Federal Government to Launch SMS-Based Public Enquiry Service in Nigeria
The Federal Government in a bid to ensure adequate and responsive service delivery to Nigerians, is set to launch an SMS based public enquiry, comment and polling service that will now make it possible for all Nigerians to participate directly in nation building by sending useful opinions and comments from their mobile phones nationwide.
The FG is collaborating with Private Networks Nigeria Ltd PNN, an NCC licensed telecommunications company according to its CEO, Abdulraman Adeola-Odunowo to provide the service aimed at providing Nigerians with the opportunity of acquiring information directly from government on government policies and actions.
As part of the take off of the service which begins on Tuesday, the Minister of State for Information and Communi-cation, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki will on November 13, be participating in the testing of the Enquiry service. "Members of the public are encouraged to send their enquiries from any of the networks to the short code 33501 for the opportunity to obtain answers to their questions directly from the Honourable Minister.
"Enquiry is a service that will make it possible for any Nigerian who owns a mobile phone and can use Short Message Service (SMS), to request information on aspects of government policy that they might need quick clarification on. Typically, interested public will compose requests/ enquiries/comments and send via SMS to 33501 from their phone."
The subscriber will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the SMS and the dedicated ministry's information officers will then respond as soon as possible. Being a Private Public initiative, each SMS will cost N50. PNN is a private telecommunications company set up to provide various telecoms services in the telecommunications sector. It is actively involved in various aspects of the development of telecommunications in Nigeria, including the distribution of telecoms products, supply and installation of telecoms equipment, operations and maintenance of GSM and PTO facilities and provision of engineering support services and value added services.
Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the Head of IT of the FMIC confirmed that Government has been developing this solution in collaboration with PNN for over 18 months since it was becoming a major way of communicating amongst Nigerians because 40 million Nigerians now use mobile phones. Nigerians are therefore encouraged to partner with Government by taking full advantage of the technology by participating in the pilot programme from Tuesday.