken on the world of publishing also. Now paperless publishing or electronic publishing is gaining more prominence.
In the changing scenario, libraries and librarians will have to play a crucial role in handling conventional and electronic resources. Thus the era of electronic publishing has begun affecting library and information professionals. The ultimate goal of electronic publishing is to provide fast and easy access to the information contained in the objective publications with simple, powerful search and retrieval capabilities.
Thus, e-publishing can be used effectively in the context of Dr. S.R. Ranganathan’s fourth law “Save the time of user” for many purposes. The U.G.C Infonet E-Jounrnal Consortium is a unique ICT programme for facilitating free electronic access to scholarly academic databases and journals to 100 universities
is the largest academic network in the world.
It is basically a form of publishing in which books, journals and magazines are being produced and stored electronically rather than in print. These publications have all qualities of the normal publishing like the use of colours, graphics and images and they are much convenient also. It is the process for production of typeset quality documents containing text, graphics, pictures, tables, equations etc. it is used to define the production of any that is digitized form.
Electronic Publishing = Electronic Technology + Computer Technology + Communication Technology + Publishing
Kist (1989) defined electronic publishing as “the application by publishers of a computer aided process, by which they find, capture, shape, store and update information content in order to disseminate it to a chosen audience” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, electronic publishing includes the digital publication of e-books and electronic articles, and the development of digital libraries and catalogues.
A popular electronic encyclopedia,Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1995 defines electronic publishing as:
l The term E-publishing refers more precisely to the storage and retrieval of information through electronic communications media. It can employ a variety of formats and technologies, some already in widespread use by businesses and
general consumers and others still being developed. E-publishing technology can be classified into two general categories:
l. one in which information is stored in a centralized computer source and delivered to the users by a telecommunications system, including online database services and videotext represents the most active area in E publishing today, and,
2. another in which the data is digitally stored on a disk or other physically deliverable medium.
1.2 Statement of the Study
The invention of printing technology in mid- 15th century revolutionized the production of books in printed form. Publication of books and journals on magnetic media microfilms and microfiche- followed suit in the 1930s. In fact, space problems, which the libraries were facing, led to the use of magnetic media publication of books. But this media could not find acceptance of their users due to various factors such as strain on eyes, cumbersome retrieval of information, etc. Meanwhile computing technology was developed in 1960s, and with it, some time later towards the end of 20th century, were invented other media such as optical discs, digital versatile discs for recording of information.
The 21st Century Electronic Publishing is basically a form of publishing in which books, journals and magazines are being produced and rendering journals a less than ideal format for disseminating current research. In some fields such as astronomy and some parts of physics, the role of the journal in disseminating the latest research has largely been replaced by preprint repositories. However, scholarly journals still play an important role in quality control and establishing scientific credit. In many instances, the electronic materials uploaded to preprint repositories are still intended for eventual publication in a peer-reviewed Journal. There is statistical evidence that electronic publishing provides wider dissemination. A number of journals have, while retaining their peer review process, established electronic versions or even moved entirely to electronic Publication. Electronic publishing is increasingly popular in works of fiction as well as with scientific articles. Electronic publishers are able to provide quick gratification for late-night readers, books that customers might not be able to find in standard book retailers E-Book format and books by new authors that would be unlikely to be profitable for traditional publishers. While the term “electronic publishing” is primarily used today to refer to the current offerings of online and web-based publishers, the term has a history of being used to describe the development of new forms of production, distribution, and user interaction in regard to computer-based production of text and other interactive media. The impact of electronic publishing on library collections, services and administration is complex. There are, however, many good usable solutions that libraries can learn from each other. No one needs to recreate the wheel to cope with e-publications. How the advent and increasing presence of electronic publishing will impact the people who will read them may ultimately be of more importance than what we will do with the machines, the storage media or the delivery mechanism.
The most recent trend in the book industry is the development of electronic books (or E-Books), which has the potential to be the most for-reaching change since Guntenberg’s invention.
1.3 Aim and Objective of the Study
The aim and objective of this study is to analyse the impact of E-publishing in digital era in our society and also examining and investigate how E-publishing improve the publishing of article, journal and other written content by scholar.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Projects provide a flexible framework for engaging students in exploring curricular topics and developing important 21st century skills, such as communication, teamwork, and technology skills. In addition, students are motivated by the fun and creative format and the opportunity to make new friends around the world. For this project will help in adding new content to body of knowledge and help others for further study.
1.5 Research Question
1. what is the impact of E-publishing in this digital era.
2. How did E-publishing improve the publishing of journal and other written content.
1.6 Research Methodology
This study shall majorly be constituted of articles culled from newspapers, journals, write-ups, opinions of authors and jurists and internet materials. This is due to the newness of this topic. However, some textbooks from some notable authors will also be considered.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is centred on the impact of E-publishing in digital era. In pursing this investigation and study, lots of impediments and obstruction were encountered as the research progressed. All these impediments brought about a conspicuous clause with the research work. They include, time constraint and financial conditions. Time was also limited to the researcher in carrying out the study effectively and efficiently. Financial condition prevailing within the economic system was a serious impediment. This includes transportation fare to and from school to get material. Also that of extracting the essential information either through printing or photocopying of relevant materials. Finance, thus contributed immensely to limit the entire scope of the research.
Although all these obstructions were envisaged and experienced, efforts were made to carry on with the research to achieve the expected and desired result.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Electronic Books (E-Books): The book is quiet popular document to meet the academic needs of user community. Publishing a book electronically is to achieve quick publishing and dissemination of information. A book may not have contemporary value that a journal has but it certainly has an archival and reference value.
Electronic Periodicals: Electronic Periodicals are accessible to all users regardless of geographic location. Anyone in the world with services and the proper computer software and browser services can access online journals.
Electronic Database: With the emergence of computers and communication technologies the strength of academic information system in the development of modern database has taken new shape. The holding of the academic library database consisting of books, periodicals, reports and theses can be converted to electronic form that allows access for public use through digital networks. The online electronic library card catalog (OPAC) shows how information could be published and that enable user to search the document with various access points like author, title, subjects.
Electronic Publishing on CD-ROM: CD-ROM has provided new dimension for information storage and retrieval. Publishing information mainly abstracting sources are quiet common in CD-ROM. Although much of the work on e-journals has concentrated on distribution via the Internet, there has been some work on CD-ROM as well.
Print-on-Demand (POD): Print-on-Demand is a new method for printing books. It is a mix of electronic and print publishing. The book is held by the publisher in electronic form and is printed out in the hard copy form only on order. This method helps free publishers from the process of doing a traditional print run of several thousand books at a time.
Digital Content: Digital Content Generally refers to the electronic delivery of fiction that is shorter than book-length, nonfiction, and other written works of shorter length.
Email Publishing: Email publishing is designed specifically for delivering regular content-based email messages. Email publishing, or newsletter publishing, is a popular choice among readers who enjoy the ease of receiving news items, articles and short newsletters in their email box.
Web Publishing: Web publishing is not a novel practice any longer, but it continues to change and develop with the introduction of new programming languages. HTML is still the most widely used web programming language, but XML is also making headway. XML is valuable because it allows publishers to create content and data that is portable to other devices. Nearly every company in the world has some type of website, and most media companies provide a large amount of web- based content.
This research was aimed at evaluating the potentials of soil bacteria to elaborate L-asparaginase; an important therapeutic enzyme involved in the treatment of lymphoblastic leukemia. Fourteen soil samples were collected but pooled into seven composite samples to represent their various locations. The samples were analyzed using standard microbiological protocols. A total of 125 bacterial species were isolated by pour plate technique. Marian market dump-site soil (MMDS) sample harboured 26 (20.8%) of the isolated bacteria while Satellite Town dump-site soil (STDS) sample harboured 6 (4.8%) of the total bacteria. Results of the primary screening tests revealed that only 35 (28%) of total bacteria could elaborate L-asparaginase production potential by the rapid plate technique. However, only 6 (17.1%) of the positive bacteria could demonstrate such potentials in liquid medium. The six bacteria were preliminarily identified as species of the genera Pseudomonas, Corynebacterium, Bacillus, Erwinia and Escherichia. These results demonstrate the potentials of dumpsite bacteria to produce value-added biopharmaceutical products for applications in health care.
L-asparaginase (EC 22.214.171.124) belongs to a group of homologues amidohydrolases family, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of amino acid L-asparagine to L-aspartate and ammonia. They are naturally occurring enzymes expressed and produced by animal tissues, bacteria, plants and in the serum of certain rodents, but not in mankind (Muthusivaramapandian et al., 2008). Large number of microorganisms that include Erwinia carotovora, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Abdel-Fatteh et al., 2002) and Escherichia coli (Qin et al., 2003) has been known to produce L-asparaginase. Different types of asparaginase can be used for different industrial and pharmaceutical purposes.
Asparaginases are used to reduce the formation of acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen in starchy food products such as snacks and biscuit (Bansal et al., 2010). By adding asparaginase before baking or frying the food, asparagine is converted into another common amino acid, aspartic acid and ammonia (Lalitha and Ramanjaneyulu, 2016). L-asparagine is an essential amino acid used for nutritional requirement of both normal cells and cancer cells. Since several type of tumor cell requires l-asparagine for protein synthesis, they are deprived of an essential factor in the presence of L-asparaginase. This enzyme is widely used in the treatment of acute lymphatic leukemia. Lymphatic tumor cells require huge amount of L-asparaginase for malignant growth.
L-asparaginase + H2O L-asparaginase Aspartic acid + Ammonia (NH3).
L-asparaginase was produced by wide range of bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, algae and plants (Prasad et al., 2013). Microbes are better source for the production of L-asparaginase, because they can easily be cultured, extracted and purified.
L-asparaginase has lots of medical and industrial applications. Ever since, L-asparaginase anti-tumor activity was first demonstrated, its production using microbial systems has attracted considerable attention owing to their cost effective and eco-friendly nature.
