The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) under it’s Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process (SCEEP) went to Wudilawa, Gamoji, Gaya and Larabar Zango communities for sensitization on the Airtel Information Provider Code of 321, the code can be used to access information on health issues, agriculture, budget, governance, human rights, etc. Apart from English, Airtel sim card users can equally obtain information in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages. CITAD team went to the SCEEP communities with a view to publicizing and enlightening them on how to use and benefit from the initiative. ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Airtel Nigeria came up with the code in order to allow people access information in native languages and at their convenience.
Leader of the team and SCEEP Project Coordinator at the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Isyaku Garba explained to the people who gathered at different communities that to access information they need to either send a blank message to “321” and receive immediate response on their request or call the number and listen for feedback. He explained in details the procedures to be followed and how to select native languages to ease understanding. Isyaku noted that those who have Airtel sim cards on their phones already don’t need the ones brought by the team for distribution. Now you can get information on your rights, elections, budget and other governance issues without having to go government agencies, ministries or parastatals, therefore people should utilize the opportunity as it eases access to them, Isyaku added.
Also speaking on the importance of the code to the communities especially on information budget, Training Coordinator, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai of CITAD emphasizes the need for the communities to use the fliers and stickers given to them in case they forget the procedure to follow. The sensitization was carried out in the aforementioned communities and a market at Larabar Zango where hundreds of people where targeted. Apart from stickers and fliers distribution, an audio recording carefully stating the procedure of accessing the information was played several times to increase understanding. Many people indicated interest and asked questions on the code.