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This research project aims to investigate the impact of digitalization on the management of personal records in Nigeria, with a specific focus on comparing paper-based and digital systems. The increasing adoption of digital technologies has transformed various aspects of society, including record-keeping practices. This study seeks to evaluate the advantages and challenges associated with the transition from traditional paper-based systems to digital systems for managing personal records. The research will employ a comparative approach, analyzing both the strengths and weaknesses of paper-based and digital systems in Nigeria. The study will utilize a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Primary data will be collected through surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions with individuals and organizations involved in record management. Additionally, secondary data will be gathered from scholarly articles, governmental reports, and relevant literature to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. The research project aims to achieve several objectives. First, it will assess the current state of paper-based record management systems in Nigeria, examining their efficiency, accessibility, and security. Second, it will explore the implementation and adoption of digital systems for record management, identifying the benefits they offer in terms of ease of access, data integrity, and space utilization. Third, it will investigate the challenges and barriers associated with digitalization, such as technological infrastructure limitations, data privacy concerns, and cultural factors. The anticipated outcomes of this study will contribute to the existing body of knowledge on digitalization and record management in Nigeria. The findings will provide insights into the effectiveness of digital systems compared to paper-based systems, highlighting the potential for improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and data security. Moreover, the research will identify the key factors that influence the successful implementation and adoption of digital record management systems in Nigeria. The findings of this study will have practical implications for policymakers, government agencies, and organizations involved in record management. The research will provide evidence-based recommendations to facilitate the transition from paper-based to digital systems, addressing the identified challenges and maximizing the benefits of digitalization.



Background of the study

It is unmistakable that the pace of business activities within organizations in the contemporary society is increasing daily due to the evolving technology. The productivity involves volumes of both electronic and physical documents that contain critical information. In many cases, organizations do not understand the complexity of tasks involved in records management until they fail to access a vital record (Abdulrahman, 2015). Therefore, records play a significant role in the effective and efficient management of an organization because they store plans and implementation processes of an organization’s services.

In both conventional and digital organizations, records stored in either electronic or physical form continue to be viewed as essential documents for administrative documentation. Records provide support for all activities carried out within organizations. Without proper records management, organizations cannot provide the necessary information and support, which in turn may lead to the loss of critical information in institutions. Proper records management practices are essential for an organization’s administration and the smooth running of the operations. Records management involves the incorporation of various practices aimed at proper information management. It also entails the systematic control of all records an organization maintains during the course of their life cycle for the attainment of operational business needs, fiscal and statutory requirements, as well as, the expectation of stakeholders (The National Archives of Scotland, 2013). Effectual maintenance of corporate information enables fast, reliable and accurate access or retrieval of records. It also ensures that redundant information is timely damaged and that important historic records are efficiently protected. Systematic records management enables organizations to; identify the records that they have, increase effectiveness and efficiency, support decision making, achieve business targets and objectives, meet regulatory and legislative requirements, protect the clients’, employees’, and stakeholders’ interests, and be accountable. Consequently, records are critical legal and historical tools that are necessary for the effective running of an organization.

Records are valuable administration instruments without which an institution’s operational functional and processes cannot be efficiently carried out. For instance, a successor to a certain organizational rank may need the institution’s records to find his or her bearing when he or she takes over the new position. The new employee or successor can use such records to decide whether he or she will continue with the previous organizational leader’s practices and techniques or modify them (Abdulrahman, 2015). Records play various roles in organizational administration because administrators and managers use them on routine basis to carry out various administrative roles such as decision making. Recorded information helps in enlightening and educating organizational managers and administrators on matters relevant to the organization. Records can also help in strategic plans and successful implementation of organizational processes. They can also serve as sources of research for information that can be used as evidence. Timely access of recorded information is essential for decision-making, planning, and organizational control.

