Information Needs Of Petty Traders (A Case Study Of Owerri Central Market Imo State)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Information Needs Of Petty Traders (A Case Study Of Owerri Central Market Imo State)


This works comprehensively covers information needs of petty traders in Owerri central market. Through the mechanism of questionnaire and other various research techniques, the researcher was able to ascertain various problems facing the traders and also proffer adequate lasting solution to them.

Chapter 1 throw lights on the background of the study, which tries or attempt to give little introduction of the research work, chapter two gives the literature review where the researcher attempt to site the work of authors on the related subject area. Chapter three

gives the research methodology while chapter IV shows and gives data analysis under this chapter, the researcher uses various tables to illustrate the responses of the respondent relating to certain issues. While chapter five is for findings, summaries recommendation and conclusion. Under chapter five, attempt was being made to drive home the opinion of the research. Various findings and recommendation was also being made.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Background of Study

  • 1.1 Statement of problem
  • 1.2 Objective of study
  • 1.3 Scope of study
  • 1.4 Research question
  • 1.5 Significant of study
  • 1.6 Definition of terms
  • References

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 The concept of information
  • 2.2 Information needs and sources

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Population of study
  • 3.3 Sampling size
  • 3.4 Instrument for data collection
  • 3.5 Method of data collection

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Background Of Study

At present, every aspect of human endeavor is undergoing tremendous transformation as a result of the advert of science and technology. Therefore, the role of information and information science cannot be over emphasis.

However, it is heart – breaking to recall that petty traders in our various markets have not lived to their expectation. A good number of them have little or no opportunity to information exposure that will bring a turn around their trade or profession that will not only make them successful business icon but also brings about efficiency, effectiveness and reliable services delivery.

Petty traders are men and women who are engage in small scale business with small capital base. Petty traders are usually people who are engage in various act of buying and selling of goods in their smaller quantities for the purpose of making profit or gain. Petty traders are of different types or varieties ranging from Hawkers, litenent traders, vendors, shop owners and other small scale business, clustered around rural and urban areas.

In Nigeria for instance over thirty percent of working population are engage in petty trading cannot be over emphasis.

First petty traders played a dominant role in the production of goods and services by providing the producer with capital either in the form of loan or in the act of buying of goods and services in bulk quantities.

Information gathered also shows that petty traders help in production process by provision of warehouse where goods are temporally stored until the needs for them.

More so, petty traders help in the distribution of goods and services to the consumer. For without petty traders, it could have been very difficult if not impossible for a single consumer to break the bulk direct from the producer.

Another useful contribution of petty traders is that they sold goods in their varieties for instance; a single petty trader can sell bag, shoes, clothes, food stock etc. at the same time.

Despite all the numerous advantages of petty traders, there are also a number of challenges. It has been observed that lack of proper orientation and information contributed largely to the failure of petty trader. Many people in our various societies simply entered or engage themselves in the profession as an alternative to make ends a living without adequately equipping him/herself for the challenges.

The dearth of materials such as trade journals, magazines, business newspaper etc. in our library, homes, bookshops, stores, schools and other places would also be a major challenges to petty traders. However, when such materials are scarcely available, they may not properly address the ever increasing and varieties needs of our traders.

Financial constraint and other logistics could also be the factor responsible for the failure of petty traders. Most traders do not have proper access to loan that will help to facilitate and promote trading activities.

This work is therefore to carry out an extensive and effective research through information exposure and information service delivery using available resources in providing lasting solution to the impending problem of petty traders in Owerri in particular and in Nigeria in general.

According to E. Oduagwu (library and information management) effective information system is crucial for organization efficiency. Proper utilization of the emerging information management tool will enhance efficiency and productivity in any organization and could contribute largely to the economic growth of any nation.

In view of the above listed impediment to petty trading as a carrier or profession, I had personally decided to take the bull by the horn. I had narrowed my research and findings to Owerri central market where I carried out my research and finding and proffer possible solutions admits tremendous challenges I encountered which I shall enumerate as I proceed in the course of this work.

Above all, the application of information on modern trend in business will be of great boost to petty traders.

1.1 Statement of problem

A good number of petty traders in both rural and urban areas are face with problem of identifying with business opportunity and reliable information. Little wonder they are not making progress in business.

1.2 Objective of study

The main objective of study is to find out information needs of petty traders using Owerri main market in Imo State as a case study.

1.2.1 Specific objectives

  1. To find out information needs of traders
  2. To determine whether information is useful to traders
  3. To find out the extent of utilization of information by petty traders.
  4. To find out the factors affecting the access of information needs to petty traders.

1.3 Scope of study

The scope of study is to cover the information needs of petty traders in Owerri central market.

Limitation of study

The researches effort to carry out the information needs of petty traders is hindered by the following factors;

  1. Attitude of respondent
  2. Distant barrier
  3. Adverse whether condition
  4. Time
  5. Finance
Attitude Of Respondent:

Majority of traders is illiterate and is not willing to furnish the researcher with the useful information that will facilitate efficiency in carrying out the work.