1.2 Objectives of study
The overall aim of the proposed study is the production of L-asparaginase (anti-cancerous) enzyme from bacteria.
Isolation of pure cultures of bacteria from .soil samples
Primary screening of purified isolates for L-asparaginase production
Secondary screening of positive bacteria for L-asparaginase production in liquid medium.
Price: 6000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT AND THE APPLICABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION STANDARDS ON UNFAIR DISMISSAL IN NIGERIA
Industrial and labour relations occupy an important and enviable place in the socio-economic development of any nation in particular and the world at large. The conditions under which an employee works as well as the security of his employment has great bearing on his output which in turn affects the socio-economic development of the nation wherein the employee performs his work. The desire to ensure maximum performance and protection of the employees in their mostly ‘begger has no choice’ situation has constantly motivated and enhanced the efforts of the International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations towards setting acceptable standards for the protection of interest of employees. Issues bordering on determination of contract of employment take dominant position in industrial and labour relations. Unfair dismissal is one of the problems plaguing employees in developing countries like Nigeria. The International Labour Organisation set a standard which an employer wishing to terminate employment of his employee must comply with. The attribute of international law under which the standards of the International labour organisation falls make the application of these standards dependent on the state of the municipal laws of member states of the International Labour Organisation. The provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, subjects these standards to the Legislative Acts of the federal law makers. However, the Third Alteration Act and the National Industrial Court Act have brought what seems to be a statutory intervention on the application of these standards. The researchers undertake the study of the International Labour Organisation’s standards on unfair dismissal of an employee vis-a-viz the practice in Nigeria, the attitude of Nigerian Laws to these standards as well as the applicability of these standards in Nigeria and selected countries. The researchers employ analytical comparison of Nigeria laws and practice on determination of contract of employment as well as laws of the selected countries as they relate to the International Labour Organisation standards on unfair dismissal. Also, the researchers adopt construction of statutes and case law as part of their methodology. At the end, the researchers found that dismissal and termination situations in Nigeria amount to unfair dismissal when tested against ILO standards on unfair dismissal. The researchers then recommend that Nigeria needs to adopt ILO standards on unfair dismissal with modifications where necessary. Also, that every legal and institutional impediments that hinder the application of ILO Convention on unfair dismissal should be removed by the concerted efforts of the three arms of Government of Nigeria for purposes of achieving the policy of fair dismissal in Nigeria.
Price: 4000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
1.1 Background of the Study
Although transportation has liberated man and makes him more mobile, his increasing reliance on vehicular movement has conferred great facilities on him and his activities. The greatest culprit of all the modes of transport is road of which traffic accident is the most disturbing repercussion of its use.
Road traffic accident is therefore an issue of great international concern as it has emerged as the single greatest source of death all over the world. In the developing countries where the number of motor vehicles relating to population is generally much lower than in the developed countries, fatalities from automobile crashes are higher. It has been shown, for instance, that accidents in developing countries cost almost one percent of these countries Annual Gross National Product utilizing scarce financial resources they can ill-afford to lose (Akpoghomeh, 1998).
Nigeria, with a total land area of 910,771 square kilometres and human population of about 167 million, is the most populous country in Africa, and the 7th most populous nation in the world. Its large land mass and burgeoning population correlate with its high level of vehicular population estimated at over 7.6 million with a total road length of about 194,000 kilometres (comprising 34, 120 km
federal, 30,500 Km, State and 129,580 km of local roads). Nigeria ranked as the country with the second largest road network in Africa in 2011. Its population density which varies in rural and urban areas (approximately 51.7% and 48.3% respectively) translates to a population- road ratio of 860 persons per square kilometres indicating intense traffic pressure on the available road network. This pressure contributes to the high road traffic accidents in the country (FRSC, 2012).
The Nigeria situation has reached such an alarming proportion even to the point of sheer frustration and near helplessness. Nigeria continues to feature in the bottom half of World Health Organisation country rankings of road traffic accidents. The country‟s 149th ranking in 2009 out of 178 member states indicates the hazards associated with road transportation in a country that is largely dependent on its road network for economic, social and physical activities.
Indeed news of road traffic accidents in Nigeria no longer stirs any surprise. What may be shocking, however, is the magnitude of the fatality. Daily, Nigerian Newspapers carry news of road traffic accidents that are considered significant only in severity. Sometimes the papers sum up the number of lives claimed as if they were providing an expenditure account. e.g. “over 100 lives lost to fatal accidents in the Nyanya area in the last one year‟. Such news indicates that we live in accidents every day.
According to Sumaila (2001) road traffic accidents have claimed more lives than deaths resulting from all communicable diseases put together including the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome AIDS). Thus, the government and people of Nigeria are deeply concerned about the continuing high rate of road accidents and the unnecessary consequential waste of lives and properties. What is worrisome is the fact that road traffic crashes and mortality rates are still high despite various remedial measures taken in recent years to combat the problem.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Road traffic crashes (RTC) are as old as the roads (Highways) themselves. Therefore, roads traffic crash is unargueable, a major killer of men. The magnitude and trend of the crash worldwide is heart breaking, yet unfortunately, the rising tide of the global problem has continued to outstrip effort to control it.
Traffic crash presently the 11th leading cause death and it may raise to 3rd position by the year 2020. Therefore, in Nigeria one person is killed in less than two hours as at 2008, one RTC occur every 58 minutes and 54 deaths occur in every 100,000 population (Balogun, 2006:4). It is in view of this myriad carnage that the federal road safety corp. is mandated with making the highways safe for motorist and other road users, and also preventing or minimizing road traffic crash on the high ways.
However, despite the logistic challenges among others road traffic accidents have kept occurring, it is in this light that the research work will examine the factors which responsible for the road traffic crashes on the highways.
According to Olagunju K. (2011) in Road Sense have identified the causes of RTC as follows:
1. Human factors
2. Mechanical factors
3. Environmental factors
He also state that , we can only talk of vehicular traffic when there is at least a vehicle (mechanical) to be driven , a driver( human) to drive on a track , lane , road or any space (environment) to drive on . It is when there is a deficiency or defect in the inter relationship in any of or all the three factors , that there is a crash.
1.3 Research Questions
1. To what extent the FRSC corps members discharge their duties?
2. What are the factors that hamper the command in discharging its mandate ?
3. What are the strategies for controlling these factors?
1.4 Objectives of the Studies
The major of the study is assessing the challenges against the FRSC corps in the enforcement of traffic regulations on highways.
The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To assess the level of efficiency by the corps in the process of enforcement of traffic rules and regulations on highways.
2. To identify the factors that halts the command from achieving its designated objective or goals.
3. To discover possible means by which the operations of the command could be enhanced.
1.5 The Significance of the Study
The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, as it will highlight the challenges encounter by FRSC corps to the enforcement of Road Traffic Regulations on the Highway.
The research will reveal the challenges against FRSC corps which will assist decision makers to improve the condition of service, so that the corps members can be able to discharge their responsibilities efficiently.
It will also guide policy makers in designing policies that will tackle the menace of road traffic crashes and budgetary allocations to the commission for effective enforcement of road traffic regulations on the highway.
The study will also be an eye opener for other researchers and further investigation on the challenges facing the organization, conduct and comportment of enforcement of road traffic regulations on the highway.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study
This study uses Zaria-Kano highway as a study area under Zaria unit command. This research work is being carried out within the period under review. The researcher considers only from 2011 – 2015.
In the process of conducting the research, the researcher faced with the following constraints:
– Time which is very limited to the researcher to conduct a successful research.
– Some respondents respond to the questions of the researcher negatively as they sometimes regards their document confidential.
1.7 Definitions of Terms
Challenges: The problem faced by the corps in carrying out the statutory factions.
Corps: The entire working staff in whatever capacity or department excluding appointed members of the board.
Enforcement : broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.
Traffic : the number of vehicles moving along roads, or the amount of aircraft, trains, or ships moving along a route.
A highway: is any public road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks.
Regulation: a law, rule, or other order prescribed by authority, especially to control conduct .
1.8 The organization of the Study
The plan of the study contain up to five chapters.
chapter one consist Background of the study which discuss some information as an introduction of the topic of the research , statement of the problems , research questions ,objectives of the study , significance of the study, scope and limitation, definition of the terms as well as organization of the study.
Chapter two contains the literature review which discusses the views of some scholars about the topic of discussion, and also theoretical framework.
Chapter three discuss on the historical background of FRSC as well as the structure of the corps.
Chapter four deal with methodology, data presentation and analysis while the last chapter which is chapter five discusses the summary, conclusion and recommendations.
The Critical Success Factors of Information and Communication Technology Usage in Nigeria’s Commercial Banks
Price: 4000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
The rapidly changing business environments in which organizations operate have brought challenges that organizations must meet up with in other to remain competitive. According to Adewoye (2007), these environments in which banks and other organizations operate are competitive, complex and consist of changing operational conditions. The revolution in information and communication technology is the drive of present day economy and corporate strategies of organizations; it is responsible for the speedy changes in the mode of operations that organizations adopt.
Considering Nigeria‟s banking sector, the use of information and communication technology is relatively new. As at 1998 one bank in Nigeria had an automated teller machine (Agboola, 2006). On realizing the benefits of using ICTs in rendering of banking services, Nigeria commercial banks now deploy and use different ICT facilities in their various banking services.
In this study an attempt is made to find out from the various customers of Nigeria‟s banks included in this study what their most used and prefered ICT facility of their banks is. An attempt is also made to find out if bank customers most used and prefered ICT facility differs based on gender consideration and lastly, this study also tries to find out what the worst factors are that tend to limit customer usage of their banks‟ICTs.To be able to answer these questions, a theoretical framework of CFS and contingency theory are used. The data received from the survey are analyzed by using SPSS.
The objective of this study is to identify, describe, explain and explore the different CFS of ICT application in banks to rendering quality services to customers in the studied commercial banks in Nigeria.
