Airtel, HNI Partner to Offer Free Public Service Messages

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Emma Okonji and Sunday Okobi

Airtel Nigeria has partnered Human Network International (HNI), a global development organisation, to unveil the 3-2-1 service, which is a call-in system that provides free, on-demand information, ranging from healthcare to good governance, to Nigerians, including those in rural communities.

The 3-2-1 Service provides public service information, on-demand, to mobile phone users in English as well as in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Pidgin English.

Using recorded messages by indigenous speakers, the 3-2-1 Service is convenient for all Nigerians, regardless of age, education and literacy.

By dialing 321 on their Airtel prepaid lines, users will connect the caller to voice prompts in any of the aforesaid indigenous languages or in English.
Speaking at the launch of the service, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said the telecoms company was committed to creating platforms that would empower Nigerians as well as uplift telecoms consumers in the various communities where it operates.

“As a major stakeholder, we are excited to partner with HNI to create a huge platform that offers a plethora of opportunities to enable millions of Nigerians across various communities to lead better and healthier lives. We are confident that the 321 initiative will help transform lives in many locations across the country,” Ogunsanya, who was represented by the company’s HR Director,” Gbemiga Owolabi.

The Country Manager HNI Nigeria, Harriet Blest, said: “By turning simple mobile phones into search engines, Human Network International and Airtel are giving Nigerians an entirely new way to access information using technology they already own.”

“Nigerians with little or no literacy can still leverage the service, and that makes it an incredibly powerful tool. We are delighted to have partnered with Airtel on this and look forward to reaching millions of Nigerians,” Blest added.

The 3-2-1 Service provides public service information that are all relevant to both individuals and communities across Nigeria. The topics launched on the service are Agriculture, Commodity Prices, Family Planning, Good Governance, Health, News and Entertainment, Nutrition, Sanitation, and Weather.

The public service messages are created and curated by committees covered by HNI. These committees included representation from government ministries, plus Nigerian and international subject area experts, including, Action Aid, Catholic Relief Services, EarthNetworks, GSMA, MERCK/MSD, Novus Agro, Pulse.ng, UNFPA and the Federal Ministry of Health.

The call-in system will further be enhanced to cover more topics and messages such as entrepreneurship and financial literacy in the near future.