Global Utilization of ICT Services in the Fight against COVID-19: The Gains and Way Forward for the Nigerian Economy

D.O. Njoku, C.E. Nwabueze, U.L. Chilaka, A.O. Agbakwuru

Abstract


The increasing number of COVID-19 cases around the world has subsequently triggered surge in the demand for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to give “life” to the global economy and keep people together despite the physical separation as a result of the lockdown policy of various countries. This paper has studied the essential support provided by ICT in the global action taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic with specific focus on the gains and opportunities for Nigerian economy afterward. It considered the role ICT has played in enabling health experts to share their experiencing and collaborates on medical research findings in the fight against COVID-19. The social care supports through the use of social media platforms, machine learning systems, and others provided by ICT to keep people safe and sustain social distance and contact tracing policies of the various governments and their agencies were considered. The use of ICT tool in by world governments and their respective agencies to raise fund, hold meetings and strategise in winning the fight against the pandemic has been considered. With the use of ICT, remote teaching and learning as well as job interviews and business were sustain activities via online interaction and thereby enabling the educational sector and the global market to be relatively busy and lively. The Nigerian economy also recorded significant gains by leveraging ICT sector especially the contribution of the market to the GDP during the first quarter of the year. The gains achieved notwithstanding, Nigerian government and stakeholders in the ICT sector should implement policies to encourage its population to embrace digital economy as the normal way of life around the world. It should also ensure to grow the ICT market of the country to reduce over dependent on imported parts and other technologies by sincerely pursuing, encouraging and supporting Research and Development (R&D) by collaborating with Universities to fund postgraduate educations especially in the field of science and engineering.

 


Keywords


COVID-19, Economy, ICT, Nigeria

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