The findings are that: The individual customers of the studied banks prefer to make use of their banks‟ automated teller machine most of the time compare to other ICT facility been used in the banks. But, the banks‟ corporate customers prefer to make use of branch networking facility of their banks. According to the theoretical frame work of CFS being used in this study, the CSFs based on data gotten from individual customers and corporate customers are automated teller machines and branch networking. In determining what the CFS are based on gender, the results show that female customers of the studied banks prefer to use internet banking and the male customers prefer to use automated teller machines. From the responses received from corporate customers, it shows that the critical success factor for the females is mobile banking and for the males is branch networking. The survey revealed that low internet connectivity, security and epileptic power supply are the worst factors limiting customers‟ usage of their banks ICT facilities.
The 21st century business environment is characterized by highly changing technological innovations, especially in information and communication technology (ICT) (Agboola, 2006). ICT has become an integral part of corporate organizations‟ life as it plays important roles in its management and organization (Laudon and Laudon, 1991).
The pace of the evolutionary trend of ICT in our society is phenomenal as its impacts are felt in every facet of the society including the outmost corners of the world; consequently the numbers of personal computers and internet subscribers are on the increase and are expected to keep growing especially in less developed countries (Mark, 2007).
In the assertion of Nijkamp and Cohen-Blankshtain (2005), digital revolution has not only impacted significantly on contemporary business life, our style of living and our occupation, but it has also affected the public services significantly.
1.1 Information and Communication Development in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the first computer ever came into the country in the year 1963. However, the revolution of ICT in the country started with the return of democratic rule (Www, Siteresources). In addition, Agboola (2006) said that ICT first made its way into Nigerian banks in the early 90s. In 1998, one bank had an ATM, but by 2004, fourteen commercial banks had acquired one.
In giving high priority attention to ICT, the Federal government came up with different policies to ensure a successful development of the sub sector and other major sectors that will serve as a market for the ICT. Such policies were National Information Technology (NIT) Policy, National Space policy, National Bio-technology Policy, National Telecommunication policy, etc (Www, Siteresources).
As the government intensifies its effort to aid rapid development of ICT in the country, records shown that the efforts are geared towards acquiring, programming tools, software, applications and internal software development, operating systems, computer and network systems integration, voice and data communications services, web hosting, data processing services, wired and wireless communications and IT consulting. These ICT related acquisitions and spendings by the government of Nigeria is reported by the World Bank to have doubled within the last 5 years. Below is the graphical representation of the World Bank report (Www, Siteresources).
Figure One: Nigeria’s ICT Expenditure (US$)
1.1.1 ICT Institutions in Nigeria
The efforts of the government in making Nigeria an ICT driven country is not only limited to ICT related acquisitions but it also includes the establishment of supporting institutions in various parts of the country. Such institutions include National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Others are National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDF), establishment of IT Parks with functioning infrastructures for training, service rendering and management which are necessary for harnessing the power of information and communication (Www, Siteresources).
The effort of the government to make Nigeria an ICT empowered nation has also spread to the education sector, this effort is seen in the establishment of Federal University of technology and Polytechnics in different regions of the country. Through the initiative of making Nigeria an ICT driven nation, the Ministry of education has significantly made progress in its development and implementation of the following ICT driven projects:
The Nigerian Universities Network and National Teachers Institutes, Teachers Training program through Distance Learning.
National Virtual Library project.
National Open University of Nigeria and Distance Learning program.
Computers in Schools Initiative.
Educational Management information System (EMIS). (ibid)
Besides the Universities and Polytechnics, there are other ICT training institutes in Nigeria, these include Microsoft Training Academy, CISCO Academy, Digital Bridge institute (DBI), National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) etc.These training institutes run certification programs leading to the award of different ICT qualification, such as IT Security Certifications, Microsoft Windows Network Certifications, Database Certifications, CISCO Network Certifications and others. At the industrial level, different industrial associations have been formed to fast track rapid ICT development in Nigeria. Examples of industrial association formed in this regard are Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Association of Telecommunications Companies (ATC), Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPN), Outsourcing Development Initiative of Nigeria (ODIN), Computer Association of Nigeria (CAN) etc (Www, Siteresources).
1.1.2 Nigerian Communications Satellite 1 (NigComSat-1)
The desire of Nigeria to rapidly develop its ICT capability did not end with the establishment of Universities, polytechnics and other training institutions, but in 2006, Nigeria NigComSat-1 was incorporated. NigComSat-1 is an acronym that means Nigerian Communications Satellite 1; it was incorporated as a limited liability company to be in charge of management and operations of the Communications Satellites that was launched in 2007 (Www, Nigcomsat).
In the research of Oketola, (2010), the author said that the Nigerian government is making efforts to overcome the challenges that brought about poor e-readiness of the nation. E-readiness is defined as “the degree to which a society is prepared to participate in the digital economy with the underlying concept that the digital economy can help to build a better society” (GeoSINC International, 2002.Pp 5). In this regard Oketola, (2010), said that concerted efforts are been made to make the Nigeria NigComSat-1 satellite functional with rich ICT package related services to ensure that ICT development in the nation ranks high among the first 20 nations by the year 2020. The author also revealed that NigComSat-1 when fully operational promises to deliver to Nigerians the following benefits:
This is the exchange of information over reasonable distances through electronic devices such as telegraphs, radio, telephones, fiber optics, orbiting satellites, internet etc, in addition the NigComSat-1 is to enhance ,Urban Rural Telephony, Mobile & Paging Services ,corporate networks(VPN), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), networks,inter-carrier Services, Satellite to Satellite Services are all the awaiting benefits from the Nigerian Communications Satellites (Www,Searchtelecom and Www,Nigcomsat).
A tele-centre is a common place for every person in the society where Internet, computers, and other digital technologies can be assessed to enable people in the society to, learn, get information, communicate with others, and learn important digital skills. One main reason for the incorporation of NigComSat-1 is to empower Nigerians digitally (Www, Nigcomsat).
Broadcasting, Internet and Multimedia
Broadcasting is dispersing of messages or signals to a wider area or to connected electrical devices. The installation of NigComSat-1is also expected to greatly improve on the Nigeria broadcasting subsector of the economy, especially in the areas of video streaming, multimedia and audio. It is also to enhance the availability of internet to all Nigeria citizens and corporate organizations so that Nigeria can realize her dream of been an ICT driven nation, (Www, Nigcomsat).
“Telepresence is defined as the experience of being fully present at a live real world location remote from one’s own physical location.”(Www, Transparenttelepresenceresearchgroup, 2004, Pp1)
The Nigeria NigComSat-1is designed to support Telepresence, which will make distance learning, telemedicine, e-government and e-commerce possible in the country (Www, Nigcomsat).
1.2 Background to the problem
Banking operations in Nigeria started in1892; the operation has been through different faces of modifications to enhance successful performance of the industry (Brownbridge, 1996).
Banking operation without the application of ICT facilities is slow and it limits the capability of the banks to attend to the need of their teaming customers and to effectively market their products (Kasum, et al., 2006).
Nigeria‟s economy is cash based, regarding the payment system. This assertion reveals the problems faced by customers in having to go with bulk of physical cash in the process of business transaction; this way of paying for transactions predisposes business men and women to attacks of robbers who may dispossess them of their hard earned resources (Kasum, et al., 2006).
Non availability of ICT facilities in banks make embarking on banking transactions difficult for customers. For example, checking account balance, the customers will have to go to his bank regardless of the distance. Customers are also unable to undertake internet transaction; this means that in time of financial need customers cannot transfer or receive money via internet but will have to wait until the physical cash is made available by any other means outside the use of ICT facilities. On the side of the banks, there is limitation of the number of customers or intending customers that can become aware of banks products. Non usage of ICT facilities restricts a bank to a particular geographical region (Kasum, et al., 2006).
Therefore, not utilization of ICT in banking operations, especially in Nigeria, definitely poses problems for the nation‟s emerging economy, its population and other sectors of the economy that depend on the services of the various banks.
1.3 Statement of Problem
The economy of Nigeria is an emerging economy that needs the instrumentality of a viable banking sector to keep the economic engine running. The Nigerian banking sector cannot afford to lag behind in this present day dynamic business environment, it is therefore important for the sector to fully embrace and integrate the modern information and communication technology into all facet of its operations.
This study will analyze the conditions of some commercial banks in Nigeria in terms of deployment and utilization of ICT in their operations and also the effects of ICT facilities on their operations.
The specific questions that shall guide the research in this project are:
-What are the various ICTs that customers (both internal and external) regard as critical success factors (CFS) for enhancing banking service quality in Nigeria?
-To determine if there are any differences in the perceptions of customers regarding their choice of usage of their banks‟ ICT facilities based on their gender.
-To identify the worst factors limiting the usage of commercial banks‟ ICT facilities in Nigeria.
1.4 Objectives of the Research
The aims of the paper are to identify, describe, explain and explore the various CFS of ICT usage in the studied commercial banks in Nigeria as perceived by internal and external customers. In addition, this study is also aimed at determining what the CFS of Nigerian Banks‟ ICT facilities are, based on customers‟ gender as well as to find out what the factors are that tend to limit customers usage of their banks‟ ICT facilities in Nigeria. The stated research questions will be answered with the help of the theoretical framework of Critical Success Factor and contingency theory.
Present day business environment is characterized by dynamic technological innovations that places premium on business organization to upgrade their facilities if they are to stand out as being competitive and dominant in their market. As a result of this, Nigeria‟s commercial banks have begun to embrace the use of ICT facilities in their operations so as to be competitive (Agboola, 2006).
The concept of effects of ICT application in Nigeria commercial banks is met to unravel the ways that ICT has changed the banking procedures to procedures that are customer focused and highly valued by customers. In the findings of Stella (2010), the author noted that one of the effects of ICT application in banking services is its ability to enable banks to grapple with the challenges of the current day‟s rapid technological revolution in the banking industry. According to her, utilization of ICT in banking operations can greatly improve on banks‟ efficiency, profitability and productivity.
