Implication of ICT use on productivity and regional development planning among small scale enterprises in Ondo state
One of the reasons often cited for underdevelopment of African cities and regions is low application of smart technology to improve means of production. This often led to inefficiency which is ultimately reflected in space. This paper investigated the level of ICT usage among small scale manufacturing enterprises in Ondo State. The study also investigated intra-regional variations in use of smart technologies in the industrial subsector and compared same across the three regions of the state. A sample of 352 enterprises was taken from three senatorial regions and nine settlements which were purposively sampled and interviewed using questionnaire. The production and operational system of these firms were observed. The data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential methods. The study established that proportion of ICT users concentrated more in Ondo Central 45.7% than Ondo south (28.7%) and Ondo north (25.6%). It was also discovered that formal small scale enterprises made more use of ICT products, compared with those in the informal sector. Moreover ICT use among enterprises were urban biased as 91.2% of enterprises in this category were located in major towns of Akure, Okitipupa and Ikare, 8.1% in minor towns of Obaile, Ode Aye and Ugbe, with villages of Aponmu Iboropa and Ikoya being relatively insignificant (0.8%). The study established that enterprises that made use of smart technologies tend to be more efficient in terms of production and marketing especially in identification of new markets, networking, subcontracting, security and other linkage benefits. Also, regional industrial development entails not only quantitative growth of industries, but an industry that embrace a new opportunities in innovation, and technology especially in management, record keeping, production, decision making etc.
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