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Abstract

The study assessed constraints to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) by village extension agents in South-south Nigeria. The population of the study comprises all village extension agents (VEAs) in South-south Nigeria. A total sample of 300 VEAs was selected using a multistage sampling procedure. A set of questionnaire was used for primary data collection while frequency count, percentage, mean score and standard deviation were used for data analysis. The results show that majority (87.7%) of VEAs had tertiary education, working experience (20 years) and average monthly income of sixty thousand naira. The ICT tools used by VEAs included phone (M=3.77), radio (M=3.70), television (M=3.51), video (M=2.56), computer (M=2.53), personal e-mail (M=2.51) and internet (M=2.50). Constraints to ICT use were lack of internet access in the rural areas (M=3.61), lack of ICT infrastructure (M=3.53), high cost of internet subscription (M=3.47), lack of training on ICT (M=3.42), lack of power supply (M=3.23) and poor income (M=3.14). It was recommended that the identified constraints to ICT utilisation should be tackled by the appropriate stakeholders with adequate provision of ICT infrastructure and improved power supply in order to encourage massive utilisation of ICT by VEAs. Also, effort should be geared towards encouraging ICT usage by VEAs with adequate inclusion of ICT in the pre-service curriculum of prospective VEAs.

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