PROF Sani Mashi, Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), says the agency intends to boost its revenue generation by providing weather information services to mobile phone users.
Mashi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the move was part of NiMet’s commercialisation drive.
He said that with over 50 million mobile phone subscribers in the country, the agency would embark on aggressive marketing of its products to a minimum of 25 million users.
According to him, if NiMet can make at least one naira from 25 million users per day then it can generate a minimum of N25 million per day.
“The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) always emphasised that cost recovery is achieved in producing meteorological data for the public.
“It said that whatever money you spent in producing meteorological data to the public should be recovered not to make profit.
“So what we are doing is that we charge recovery cost from whoever is coming to collect our data in order to generate revenue.
“What we are trying to do is to extend meteorological services to mobile phone user so that you can query our data request for the weather information from wherever you are.
“Meaning, you don’t have to wait for the news to hear what is going to happen, which means that at all times you can have access to weather information.
“So through this, if we capture 50 per cent of the 50 million mobile phone subscribers that number will be 25 million users,’’ he said.
The NiMet boss said the mobile phone application was still awaiting clearance from the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
He explained that any project that had ICT component must be approved by NITDA and NCC, since it involved telecommunication users.
He also disclosed that the agency would also expand its services to the oil and gas sector, adding that it was hitherto concentrating on aviation because of capacity gap.
Mashi who explained that effort was being made to expand the agency’s services to the marine sector, stated that the market in oil and gas as well as marine sectors was huger than the aviation.
“If we develop our capacity to move into those sectors, we will be able to overcome the challenges of revenue generation and NiMet may be able to stand on its own.