THE Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has gone into partnership with telecommunication companies in the country to provide meteorological services to about 50 million Nigerians through mobile phones.
The move was also part of NiMet’s efforts to enable many Nigerians in local communities’ access weather information on their mobile cell phones.
The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi in Abuja, said that the move was part of NiMet’s revenue generation drive, adding that “What we have been emphasising is that weather affects every sector of the Nigerian economy.”
He explained that because weather affects every sector of the economy, “we must be in a position to make weather information available to those that will require them in different sectors, saying “One of the quickest ways we feel we can do that is through the mobile cell phones. Most Nigerians have access to cell phones; we can use the cell phones to reach out to them.”
According to him, NiMet “has been thinking along that line in order to extend the meteorological services to everybody, and that the agency to be able to do that, “there are a lot of partnerships that we need to enter into with other stakeholders.”
“Those that are in telecommunication industry; those that are in the computing industry and those that are in the information industry also need to be brought in”, he said.
Mashi said the initiative would help NiMet to be able to issue out data to reach a higher number at the lowest level as well as increase the agency’s revenue.
He disclosed that the data generated by NiMet was not for sale, adding that the mobile cell phone idea was a cost recovery measure to be able to sustain production of data noting that the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has already allocated a spectrum for that purpose.
“The second thing that we need to do is to get a vendor that can help us to use that spectrum so that we can sell our services. That is where the mobile service providers are coming in. We are already at the stage of discussion with the various mobile service providers, to work out a mechanism by which we can market and they recover cost”, he said.