Statement of Problem

Records are essential instruments in every organization particularly in reference to critical decision making including administrative decision making. Information contained in organizational records is the pillar of the institution’s business activities. Without information, an institution’s administration becomes incapacitated especially in its decision making. Globally, organizations’ systems are expanding at unprecedented rates due to technological advancements and population increases (Abdulrahman, 2015). Similarly, organizational problems in relation to planning, administration, organization, control, and monitoring are also increasing resulting to the need for improved records management practices among institutional administrators, educationist, policy makers, and planners.

Records in public institutions suffer from likelihoods of loss due to improper storage, unprotected disaster, and random destruction. These organizations also lack control guidelines that cover the management of records from their creation to their disposal (Abdulrahman, 2015). The absence of guiding principles gives doubt as to how organizational professionals and administrators have been handling managerial decisions. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate record management practices in public institutions to identify their role in the administrative functions of organizations.

Employees are facing various administrative challenges resulting from ineffective records management. For instance, at times, there are cases of missing or loss of records within the organization, which lead to wastage of so much time trying to locate them. The organization also lacks sufficient space to store some records given that new records are generated on a daily basis. Equally, the problem can be observed in literature as Bakare, Abioye, & Issa, (2016) also observe that there is a startling rate of loss and misplacement of records that contain useful information, which can guide in decision making, especially in public institutions. In another study, Abdulrahman (2015) also states that lack of effective records management can lead to problems such as difficulties in information retrieval for administrative decision making, delays in staffs’ salaries and fringe benefits, inaccurate demographic data and improper registration of employees, which may lead to missing out of employees on important communication. Therefore, there is a need for the acknowledgement of the essence of effective records management in organizational administration from the top management.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of digitalization on the management of personal records in Nigeria comparing the effectiveness and efficiency of paper-based and digital systems. The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To assess the extent to which a digital record management system is currently being utilized.
  2. To determine the benefits of adopting a digital record management system.
  3. To investigate the barriers to implementing a digital record management system.
  4. To identify strategies for enhancing the application of a digital record management system to improve service delivery.

Research Questions:

This study aims to address the following research questions:

  1. What is the level of adoption of a digital record management system?
  2. What are the advantages of implementing a digital record management system?
  3. What are the obstacles to implementing a digital record management system?
  4. How can the application of a digital record management system be enhanced to ensure effective service delivery?

Significance of the study

The study on the impact of digitalization on the management of personal records in Nigeria, specifically comparing paper-based and digital systems, will provide valuable insights and contribute to various areas:

  1. Technological Advancement: The study will help assess Nigeria’s technological advancement in personal record management by understanding the actual impact of digitalization. It will provide concrete evidence of how the country has progressed in adopting digital systems for efficient record-keeping.
  2. Efficiency and Accessibility: By comparing paper-based and digital systems, the study will uncover how digitalization will enhance data storage, retrieval, and sharing processes. It will identify the specific ways in which digital systems will improve efficiency and accessibility, leading to streamlined record management practices.
  3. Data Security and Privacy: The study will examine the security measures and privacy safeguards associated with both paper-based and digital systems. It will identify potential vulnerabilities and risks, informing policymakers and organizations about the necessary steps to ensure robust data security and protect individuals’ privacy.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: Through a comprehensive analysis, the study will determine the economic feasibility of adopting digital systems for personal record management. It will provide insights into the cost implications, both initial setup costs and ongoing expenses, helping stakeholders understand the potential cost savings that will result from transitioning to digital systems.
  5. Policy Development: The study’s findings will play a crucial role in shaping policy development and decision-making processes. Policymakers and regulatory bodies will rely on the study to develop updated regulations, guidelines, and standards that will ensure effective digitalization and safeguard personal data.


Scope of the study

This study aims to evaluate the impact of digitalization on the management of personal records in Nigeria. The study will focus on a comparative analysis of paper-based and digital systems using the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) as a case study. The objectives include assessing the current state of personal record management at UNTH, analyzing the advantages and challenges of digitalization in record management, identifying the extent of digitalization implementation, and evaluating the overall effectiveness and efficiency of digital systems compared to traditional paper-based methods.


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