In supporting Stella‟s (2010) view, Accad (2000), posited that clarity of prices and empowerments of consumers brought about by information technology has led to products and price competitions among banks. While continuing, the author said that banks will have to take advantage of the effectiveness of ICT to differentiate their products and services in other to meet the demand of their customers, additionally, Accad also said that ICT enables banks to provide financial information to their customers in a customized user friendly fashion that allows them to easily trail data in the structure that is best suitable to their purpose. Similarly, Abdulazeez 2010 revealed that the use of ICT in Nigerian banks has brought about an effective means of extending banking services to cover more areas in the business environment. According to the author, through the instrumentality of ICT in the various commercial banks it is now possible to make room for more “functions and processes in other sectors” pp.40 , for example, the government can now receive payments for vehicle licensing and registrations as well as payment of school fees through internet banking.
In addition, the Government nowadays pays staff salaries through the e-payment means provided by bank‟s information and communication technology. In continuation, the author said that with the use of ICT in banks, customers can access their account balance to know their financial transactions, top up their cell phones and pay their bills using their mobile cell phones without the stress of having to go to the bank. Furthermore the author also revealed in his findings that access to different branches of commercial banks without difficulty is an encouraging management tool for commercial banks to effectively utilize their bank‟s resources. He also said that with the assistance of information and communication technology, commercial banks are now closer to their customers; and they are able to find out what the needs of their customers are and plan the best way possible to meet such needs as well as other variety of services in a personalized manner at the lowest cost possible (Abdulazeez, 2010).
In the findings of Nam (2006), the author said that the offering of an appropriate level of quality services that meet customers‟ expectations is important for the success of an organization as it is capable of attracting new customers and retaining the old ones. In the light of the opinion of Nam, quality of service is service rendered by an organization that is aimed at meeting the needs of its esteemed customers.
Similarly, Hanna (1994), contributed that flexibility of information and quick response to customer‟s requests are key factors to rendering quality services to customers on a timely fashion; while continuing she said that flexibility of information and quick responses rate are greatly influenced by ICT.
In the conclusion of Abdulazeez (2010), the authors accepted that international money transfer organizations such as Western Union Money Transfer and Money Gram are entirely reliant on ICT to provide convenient services to their customers in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Therefore, the use of ICT in Nigerian commercial banks will ease the difficulties that were associated with the banking sector such as long queue in the banking halls and delays in rendering of services.
In a similar assertion, Ovia (2000), submitted that the introduction of plastic money in the informs of ATM debit card or credit card are additional steps to improving on the quality of services rendered by banks to their customers. He also said that ICT will lead to a much desired cashless economy in Nigeria and will, in the long run, help in the decline of loss of cash to robbers and other vices.
To be able to fulfill the objectives of this study, the description of banking services rendered to customers with the aid of ICTs as a convenient , more efficient, cost effective, safer, and timely tool, (Ovia, 2005), will be taken for the definition of success.
The theoretical frame work of CFS has been commonly used in businesses as well as in the context of technology, but in the context of this research work, the theory of CSFs will be employed to identify some ICT facilitates that are critical to the success of Nigeria commercial banks and with contingency theory the researcher will be able to identify the contingent circumstances leading to the usage of ICT in the banks under study.
There are numerous ICT facilities being used in banks, but in this study attention will be given to those ones that are been deployed by Nigeria banks.
These shall include:
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
Electronic fund transfer (EFT)
1.5 Significance/ Justification of Study
In trying to validate why this study is important, it is necessary to state that researchers have found this area of study very important to the advancement of the socio-economic activities in Nigeria. Many researchers have been carried out to x-ray the importance and benefits of ICT usage in banks, this research will therefore focus on the CFS of ICT usage in Nigeria commercial banks and the ways it has impacted on the quality of services rendered to costumers. A study of this kind is likewise very significant because it is going to enlighten the general public on the importance and benefits of information and communication technology usage in banking operation.
In present day business environment where technological invention is rapidly turning the world into a global village, Nigeria commercial banks cannot afford to be left behind and over taken by events in the dynamic world, to be able to do this Nigeria commercial banks should rise up to take advantage of the robust ICT to improve on the quality of their services.
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of Study
Commercial banks are spread out in the entire geographical landscape of Nigeria, with the main purpose of providing financial services to the general public and corporate firms. The aim of such services is to contribute to the social economic development of Nigeria. To cover all the regions in the whole country will be impracticable because of the limited time frame. Due to this reason, the research will be restricted to some selected commercial banks in the southern part of Nigeria, Edo State and Benin City in particular. The CFS of ICT usage in the selected banks will be analyzed, looking at its contributions, and in what form.
This research work has six chapters, with first chapter providing an introduction ICT revolution, importance and benefit in the corporate society, ICT development in Nigeria, background to the problem, Statement of problem, objectives of the research, significance/ justification of study, scope and delimitation of study and finally, the outline. The Second chapter gives the theoretical perspectives. The third chapter is about the scientific methods used. The fourth chapter gives the background information about Nigeria. The fifth chapter presents the data presentation and analysis. And lastly, the sixth chapter presents the discussion and conclusions.
Price: 4000 Naira (BSC, MSC)
In most agrarian economies like the type that exists in Nigeria, agricultural production
provides the needed fulcrum upon which a sustainable development would blossom. Being
the main source of food for most of the population, till date, agricultural production remains
the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. It provides the means of livelihood for most of the
population, a major source of raw materials for the agro-allied industries and a potent source
of the much needed foreign exchange. However, inadequate credit (among other factors) to
the agricultural sector led to the downward trend observed in agricultural productivity in
Nigeria. To avert such trend, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the Agricultural
Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) in 1977 to assist farmers have access to credit as to
improve agricultural productivity. The setting up of the ACGSF was predicated on the
unwillingness of commercial banks to give loans to smallholder farmers for reasons of high
default rate on loan repayment and, therefore high risk, of repayment. In the course of the
fund’s operations, a number of problems have been identified as militating against its smooth
performance; some of which affected the amount of credit granted to the various agricultural
subsectors. Therefore, this study sought to examine (i) the impact of Agricultural Credit
Guarantee Scheme Fund on crop output in Nigeria; (ii) the impact of Agricultural Credit
Guarantee Scheme Fund on livestock output in Nigeria; (iii) the impact of Agricultural Credit
Guarantee Scheme Fund on fisheries output in Nigeria; and (iv) the impact of Agricultural
Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund total fund granted on Agricultural output and productivity in
Nigeria. The ex-post facto research design was adopted to enable the researcher make use of
secondary data and determine cause-effect relationship during the period, 1978-2008. The
Ordinary Least Square (OLS) estimation technique was adopted, using SPSS statistical
software to test the hypotheses, where Total Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund
(TACGSF), Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund to crop production (ACGSFCP),
Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund to livestock (ACGSFLSP) and Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund to fisheries (ACGSFP) were used as the independent
variables while Agricultural Production (AP), Gross Domestic Product Agricultural Crop
Production (GDPACP), Gross Domestic Product Agricultural Livestock Production
(GDPALS) and Gross Domestic Product Agricultural Fisheries Production (GDPAFP) were
used as the dependent variable. The study found that Agricultural Credit guarantee scheme
fund for crop production, livestock production and fisheries had significant positive impact
on crop, livestock and fisheries productivity in Nigeria for the period of the study and also,
the total agricultural credit guarantee scheme fund had significant positive impact on
agricultural output in Nigeria. The study therefore recommends that stakeholders in the
scheme viz: the farmers, lending institutions and government must show greater commitment
and dedication for the scheme to achieve its laudable objectives.
1.1 Background of the Study
Agricultural Production in Nigeria is progressively on the decline in terms of its contribution
to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as satisfying the country’s food requirement,
despite the fact that about 70 per cent of the population engage in agriculture, thus Nigeria
agricultural sector is unable to fulfill its most basic and traditional role of being the source of
food for the nation, therefore the food import has continued to rise (Odigbo, 2000). There is a
growing recognition by the Nigerian farmers of the effect of improved inputs and new
technologies on agricultural yield. The use of these inputs and the adoption of high yielding
techniques have given rise to an increased need for agricultural credit since majority of
Nigerian farmers are small-scale farmers and are often limited by unfavorable economic,
social, cultural and institutional conditions (Olubiyo and Hill, 2000). Insufficiency of capital
has been a major constraint to agricultural development (Agu, 1998) in order to improve
agricultural production modern farm inputs such as fertilizers, improved seed, feeds and plant
protection chemicals and agricultural machineries are needed over the hoe and machete
technology. Most of these technologies have to be purchased, yet very few farmers have the
financial resources to finance such purchases (Adeniji and Joshua, 2008).
Agriculture contributes immensely to the Nigerian economy in various ways, namely, in the
provision of food for the increasing population; supply of adequate raw materials (and labour
input) to a growing industrial sector; a major source of employment; generation of foreign
exchange earnings; and, provision of a market for the products of the industrial sector
(Okumadewa, 1997; World Bank, 1998; Winters et al., 1998; FAO, 2006). The agrarian
sector has a strong rural base; hence, concern for agriculture and rural development become
synonymous, with a common root (Eze et. al., 2010).
Eze et. al. (2010) posit that support for agriculture is widely driven by the public sector,
which has established institutional support in form of agricultural research, extension,
commodity marketing, input supply, and land use legislation, to fast-track development of
agriculture. These are aside the Private sector participation is not limited to local or foreign
direct and portfolio investment financing, but also to sponsorship of research and
breakthrough on agricultural issues in universities, capacity building for farmers and, most
importantly, the provision of financing to farm businesses. International governmental and non-governmental agencies including the World Bank, Food and Agricultural Organization
of the United Nations, etc., also contribute through on-farm and off-farm support in form of
finance, input supply, strengthening of technical capacity of other support institutions, etc
(see, Eze et. al., 2010).
