E-BUSINESS IN NIGERIA: A Study of the Challenges Confronting Customers

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ABSTRACT

E-business is changing many traditional ways of doing business and there are abundant of success stories about e-business in the developed countries. These successes are propelling governments and businesses in the developing countries including Nigeria, to put in effort and work in the ways that will increase the deployment and use of e-business in their respective countries. The Nigerian government is also putting in effort to boost the economy and increase it integration into the global arena. However, the success and contribution of e-business as a whole to the economy does not preclude the challenges that come with new innovation and technology. One side of the challenges is the one faced by businesses but another less researched on it the challenges confronting the customers in the use of e-business platforms.

As the deployment of e-business and its use gain more ground in Africa, due to the rapid growth and penetration of Information and Communication Technologies, Nigeria remains one of the countries in the forefront of these technological revolution. The record of Nigeria in respect to ICT penetration and deployment of e-business since the 1999 liberalisation of the telecommunication sector is outstanding when compared with the other Sub-Saharan African countries. While the number of government agencies and businesses deploying e-business keep growing in the country, the customers that are expected to use it are being confronted with various challenges.


The aim of this research is studying the level of e-business in Nigeria and equally the major challenges confronting customers in its use. This explorative research uses a quantitative approach with slight application of qualitative approach. The study examines customers of Guaranty Trust Bank in Nigeria and the challenges confronting them in the use of the internet and other ICTs equipment in transacting with the bank. The main findings of the study is that these challenges includes low level of ICT infrastructure penetration, affordability of the ICTs equipment, quality and reliability of the e-business supporting social infrastructures, social-cultural and the legal environment of the deployed e-business models. The main conclusion of the research is that the deployment, adoption and growth of e-business in the country depends largely on how the government, businesses and other stakeholders manage these numerous challenges confronting the customers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
LIST OF FIGURE AND TABLES

1  INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
1.2 Objective of the Study
1.3 Research gap
1.4 Research Problem
1.5 Definitions and Limitation
1.6 Structure of Study

2  GENERAL OVERVIEW OF E-BUSINESS
2.1 ICT and evolution of e-business
2.2 Traditional Business and E-Business
2.3 E-Commerce and E-Business
2.4 E-Business
2.5 Trend driving E-Business
            2.5.1 Customer –Oriented Trend
            2.5.2 E-Service trend
            2.5.3 Organisational trends
            2.5.4 Employee Megatrends
            2.5.5 Enterprise technology trends
            2.5.6 General Technology Trend
2.6 Categories of E-Business
            2.6.1 E-Auctioning
            2.6.2 E-Banking
            2.6.3 E-Directories
            2.6.4 E-Marketing
            2.6.5 E-Supply
            2.6.6 E-Trading
2.7 Challenges of E-Business
            2.7.1 ICT Infrastructures
            2.7.2 Quality and Reliability in E-Business Environment
2.8 Benefit of e-business to Customers

3  OVERVIEW OF E-BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
3.1 Overview of Nigeria
3.2 ICT and E-Business in Nigeria
            3.2.1 Telecommunication and Mobile Communication
            3.2.2 Internet Penetration in Nigeria
3.3 Deployment of E-Business in Nigeria
3.4 Research Model on Challenges confronting e-business in Nigeria
            3.4.1 Infrastructures Availability
            3.4.2 Infrastructures Affordability
            3.4.3 ICT environment
            3.4.4 Quality and Reliability

4  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.1 Research Process
4.2 Research Method
            4.2.1 Qualitative Research
            4.2.2 Quantitative research
            4.2.3 Qualitative versus Quantitative
4.3 Case Study
4.4 Research Design
            4.4.1 Explorative Research
            4.4.2 Descriptive research
            4.4.3 Causal Research
4.5 Sample selection
4.6 Data Collection
4.7 Validity and reliability of the study
4.8 Analysis of result
            4.8.1 Research Findings

5  CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary of Finding
5.2       Suggestion on challenges of e-business in Nigeria
5.3       Recommendation for further research
REFERENCES
APPENDICES


1    INTRODUCTION

This is the introductory part to the research work. The part of the research will furnish the reader with the back ground to the subject matter. It will also have in it the objective of this study, the research gap that necessitates this research work. It also includes the research problem, definition and limitation of study and closes with the structure of the entire research.


1.1    Background
The breakthrough in the information and communication technology (ICT) in the last two decades as a result of the spread of internet from the military to academia then to commercial entities to individuals (Ed McMahon, 2000) has greatly affected the way many things ranging from domestic activities to business and governance are being handled. The Internet; a computer-based network of multiple interconnected public and private networks which started in 1969 as a project of US department of Defence, for the original purpose of creating a collaborative platform for use in military and education evolved into a great agent of change in many facets of life among which is business and all its activities (Fellenstein & Wood 2000:9). The growth of ICT and the internet have also provided the world with series of platforms among which is the one that serves the purpose of electronic marketplace where electronic business takes place. Until very recently, most customers who entered a market had to be physical present to some degree. The markets keep transforming with ages and generations. But now the changes are faster than ever. There is no need for bricks and buildings to make a market. Anyone with the required ICT and it supporting facilities can make a market at will (Leebaert, 1998:1-7). The rate at which ICT diffused and kept spreading into all strata of the society ranging from the manufacturing to the service sector, has made it arguably the most pervasive technology ever developed in the last quarter of the twentieth century ( Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and Lal 2004: 7 ). This study focuses on the application and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in business; which will be referred to as e-business throughout this study.

The emergence of electronic business (e-business) in the developed world has changed the way customers and business partners are being dealt with, it has also provided the developed countries with new stream of revenue, new ways of handling information, new manners of processing information, new organisational structure, new sets of skills, a more electronic supply chain, a new standard and legal framework and a dynamic alliance. It has also provided businesses with new ways of approaching and relating to customer and retaining them. ICT is also changing the face of competition and nature of organisational leadership. It is equally leading organisations to have second thought on the traditional definition of value, competition and service. It has not only revolutionized the relationships within the organisations and those between and among organisations and individuals but has also enhanced the productivity, encourage greater customer participation, enabled customization and reduced cost. (Andam 2003)

The growth of electronic business is reducing the distance barrier between business and their customers. And it is also encouraging a borderless marketplace. All these developments in electronic business could also provide the developing countries with great opportunities and could lead to more integration of these countries into the global economy. The use of e-Business has already come to stay in business and it is already becoming a way of life in the developed countries. The successes that have been recorded in these economies are serving as a propelling factor for the government and businesses in the developing countries. The developing countries including Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries, are also adopting and are encouraging the deployment of ICT in business life (Kamel 2006:9).

The successes recorded by governments and businesses in the developed countries, has propelled the government of Nigeria; the second largest economy in Africa, to deem it fit to put in place structures and frameworks that will make the country to be more integrated into the global economy in order to equally enjoy...

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