The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of cybercafés in Ilorin, Nigeria. The main objectives of the survey were to determine the characteristics of the users, how they had learnt to use the internet, their self‐reported levels of internet use skills, the internet services they used and for what purposes, the aspects of the internet they desired to learn more about and their assessment of the cybercafés they patronized.
A survey method was employed for the study. Data were collected from 18 cybercafés in Ilorin, Nigeria, by means of questionnaires and analysed using frequency counts and percentages.
The findings revealed that the majority of the cybercafé users were students, aged 21‐25 years old, males and unmarried. Most of the respondents considered themselves only moderately skilled in the use of the internet and largely used e‐mail, online chat, e‐publications, file transfer protocol and the world wide web, all of which they desired to learn more about. The six aspects of the cybercafés evaluated, except browsing speed, were judged satisfactory. It was concluded there is a need to promote greater use of the internet in Nigeria generally.
The research findings will help to fill a gap in the knowledge of cybercafé usage in Ilorin, one of the largest towns in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. The findings will also assist cybercafé operators in Ilorin in particular to improve their services.