At independence in 1960, Nigeria’s agriculture was characterized by high production
achieved by mobilizing small scale farmers, provision of infrastructure (roads, railways)
geared towards developing crops required for export, and foundation laid for research and
export. After independence, government interventions in agriculture were realized within the
framework of development plans and annual budgets. Food was abundant and demand met
without resort to import (Okoro and Ujah, 2009).
Using a broad classification, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS) document the import and export agricultural products in the following
categories – live animals and animal products; vegetable products; animal and vegetable fats
and oil; foodstuff, beverages, spirit and vinegar, tobacco; and raw hides and skins leather,
furskins, and saddler. The agricultural exports of significance include cocoa beans and
products, rubber, fish/shrimp, cotton, processed skin, etc (Okoro and Ujah, 2009). These
agricultural products account for about 39.7% of the total nonoil exports in 2007 (CBN,
2007). According to Soludo (2006), agriculture has been growing at about 7% per annum in
the last three years and has been driving the nonoil growth, and will continue to hold the key
to growth, employment and poverty reduction.
In terms of value of import visàvis export, Nigeria is a huge netimporter of agricultural
products. The importexport gap has been widening since 1999 and this puts the agricultural
policy of the nation to question. This situation, however, provides a unique opportunity for
closing up or eliminating this ‘agricultural deficit’ through functional policies and budgets
(Okoro and Ujah, 2009).
Agriculture also is a significant sector in the Nigerian economy. Although Nigeria depends
heavily on the oil industry for her revenues, Nigeria is predominantly an agrarian society with
the sector contributing about 42%1 of real GDP in 2008 (CBN, 2008). In 2007, the
contribution of agriculture to economy totaled some $132.2 billion (Economist, Sept. 2008).
Eboh, Ujah and Nzeh (2009) show that the contemporary economic significance of the agricultural sector is even more remarkable as in the past half a decade, the impressive
growth rate of the nation’s economy has been driven by the nonoil sector, particularly
agricultural sector. There are, however, doubts about the sustainability of the current growth
rate. The recent upsurge in agricultural growth rate could have been driven mainly by
production of staple crops, while productivity has remained low and internationally
uncompetitive, and yields of most crops have actually declined over the past two decades
(Mogues et al., 2008; Eboh et al., 2006).
Approximately 70% of the Nigeria’s population engages in agricultural production at
subsistence level, while agricultural holdings are generally small and scattered (FGN, 2008).
Smallholder farmers constitute 81% of all farm holdings and their production system is
inefficient. Smallscale (0.15.9 ha), medium scale (6.09.9 ha) and large scale (>10 ha) are
the three broad categories of farm holdings in Nigeria, with the smallscale farm holdings
predominating the country’s agriculture and accounting for about 81% of the total farm area
and 95% agricultural output (see, Shaib et al., 1997; FMAWR, 2009). The estimated average
operational holding is 2 ha per farm family.
Further analysis of the working population data indicates that growth rate of agriculture
working population seems to be the driver of the growth rate in total working population. For
instance the growth rate of agriculture working population dropped from 3.73% in 2003 to
1.94% in 2007, while that of the total working population dropped from 4.46% in 2003 to
3.25% in 2007 (see, Ujah and Okoro, 2009). The high correlation between growth rates of
total working population and agriculture working population seems to suggest that agriculture
holds the potential for tackling unemployment in the country at least in the shortrun. Despite
the significance of agriculture in the nation’s economy, the sector is clearly the least
productive when compared to other sectors (Ujah and Okoro, 2009).
The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) was formed under the military
government in 1977 with an initial capital base of N100 million distributed between the
federal government (60% equity) and the Central Bank of Nigeria –CBN (40%). The ACGSF
is exclusively managed by a board set up under the supervision of the CBN (management
agent). The fund is set up with the sole purpose of providing guarantee in respect of loans
granted by any bank for agricultural purposes (Central Bank of Nigeria, 1990). Nwosu et al (2010) noted that the ACGSF was formed solely with the objective of encouraging financial
institutions to lend funds to those engaged in agricultural production as well as agroprocessing
activities with the aim of enhancing export capacity of the nation as well as for
local consumption. This is solely exclusive for large scale farming (Somayina, 1981).
The question that comes to mind is whether the declining share of agricultural loan from
commercial banks can be traceable to the challenges that encumbered ACGSF. For example,
Nwosu et al (2010) identified three major problems associated with the ACGSF scheme,
which include increasing incidence of loan defaulters, bank related problems and the
inclusion of the term “personal guarantee”. Nwosu et al reiterates that the term is subjective
in interpretation especially as the decree forming ACGSF was not able to explain this.
Therefore, banks utilize personal judgment and circumstantial framework to interpret this.
This will hinder the achievement of the objective of the scheme (see, Nwosu, 2010).
One of the sole objectives for the establishment of the ACGSF is to enhance the export
capacity of agricultural produce (Somayina, 1981). The ACGSF is aimed at guaranteeing
agricultural outfit that specializes in the following; agricultural outfit engaged in the
establishment and management of plantation for cash crop produce like rubber production, oil
palm extracting, cocoa plantation etc; agricultural outfit engaged in the cultivation and
production of food crops like fruit of all kinds, tubers of yam, cereals and all other food crops
and agricultural activities involved in the large scale production of animal husbandries. The
vast employment opportunity and the quest towards diversification of the revenue source by
the federal government and development agencies have shifted attention towards the informal
and the agricultural sector. For example, to sustain the agricultural production in Nigeria, the
World Bank developed a project called Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) which
was designed to enhance the production of agricultural outputs in Nigeria.
There are four subsectors of agriculture in Nigeria. These are arable crops (including food
crops), livestock, fishery and forestry (including tree crops). Most of the researches
conducted in this area have dealt on the overall impact of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee
Scheme fund on non-oil export output (Somayina, 1981; Efobi, 2011 etc) and contribution to
Nigeria’S GDP (Nwosu, et al., 2010; Shaib, et al., 1997).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Agricultural credit is expected to play a critical role in agricultural development (Duong and
Izumida, 2002). Agricultural credit has for long been identified as a major input in the
development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria. The decline in the contribution of the sector
to the Nigeria economy has been attributed to the lack of a formal national credit policy and
paucity of credit institutions, which can assist farmers among other things. The provision of
this input is important because credit or loan-able fund (capital) is viewed as more than just
another resource such as labour, land, equipment and raw materials. It determines access to
all of the resources on which farmers depend (Shephard, 1979). However, agricultural
productions have not improved and this lead to the establishment of the Agricultural Credit
Guarantee Scheme. The problems which inadequate credit through the scheme may have as
pertained agricultural productivity are;
1. Low agricultural cash crop productivity in Nigeria
2. Low agricultural livestock productivity in Nigeria
3. Low agricultural fisheries productivity in Nigeria and
4. Poor Agricultural productivity in Nigeria
In the course of the fund’s operations, a number of problems have been identified as
militating against its smooth performance, which have limited the funds contribution the cash
crop, livestock and fisheries agricultural subsectors which have lead to low agricultural
productivity in Nigeria. According to Akinleye et al (2005), some of the problems are:
increasing incidence of loan defaults, high rate of loan repayment by ACGS beneficiaries,
others are: natural disasters, poor farm management, low product prices, loan diversion,
deliberate refusal to pay and the inability of farmers to assess loan requirements properly
leading to farmers receipt of inadequate or excessive loans; Participatory banks in the ACGS
do not cooperate fully in lending to farmers. Because of the high cost of processing loans
relative to the actual loans and the high default, rate of the farmers, many banks prefer to pay
penalty to risk lending their funds to agriculture.
Also banks fault the farmers for submitting incomplete application forms. In some cases
where loans are approved, it arrives too late for it to fulfill the purpose for which it was
intended. This delay seems more of administrative than any other. Another problem that
militates against the smooth operation of the scheme is on “Personal guarantee” as a security
that may be offered to a bank for the purpose of a loan. “Personal guarantee” as a condition
was not explained in the decree. This therefore makes it almost nothing as its interpretation
rests on the bank officials. Also, the other securities recognized by the decree that could be
offered to the bank for the purpose of any loan under the scheme pose problems in the
smooth operation of the scheme. The securities are legal title to land, and a life assurance
policy. It is a common knowledge that most people especially in the rural areas do not have
clear titles to their land which could serve as collateral for loan under the scheme (Okorie,
1998). Finally, the ACGSF has the problem of publicity. Oguoma (2002) noted that there is a
low turnout of farmers in most states of the federation in patronizing the scheme because of
lack of awareness.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee
Scheme Fund on the agricultural production in Nigeria. The specific objectives therefore
1. To examine the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund on crop output
2. To examine the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund on livestock
output in Nigeria
3. To examine the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund on fisheries
output in Nigeria and
4. To examine the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund total fund
granted on agricultural output and productivity in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
Having considered the problems inherent in the grant of credit to the agricultural sector and
specifically the impact of Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund towards agricultural
production, the following research questions were asked. These are;
1. To what extent does Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund credit to the
agricultural cash crop sub sector have a significant impact on crop output in Nigeria?
2. To what extent does Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund credit to the
agricultural livestock crop sub sector have a significant impact on livestock output in
3. How far does Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund credit to the agricultural
fisheries sub sector have a significant impact on fisheries output in Nigeria?
4. To what extent does Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund credit to the
agricultural sub sector have a significant impact on agricultural output in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
As a result of the of the research questions raised above, the hypotheses for this study are:
1. Agricultural Credit guarantee scheme fund does not have a significant positive impact
on cash crop output in Nigeria.
2. Agricultural Credit guarantee scheme fund does not have a significant positive impact
on livestock output in Nigeria.
