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Background to the Study

Information and communication technology (ICT) offers the promise of fundamentally changing the lives of much of the world’s population. In its various forms, ICT affects many of the processes of government and business, how individuals live, work and interact, and the quality of the natural and built environment. The development of internationally comparable ICT statistics is essential for governments to be able to adequately design, implement, monitor and evaluate ICT policies (Madueme, 2010).

Attempts to ensure sustainable economic development and poverty reduction of most nations usually involve the development of agriculture, mining, industrial as well as the service sectors. The Industrial Revolutions in Europe and America, generally and specifically, have been premised on technological breakthroughs. During the late 1990s, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was the largest contributor to growth within capital services for both Canada and the United States (Harchaoui, 2002). Similar trend has been observed with the economic development of China, Korea, Taiwan, India, South Africa, and other emerging economic powers (Fuss and Waverman, 2005).

Health care solutions provided by information and communication technology (ICT), also known as eHealth, offer one solution to this problem. The tools and services which contribute to eHealth provide better and more efficient health care services for all.

In the health sector today, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is revolutionizing health life, ICT platform has made easy for interaction with each other, and day-to-day life and work. Its application in health is described broadly as eHealth, which includes telemedicine1, electronic medical records, and health information systems with decision support, mobile health and eLearning tools. eHealth has shown potential in facilitating a better health care delivery system, leading to better health and universal health coverage. It creates access, enhances quality, improves primary health care interventions and can act as a solution for situations where human resources for health are scarce.

At the wake of 2000, the Federal Government of Nigeria embarked on an aggressive drive towards the provision of more efficient services in the nation through its privatization and deregulation policies the ICT subsector. The policy thrives led to the establishment of National Telecommunication Policy in December 2001. The policy, among other things, recognized the need for the establishment of an enabling environment for deregulation and rapid expansion of the telecommunication services in the country. The mission statement of the government was to use ICTs for Education, Creation of Wealth, Poverty Eradication, Job Creation, and Global Competitiveness. The policy objective was to develop globally competitive quality manpower in ICTs and related disciplines. This entails developing a pool of ICT engineers, scientists, technicians and software developers. Consequently, attractive career opportunities will emerge in addition to development of software’s and computer components that can earn the nation some foreign exchange. The implementation of ICTs policy led to the adoption of Global System for Mobile-Communications (GSM) and its related components in Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, provision of public infrastructure is grossly inadequate and poor. Necessary telecommunication services, as public infrastructure, needed for meaningful investment are lacking and, where found, are very costly. Teledensity in Nigeria is still very low.

The introduction of the GSM in Nigeria was to expand the teledensity in the country and to make telephone services cheaper and accessible to the common person as it had been introduced in some African countries like South Africa, Ghana, and Benin Republic among others. GSM is ICT based telecommunication that can contribute to the growth and development of any nation. These Telecommunication Networks have created significant effects on the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria in terms of job creation, communication linkages, connectivity, security of lives, and reduced transport costs among other. Past studies on the developing economy have bothered on the challenges and roles of ICTs on economic growth (Carayamis and Popescu, 2005; Ndukwe, 2003, 2004; Igwe, 2005). Thus, this study examines the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development in health sector.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to analyze the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development and the following are the specific objectives:

1.     To examine the impact of ICT on the Nigerian economic growth and development in health sector

2.     To identify ways by which ICT can contribute to economic growth and development in giwa hospital kaduna

3.     To determine the factor limiting the use of ICT in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

The outcome of this study will be a useful guide to the government of Nigeria, policy makers and the general public on how ICT can be used as a tool for economic growth and development of Nigeria in health sector.

This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic

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