Distant Problem:

The distant from Nekede to Owerri central market is very far thereby causing an impediment to the study.

Adverse Whether Condition:

The research was carried out during raining season which prevents the researcher from going from shop to shop in carrying out his research.


The researcher has a limited time scheduled to carry out his research.


Research work involves waste of human and material resources.

1.4 Research questions

The various research questions are;

  1. What are the information needs of petty traders?
  2. Why is it that many people refuse to engage in petty trading?
  3. What are the factors affecting utilization of trading information?
  4. Do petty traders actually need information?
  5. What are the benefits of acquiring trading information?

1.5 Significance of study

As a result of information exposure petty traders will wake up from slumber and live up to their expectation. This study will also provide the various petty traders of identifying with various business opportunities which are available. It will also serve as a reference point to other researches.

1.6 Definition of terms


Information are processed data or something told, heard or received.

Petty Traders:

These are people engaged in buying and selling of goods and services in smaller quantities and with small capital requirement.


This is the act of sending, understanding and receiving of ideas, thought, feelings from one person to the other or from one medium to another.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recmmendation

5.1 Summary

The role of petty traders in our societies cannot be over emphasis. In Nigeria, it is obvious that governments cannot provide job opportunities for both graduates and non – graduates alike. Therefore, there is need for people to identify job opportunity, and explore or utilized it with a minimum capital for the purpose of making profit or gain. This concept best described petty trading.

However, this lucrative profession is yet to yield its required benefits in our society because of certain challenges and logistics problems.

On the other hand, the role of library and information science in dissemination of information cannot also be over emphasis. Every aspect of human activities is presently undergoing tremendous transformation as a result of adequate information exposure. A trader without information and information source is synonymous to a pilot without compass or sense of direction.

In the areas of production of goods for instance the producer needs information on how to improve the taste of his customer if he wants to make profit. The banker may need information on how to keep accurate account of its customer; the doctors may seek information on how to proffer solution to the sickness confronting its patients. In view of all the examples given above, it is obvious that a definite piece of reliable information is invaluable.
It was on this perspective that the information needs of petty traders should be seen. Petty traders need information if they must make any meaning profit in their business.

Therefore libraries and other information scientist owe the masses a lot. It is generally observed that a handful of petty traders are ignorant of the use of information. The ideal Liberian should therefore in conjunction to the government and the leaders of trader union extend library or build library within or near strategic market which will provide vital and adequate library services to both the traders and buyers alike.

Use of mobile library should also be established to facilitate quick and reliable business information.

5.2 Conclusion

As regards to the analysis and presentation, it is ascertained that information is important to the improvement of petty trading as well as in the life of an individual. At the course of this research therefore I have been able to find out that most of the petty traders are illiterate. Despite the huge amount of money invested in their business not much had been achieved because traders are not abreast of the changing circumstances in our changing time.

Our environment poses a serious problem for the success of petty traders. Some of the petty traders found themselves in places where business could not adequately flourish.

The environmental factor which affect the success of the traders include high rate of competition excess of supply over demand, government policies.

Inadequate library services are another factor which constitutes a heavy setback in the success of petty traders. A library is set up to provide up to date information in the areas of education, entertainment, recreation and research but in the course of this work the researcher was able to find out that this invaluable library services are not extended beyond the shore of library building hence traders are not beneficial to such useful services.

Information is vital and very crucial to the survival of petty traders. At the course of this research, it was evident that most failures were as a result of inadequate information and information sources.

The cost of acquiring business information is relatively high (The research was able to investigate and find out that the cost of getting information either on the on-line or mass media such as news paper, television, radio etc. is gradually becoming very high.

Business education is very important. From information gathered through the questionnaire, it was observed that most of the traders cannot read or write appropriately. This affects the business indirectly.

Absence of loan and subsidies from the banks, governmental and non-government bodies, as well as agencies for proper management of business.

5.3 Recommendations and conclusion

At the course of this research work, the following recommendations were made;

  1. The role of information to petty traders cannot be over-emphasis
  2. Government should provide educational opportunity to petty traders by establishing continuous adult education reachable to them at all cost.
  3. Librarian and other information scientist should be abreast with the changing circumstance in our changing time. There should be trained and furnish with the required facilities to enable them reach out to the disadvantages including illiterate traders.
  4. Audio-visual materials such as charts maps, pictures, graphics which promote reading and learning should be used as a mechanism for teaching traders. This will facilitate better understanding among the good number of them who cannot read or write.
  5. Government should also create a special library for traders which will in time to time provide special materials to traders to meet up the ever challenging need of ever increasing and varieties needs of their customers.
  6. Library services should also be extended to the traders as well as the farmers in other to provide them with adequate and reliable information.
  7. Government should also create favorable market condition and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate better improvement for traders in rural areas in particular and traders in general.

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