3. Agricultural Credit guarantee scheme fund does not have a significant positive impact
on fishery output in Nigeria and
4. Agricultural Credit guarantee schemes fund does not have a significant positive
impact on agricultural output in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research covers the period 1978 to 2008. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme
Fund (ACGSF) was established by Act 20 of 1977 but started operation in 1978. The
principal objective of the Scheme was to facilitate the provision of credit to farmers by
providing guarantees to participating banks known as deposit money banks (DMBs) for loans
granted to farmers in accordance with the scheme enabling act. Therefore, this research will
examine the impact of the scheme since it was established to 2008.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study is bent on contributing to the literatures available in finance. It will go further in
establishing reasons why subsequent research in this area will contribute to the growth and
development of emerging markets like Nigeria. The following users will find this study
useful and pertinent;
The government is keen on exploring ways by enacting policies that are in consonance with
the establishment and promotion of improved Agricultural productivity and output. Hence,
the government stands the better position of making sure that the growth of the economy is
taken into consideration to better the standard of living of its citizenry.
ii) Academic Purpose
An advancement of knowledge is achieved when series of research are being carried out in
the academic environment. Thereby the scope and horizon of the readers or researchers are
widened in order to achieve academic excellence through series of research, development of
the intellectual faculty and planning. This also led to the gathering and update in the volume
of literature for various field of study that are applicable majorly to finance students.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms as they relate to this study is defined; these are:
Agricultural development: is a process that involves adoption by farmers of new and
better practices (Garba, 1987; Orebiyi, 1999).
Agricultural Credit: Credit that facilitates the acquisition and application of
state of the art technology and enables such enterprise to
be in the driving seat in technology application (World
Agricultural Productivity: Increased in agricultural sector contribution to the Gross
domestic Product of the nation (Idachaba, 1995)
PROPOSAL ON THE IMPACT OF CBN CASHLESS POLICY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BANKING SECTOR IN NIGERIA
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has in recent times engaged in series of reformations aimed at both making the Nigerian financial system formidable and enhancing the overall economic performance of Nigeria so as to place it on the right path in tune with global trends. There was the capitalization (to the tune of minimum of N25billion) agenda (Ajayi, 2006). There was also the aborted move at redenomination of the Naira. Recently, the CBN came out with two purportedly laudable agenda – the Islamic banking (non-interest banking) and the cashless economy (e-payment system). (Babalola, 2008).
Some of these policy measures came with tremendous success despite the initial skepticisms of Nigerians. For instance, when the CBN in July 2004 set December 31st ,2005 deadline for N25billion minimum capitalization, it was greeted with considerable cry and criticism, when the programme was completed, the banking landscape was transformed out of a system dominated mainly by “fringe banks to one made up of largely “mega banks” (Adeyemi, 2006). The product of the exercise was to “ensure a diversified, strong and reliable banking industry where there is safety of depositors’ money, and reposition the banks to play active developmental roles in the Nigerian economy” (Adegbaju and Olokoyo, 2008). This remark sums up the assessment of analysts about the outcome of the reform agenda.
In recent years, Nigeria has been experiencing a growth turnaround and conditions seem right for launching onto a path of sustained and rapid growth, justifying its ranking amongst the N11 countries as identified by Goldman Sachs to have the potential for attaining global competitiveness based on their economic and demographic settings and the foundation for reform’s already laid. Constraints to the achievement of Nigeria’s ambition to be amongst the top 20 economies of the world by year 2020 is the fact that the Nigerian economy is too heavily cash oriented in transactions of goods and services which is not in line with global trends (http://www.nv2020bsg.org/aboutus.php).
In its efforts to rescue the Nigerian economy from the brinks of total collapse, the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers Committee the cashless economy policy designed to provide mobile payment services, breakdown the traditional barriers hindering the financial inclusion of millions of Nigerians and bring low-cost, secure and convenient financial services to urban, semi-urban and rural areas across the country (www.cenbank.org/out/speeches/2012/g…).
The cashless economy policy initiated by the CBN led by its Governor; Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was introduced first in Lagos state, the country’s economic hub with the aim of achieving an environment where a higher and increasing proportion of transactions are carried out through cheques and electronic payments in line with the global trend (Obodo, 2012).
Upon this background, this study is poised to investigate and appraise to the best of the researchers ability the impact of the cashless economy policy on Nigerian citizens and the economy at large.
Some other policy agenda did not enjoy as much acceptance as did the recapitalization agenda. For instance, the redenomination proposal was snubbed and judged to be counter-productive. In the same vein, the non-interest, Islamic banking concept has been greeted with a lot of skepticism, and the initiators are accused of masking under some hidden agenda.
The same may be said of the proposal on the introduction of “cashless economy”. The reaction of one Gibson sums up the skepticism in certain quarters about the “cashless economy”, he remarks that “I am foreseeing the ANTI-CHRIST stepping in and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that a time for cashless society will come and nobody will buy or sell except you have a number, be wise” (magill, 2010). This may mean that not enough has been done to address the genuine concerns of the citizenry about the cashless economy.
So much may have been said about the anticipated gains attendant to the adoption of e-payment and cashless economy (or cashless banking), but in concrete terms, people have not been convinced that the agenda is for the good of all.
While we may point to such economies as the Japanese or U.S, we must be very ready to accept the fact that these are economies with functional institutional basis which cannot also be said about Nigeria with much conviction. Apart from the institutions, one fear that has been expressed is the state of Nigerian infrastructural decay. Have we witnessed the impact of infrastructure on the implementation of ‘cashless economy’ or is it an assumption that the infrastructural platform needed for the cashless economy to perform will simply come with the cashless economy?
All things being equal, there are still a few downsides to a cashless economy. Money by its nature is abstract. The less cash that flows through our hands, the more intangible it becomes and the more we lose our sense of its real value. Our banked assets are now on an electronic apparition, and the fear of not having cash at hand is a downturn (www.reinventrebuild.com/nigerione.php.).
Furthermore, the drive towards a cashless economy; a recent key policy of the CBN which has imposed on the financial sector calls for a leaner staff roll in many of the banks which has led to the mass retrenchment of workers, leaving many Nigerians without a source of income Considering also that the sustainability of the policy will be a function of endorsement and compliance by the end users, the researcher deemed it fit to effectively gauge the level of the policy’s endorsement by means of this research with respect to the end users.
Finally, anxiety still persists amongst Nigerians from every sector about how the introduction of the cashless economy policy in Nigeria will affect businesses, prices and economic stabilization.
These among other reasons led the researcher to carry out this study not only to examine and appraise the impact and effects of the cashless economy policy on the Nigerian economy, but to determine whether it will serve as a viable alternative cash transaction method in our society.
With respect to the above, one way of proffering solution to the problem would be to find out as well as determine among other things the extent to which the adoption of the cashless economy policy will enhance the growth of financial stability in the country. The extent to which Nigerians will significantly benefits from the cashless economy initiative, how the policy will ease business for them and its level of acceptance.
Statement of the Problem
As more payment systems have been introduced, pundits have been predicting the emergence of a ‘cash less society’. Today, we still pay with cash and checks, but several other payment instruments, such as credit and debit cards, are widely used. The use of paper money is more declining, but at a rather slow pace. As it were, Nigeria is a country heavily dominated by cash and there are some factors that negatively affect the choice of cash over non-cash instruments, some of these include time spent in counting and verifying cash, susceptibility to loss, time spent in the banking halls, amongst others (Nnanwobu et al, 2011).
A cash-based economy is one which is characterized by the psychology to physically hold and touch cash a culture informed by ignorance, illiteracy, and lack of security consciousness and appreciation of the merit of digital payment (Ovia, 2002). Cash, as a payment system, attracts lots of negative consequences such as high cost of handling cash, risks of using cash and keeping them in houses which eventually lead to high rate robbery, financial loss in the case of fire and flooding incidents. High cash usage results in lots of money outside the formal economy, thus limiting the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and encouraging economic growth. Also high cash usage enables corruption, leakages, money laundering, counterfeiting, mis-management, mutilation and depreciation in value if not invested. Some or most of these factors are one which exists in the Nigerian economy today thus creating gap for this current study.
In Nigeria today, infrastructure is a major problem that hinders the money deposit banks from attaining full potential in terms of certain policy implementations and its impact on financial transactions in the banking industry. The infrastructure in Nigeria over the years hasnt been reputable and thus has given way to ineffectiveness to the sincerity in financial transactions in the banks. The level of technology in the nation is rather poor and increasing at a slow pace and as such hasn’t given room for major development and policy implementations that may have risen. The technology available for carrying out banking transactions are not as effective as they ought to be therefore leaving people with no other choice than to keep cash in their houses in order to avoid having to spend lots of time in the banking halls due to low servers, interrupted power supply, bad internet services. Illiteracy and the low level of education of people does nothing else than leave people in the dark and therefore results into the inability of the people to understand when developments are being put into place. Many people do not see the need to keep their money in the banks or invest them due to the lack of understanding they have and also insufficient publicity and awareness measures are what have being in existence which if dealt with would at least reduce the lack of understanding of many and make them see viable reasons why they should keep their money in the banks and invest them other than keep them in their houses as a route to the safety of many lives and better growth of the economy and as such increase the standard of living. This of course, is the motivation behind this study.
As a matter of fact, the demand for money is being taken in terms of demand deposits in banks and liquid assets outside the banks that is the average willingness of people to either hold money in cash or keep it as demand deposits in the banks effects the activities of commercial banks in controlling the amount of money in circulation, which in turn determines the hold of the CBN on the economy in terms of monetary policy implementations. The analysis of banking innovations and the response of the public towards them would help determine the hold of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the extent to which they have been able to foster financial transactions in money deposit banks across the nation.
The introduction of E-commerce has made room for various tools in transacting business, although not all of these tools have been fully utilised. The new policy adopted is such that has been made to affect the whole economy and to put in full use all of these tools which include the monetary and fiscal policies, and in turn will maximise the effort of the e-commerce innovation.
