Exploring the Digital Divide: A Look at ICT Skills in Nigeria

Two young men using their laptops in Nigeria. Credit: Codeđź’» Ninja⚡

The use of technology has become an integral part of our lives, and being proficient in information and communication technology (ICT) skills is essential for individuals to fully participate in today's digital economy. A recent study, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), aimed to understand the ICT skills of women and men in Nigeria.

The survey collected information on the ICT skills of adults aged 15-49 years by evaluating their ability to carry out a variety of computer-related activities in the last three months. These activities included tasks such as copying or moving a file or folder, using a copy and paste tool, sending e-mails with attached files, using basic arithmetic formulas in a spreadsheet, and more.

The survey results showed that only 8.6% of the adult population aged between 15 and 49 had at least one of these ICT skills. However, there was a significant difference in the ICT skills of individuals living in urban and rural areas, with 15.6% of adults in urban areas having at least one of these skills, compared to just 2.9% in rural areas.

The survey also found that the distribution of ICT skills varied across geographical zones in Nigeria. The highest percentage of adults with ICT skills was found in the South West region, at 14.5%, followed by the South South region at 12.6%. On the other hand, the North East region had the lowest percentage of adults with ICT skills, at 4.0%.