1. What is Cashless economy initiative will be of significant benefits to Nigerians.
2. How can cashless economy policy can enhance the growth of financial stability in the country
3. What is the relationship between Cashless policy and accessibility to customers’ accounts?
4. To what extent does the Cashless policy affect queue-ups in banking halls?
5. What relationship exists between Cashless policy and cash-related robbery in money deposit banks?
6. What is the relationship between Cashless policy and the promptness of bank-related transactions?
Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to establish the relationship between CBN’s Cashless policy and the development of the financial sector and the Nigerian economy. This broad objective is broken down to the following specific objectives which are;
1. To analyse the adoption of the cashless economy policy can enhance the growth of financial stability in the country
2. To ascertain cashless economy initiative will be of significant benefits to Nigerians.
3. To ascertain the relationship between Cashless policy and accessibility to customers’ accounts.
4. To investigate the relationship between Cashless policy and queue-ups in banking halls.
5. Ascertain the relationship between Cashless policy and the promptness of bank-related transactions.
Hypotheses of the Study
H0: Cashless economy initiative will not be of significant benefits to banking sector.
Hi: Cashless economy initiative will be of significant benefits to banking sector.
H0: The adoption of the cashless economy policy cannot enhance the growth of financial stability in the country.
Hi: The adoption of the cashless economy policy can enhance the growth of financial stability in the country.
Justification for the Study
Nigeria can be regarded as a cash-based economy because majority of retail and commercial payments are made in cash. According to a recent CBN survey, cash-related transactions account for 99 percent of customer activity in Nigerian banks today. In addition, it discovered that cash transactions above N150,000 was largest in terms of value (N1469billion) and second smallest in terms of number or volume (10 percent). However, some other policy agenda did not enjoy as much acceptance as did the recapitalization agenda; for instance, the redenomination proposal was snubbed and judged to be counterproductive. In the same vein, the non-interest, Islamic banking concept has been greeted with a lot of skepticism, and the initiators are accused of masking under some hidden agenda. The same may be said of the proposal on the introduction of “cashless economy”. The reaction of one Gibson sums up the skepticism in certain quarters about the “cashless economy,” he remarks that “I am foreseeing the ANTI-CHRIST stepping in and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that a time for cashless society will come and nobody will buy or sell except you have a number, be wise”. This may mean that not enough has been done to address the genuine concerns of the citizenry about the cashless economy. So much may have been said about the anticipated gains attendant to the adoption of e-payment and cashless economy (or cashless banking), but in concrete terms people have not been convinced that the agenda is for the good of all. While we may point to such economies as the Japanese or U.S, we must be very ready to accept the fact that these are economies with functional institutional basis which cannot also be said about Nigeria with much conviction. Apart from the institutions, one fear that has been expressed is the state of Nigerian infrastructural decay. Have we assessed the impact of infrastructure on the implementation of ‘cashless economy’ or is it an assumption that the infrastructural platform needed for the cashless economy to perform will simply come with the cashless economy? From the foregoing problems, The significance of this study can in no form be overemphasized as it aims to aid in improvement of the policy which would raise it chances of being implemented successfully. This study would therefore aid in pin-pointing the problems in the policy, the benefits of the policy and its application and how it affects money deposit bank transactions in Nigeria respectively. Therefore, exploring intense understanding of the whole cashless policy process and its implementation is that of grave importance to this study at the moment.
Existing studies on the topic was examined and thus more light was thrown to the topic in question by this study following this regard. This study is one of the recent works addressing the effectiveness and impact of the cashless policy on money deposit bank trasactions in Nigeria although previous studies have shown that works have been done on it in other countries and this anticipated will help bridge the gap between current perceptions about the cashless economy and the actual operations of the system.
Scope of the Study
This study examined CBN cashless policy by exploring its impact on the Nigerian economy. Since cashless policy is a recent economic policy with no previous data and more so, the study seek the opinion of the people by examining the impact analysis of the policy. Basically, for this study, both primary and secondary sources of data was used in carrying out this research. For the primary data, a survey would be carried out within the Lagos State metropolis as it is the only state where the policy is being implemented for now, while the secondary data focuses on every available from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) within reach and various paper publications.
This study would be presented in five (5) chapters. The first chapter is the introduction which includes the background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, research hypothesis, objectives of the study, justification of the study, scope of the study, and the study plan.
Chapter two focuses on the conceptual and theoretical review, the analytical review and review of related literature on the cashless policy. It will also provide an overview of what the policy is about, the aims, objectives, merits, shortfalls, application and the implementation and how it affects money deposit bank-based transactions. This chapter will also discuss few experiences of other countries with the cashless economy.
Chapter three includes the research methodology that is data specification, method of data collection, method of analysis and sources of data.
Chapter four is basically data presentation and analysis
Chapter five is the summary, conclusions and recommendations.
THE IMPACT OF HRM PRACTICES ON ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE THE CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED RURAL BANKS
Price: 4000 Naira
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the last ten years, organisations especially in Africa have been hit with the undisputable fact that the creation of competitive advantage lies in people. Organisations have increasingly recognised the potential for their people to be a source of competitive advantage. Not too long ago, so called HR functions was the preserve of „Personnel Managers‟ whose duties were to recruit and select, appraise, promote and demote. These superficial duties could be performed by any manager, it therefore never seemed necessary to employ an expert in the form of a human resource manager let alone create a whole department dedicated to HRM. Little attention was paid to human resource management issues and its impact on organisational performance. The emphasis on traditions and socio-cultural issues injected an element of subjectivity in „personnel manager‟ functions such as recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, promotion, demotion, and compensation.
In today‟s competitive and rapidly changing business world, organisations especially in the service industry need to ensure maximum utilisation of their resources to their own advantage; a necessity for organisational survival. Studies have shown that organisations can create and sustain competitive position through management of non-substitutable, rare, valuable, and inimitable internal resources (Barney, 1991). HRM has transcended from policies that gather dust to practices that produce results. Human resource management practices has the ability to create organisations that are more intelligent, flexible and competent than their rivals through the application of policies and practices that concentrate on recruiting, selecting, training skilled employees and directing their best efforts to cooperate within the resource bundle of the organisation. This can potentially consolidate organisation performance and create competitive advantage as a result of the historical sensitivity of human resources and the social complex of policies and practices that rivals may not be able to imitate or replicate their diversity and depth.
Lately, organisations are focused on achieving superior performance through the best use of talented human resources as a strategic asset. HRM policies or strategies must now be aligned to business strategies for organisational success. No matter the amount of technology and mechanisation developed, human resource remains the singular most important resource of any success-oriented organisation. After all, successful businesses are built on the strengths of exceptional people. HRM has now gained significance academically and business wise and can therefore not be relegated to the background or left in the hands of non-experts. Attention must be paid to the human resources organisations spent considerable time and resources to select.
Armstrong (2009) defines Human Resource Management (HRM) as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation‟s most valued assets; that is, the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives. Moreover, Human resource management practices can be defined as a set of organisational activities that aims at managing a pool of human capital and ensuring that this capital is employed towards the achievement of organisational objectives (Wright and Boswell, 2002). The adoption of certain bundles of human resource management practices has the ability to positively influence organisation performance by creating powerful connections or to detract from performance when certain combinations of practices are inadvertently placed in the mix (Wagar and Rondeau, 2006). So if we think human resource management as just the services any manager may provide in recruiting and selecting, appraising, training and compensating employees, then we rather would have to take the backseat for those who understand the influence HRM has on corporate performance to take the centre stage. Research has recorded a positive relationship between human resource management practices and corporate performance. Thus in order to stimulate corporate performance, management is required to develop skilled and talented employees who are capable of performing their jobs successfully (Klein, 2004).
Achieving better corporate performance requires successful, effective and efficient exploit of organisation resources and competencies in order to create and sustain competitive position locally and globally. HRM policies on selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, promotion, incentives, work design, participation, involvement, communication, employment security, etc must be formulated and implemented by HRM specialist with the help of line managers to achieve the following outcomes: competence, cooperation with management, cooperation among employees, motivation, commitment, satisfaction, retention, presence, etc
In fact, Ahmad and Schroeder (2003) found a positive influence of human resource management practices (information sharing, extensive training, selective hiring, compensation and incentives, status differences, employment security, and decentralization and use of teams) on organisational performance as operational performance (quality, cost reduction, flexibility, deliverability and commitment). In furtherance of this assertion, Sang (2005) also found a positive influence of human resource management practices (namely, human resource planning, staffing, incentives, appraisal, training, team work, employee participation, status difference, employment security) on organisation performance. For businesses to survive, HRM should be given its rightful place of relevance in any organisation and not left in the hands of line managers who neither have the expertise nor the time and space to carry out the enormous functions of a human resource manager.
1.1 Background to the Study
The study presents empirical findings on the impact of Microfinance (MF) on the welfare and poverty alleviation in Southwest Nigeria. As indicated in the literature, poverty is number one problem in the world today as depicted by the following startling statistics: three billion people live below US$2 per day (World Bank, 2001); one and half billion people live below US$1 per day; 70-90 per cent of people in the developing world are poor; poverty is number one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and 75 per cent of the world poor are women. It seems as if all the strategies applied in the past to fight poverty have proved ineffective, but the world seems to have found a most promising strategy. From the historical literature, informal saving and credit unions have operated for centuries across the world. In the Middle Ages, for example, the Italian monks had created the first official pawn shop (1462 AD) to counter usury practices. In 1515 Pope Leon X authorized pawn shops to charge interest to cover their operating costs. In the 1700s, Jonathan Swift initiated the Irish Loan Fund System, which provided small loans to poor farmers who had no securities. It is on record that the fund gave credit to about 20 per cent of all Irish households annually. In the 1800s, the concept of the financial cooperative was developed by Friedric Wilhelm in Germany. By 1865, the Cooperative movement had expanded rapidly within Germany and other European countries, North America and some developing countries (Bright, Helms, 2006).
In early 1900s, adaptations of the models developed in the preceding century appeared in some parts of rural Latin America (Bright and Helms, 2006). Efforts to expand access to agricultural credit, in Bolivia for example were made unsuccessfully as the rate charged was too low and banks failed. By early 1950 – 1970, experimental programmes were on stream to extend small loans to groups of poor women to enable them invest in micro business. These experiments were initiated by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, ACCION International in Latin America and the Self-Employed Women‟s Association Bank in India (Little Field, Morduch and Hashemi, 2004). The term Microcredit began to be replaced by microfinance in the early 1990. By that time the term had started to include savings, and other services such as insurance and money transfers (Basu et al, 2000). Microfinance is the provision of financial services, such as loans, savings, insurance, money transfers, and payments facilities to low income groups. It could also be used for productive purposes such as investments, seeds or additional working capital for micro enterprises. On the other hand, it could be used to provide for immediate family expenditure on food, education, housing and health. Microfinance is an effective way for poor people to increase their economic security and thus reduce poverty. It enables poor people to manage their limited financial resources, reduce the impact of economic shocks and increase their assets and income (Robinson, 2001). Microfinance is no longer an experiment or a wish, it is a proven success. It has worked successfully in many parts of the World – Africa, Asia, Latin-America, Europe and North America. It is safe and profitable; indeed it is the oldest and most resilient financial system in history. The key issues in Microfinance include the realization that poor people need a variety of financial services, including loans, savings, money transfer and insurance which Microfinance provides. It is a powerful tool to fight poverty through building of assets and serving as an absorber against external ties and financial shocks. Microfinance involves building of financial sub-system which serve the poor and its architecture could be easily integrated into the financial system of the nation.
The other key issues of Microfinance are the fact that it can pay for itself and should do so if it is to reach a large number of poor people. Microfinance is not limited to only micro-credit; it is inclusive of other financial services, such as micro-insurance, money transfer and savings.
Furthermore, donor funds are meant only to support and assist Microfinance institutions and not compete with them. In the developed world, leaders talk about the poor and how to alleviate poverty. One hears this often at political and conferences across Europe and other parts of the World. There are also talks of strategies of equitable trade, debt relief, subsidies and aid flows etc. It has become clear that the ultimate strategy for the World to meet the needs of the poor is through microfinance which gives them access to financial services to enable them make everyday decision on: payment of children school fees; payment for food and shelter; meet health bills and meet unforeseen finance needs resulting from flood, fire, earthquake, etcetera. Microfinance may not be able to solve all the problems of the poor, but it certainly puts resources in their hands in order for them to live an enhanced standard of life. Microfinance has globally achieved great accomplishments over the last 30 years. It has shown that poor people can be viable customers and that microfinance can create strong institutions which focus on them. No doubt Microfinance has strongly attracted the interest of private sector investors. However, the following challenges, among others, face Microfinance institutions: They need to increase the scale of financial services to the poor; they need to reach out and seek the poor wherever they are and give them access to finance. The Grameen Bank of Bangladesh has set a good example in this direction by allowing credit and other services to cost less for the poor and train staff to be uniquely suitable to Microfinance business. The latter enhances efficiency and sustainability of the sector; and develops and tailors products to meet the needs of the clients – the poor. This study presents empirical findings on the impact of microfinance on welfare and poverty alleviation in Southwest Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Before the 1970s, the Nigerian experience in Microfinance was limited to Self Help Groups, Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, Cooperative Unions Community, Savings Collectors and Local Money Lenders. They were all informal and largely unregulated. They were mainly Micro-Credit savings mechanisms. Their strengths were associated with good repayment records due to peer pressure and other cultural mechanisms. However, their weaknesses lay in low level access to capital and limited range due to informal non-structured frame work. Between 1970 and 1990, there were several government initiatives in the form of Rural Banking Programme (RBP); Sectoral Allocation of credit by Central Bank; Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS); Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank (NACB) and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) etc. These efforts were largely incoherent, and mainly targeted towards enhancing subsidized credit in agriculture and a few other sectors of the economy. They were not sustainable as a result of poor repayment records and inefficient administrative structures. In the 1990s, the Federal Government embarked on other initiatives, such as the Peoples Bank, (1990-2002), Community Banks, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation and National Poverty Eradication Programmes and the Family Economic Advancement Programme. These were focused on rural and community small-scale financing. They were all short lived and unsustainable as a result of poor government policies and corporate governance.
Between 2000 to date, there have been other initiatives such as the merger of the Peoples Bank (PB), Family Economic Advancement Programmesme (FEAP), and NACB into the National Agricultural, Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB). Then came the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), and the launch of Microfinance Policy in 2005. These are more interactive initiatives resulting from wider consultations with stakeholders with the hope of better success than their predecessors.
The fact of the matter is that there are too many poor in SouthWest Nigeria who require micro/small financial services such as Credit, Insurance, Money transfer etcetera in order to engage actively in productive activities and improve their standard of living. Paradoxically, governments across the world, particularly in Nigeria over the years, have not been able to adequately help the poor in spite of all the rhetorics and several failed poverty-alleviation project. Since the discovery that Microfinance can help the poor to access credit and other financial services that will ensure better life for them, a lot of works have been carried out. It is this new strategy that this research intends to explore to establish the developmental relationship between microfinance and poverty alleviation, taking a queue from jurisdictions of the world. MFIs are recent phenomenon in the Nigerian economy. It came to light in 2005 when it replaced the Community Banks. Although many studies have examined the issue of poverty alleviation in Nigeria, not many of them have assessed the impact of MFIs on poverty alleviation. This study seeks to fill this gap.
1.3 Research Questions.
The issues of poverty alleviation, economic development and Microfinance have become major policy discourse globally. To this extent the research work has generated a set of questions which include the following:
i. To what extent has the MFBs served as instruments of credit mobilization and dispersion among the working poor in Nigeria?
ii. How can Microfinance really get the poor out of their poverty?
iii. How has Microfinance enhanced the growth of micro and small scale enterprises in Nigeria?
These are the research questions which the study attempts to provide answers.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of Microfinance on the welfare of the poor and poverty alleviation in Nigeria. The specific objectives include the following:
1. To examine the roles of microfinance towards the dispersion of credit among the working poor in Nigeria.
2. To assess the extent to which microfinance institutions have successfully helped the poor to improve their standard of living.
3. To assess the impact of microfinance on the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
1.5 Statement of Research Hypotheses
The main and specific objectives of this study have been specified in the preceding section. The associated research hypotheses are as follow: (a) Ho: MFBs have not been potent instruments in the dispersion of credit among the working poor in Nigeria Hi: MFBs have been potent instruments in the mobilization and dispersion of credit among the working poor in Nigeria (b) Ho: Microfinance Institutions have not successfully helped the poor to improve their standard of living. Hi: Microfinance Institutions have successfully helped the poor to improve their standard of living. (c) Ho: Microfinance Institutions have not impacted on the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria Hi: Microfinance Institutions have impacted on the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized. Poverty is pervasive in our economy and attempts to alleviate it have not yielded the desired results. Therefore, it is necessary to review the severity of poverty in the country with a view to assessing how microfinance institutions could help to reduce the incidence. It is also necessary to understand how microfinance institutions could contribute to economic development of the nation, by enhancing the productive capabilities and welfare of a largely distressed/vulnerable segment of the society.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study examined the impact of microfinance institutions on poverty alleviation among the entrepreneurs of SMEs in Nigeria. It used cross-sectional data collected from selected respondents in selected areas of both the Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria respectively. The study highlighted how certain countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bolivia and the Philippines have used microfinance strategy to alleviate poverty. The cross-sectional data obtained from questionnaires administered enabled the researcher to assess the impact and effectiveness of microfinance institutions alleviating poverty in Nigeria. It is known that children and women are among the poorest of the earth. The study targets the customers of MFIs between the ages of 18 and 60 who are gainfully employed and can repay loans. It has been discovered that the ability of women to borrow, save and earn income has enhanced their confidence and they are more able to confront other systemic inequalities (Little Field, Morduch and Hashemi, 2004). Therefore, this study examined the impact of Microfinance on women and other vulnerable groups particularly. In Indonesia, for example, women customers of Bank of Rakayat (Microfinance) partake more in family decisions on children education, use of contraceptives, etc. than women with little or no access to finance.
This study is not unaware of the role of international donors to the Microfinance sector and how it can boost domestic growth. However, the study is limited to local Microfinance institutions and how they constitute effective strategies for poverty alleviation and economic development.
1.8 Outline of the Thesis
The study is divided into five parts. Chapter One presents the background to the study, the objectives of the study, the statement of the research problem, research questions, the hypotheses to be tested, the significance of the study, the scope and limitation of the study. Chapter two reviews the existing literature on Microfinance, Poverty and strategy to alleviate poverty in developed and developing countries. It also reviewed the historical background of Microfinance, the method of operation, the roles of Microfinance in the success of micro, small and medium enterprises, the challenges confronting Microfinance Institutions and the global perspective of Microfinance. Chapter three examines the theoretical framework and methodology adopted for the study in terms of the model specification, methods of estimation, data collection and instrument, data description, study population and sample size. Chapter four presents the data analysis and interpretation of results. The descriptive analysis results and the regression results are presented in qualitative form and were fully discussed so that meaningful conclusion could be drawn. In this chapter formulated hypotheses are to establish the relationship which exists among the variables. Chapter five which is the last part deals with the summary of the study, conclusion, recommendations for policy, and contributions to knowledge and suggestions for further research.
1.9 Method of Data Collection and Analysis
This section of the study details the various data collected and how the data were analyzed. This study relied on the use of primary data collected directly from respondents to the structured questionnaires and interviews. The questionnaire method was used in this study and administered by well trained interviewers in the study area which is Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria.
The data analysis for this study was by the use of descriptive statistics such as frequency distributions, means, per centages and cross tabulations between the variables identified. The multiple regression analysis was employed to make tentative predictions concerning the outcome of variables. The outputs of the analysis were presented in tables and figures. The statistical tool used was the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).