Insight on How Fisherfolk Use Mobile Phone to Communicate in Fishing Communities of Kainji Lake Basin, Nigeria
|Author(s)||Ifejika, P. I.|
|Issue Date||December, 2013|
|Publishing Date||December, 2013|
|Keywords||Mobile phone, fisheries, adoption rate, information, communication, Nigeria|
Improving extension and advisory services to fisherfolk with mobile phone is dependent on better understanding of their communication behaviour. This informed decision to assess mobile phone usage among fisherfolk in fishing communities of Kainji Lake basin, Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was employed to select 165 respondents in eleven fishing communities from two council areas in Niger State bordering the lake in the west. Primary data was collected with semi structured questionnaire and analysed descriptively. Outcome showed that respondents possessed the skill and showed competency for verbal communication against non verbal communication as many can speak better than reading and writing. Also they were found to have the ability to speak Hausa language compared to four other languages examined. In line with their verbal communication behaviour, mobile phone medium of communication was voice call compared to usage of SMS and multimedia message. However, mobile phone adoption rate was slow between 2002 and 2005 but escalated between 2006 and 2009 to reach peak in 2008 before it slacked down in 2010. Three GSM service providers found operational in the area were Glo, MTN and Airtel, but, Glo had a wider coverage and usage in the fishing communities. Also, it was found that fisherfolk had low knowledge of some of services provided by GSM operators to reduce cost or buy airtime on credit. Therefore, verbal communication skill should be explored using voice call medium of the mobile phone for fisheries extension and advisory services around the lake basin. GSM service providers with low coverage and usage for communication like MTN and Airtel should expand their scope in the lake basin. While government institutions in fisheries research and extension agencies should take urgent steps to establish customer services at tool free or reduced cost charges to boost access to quality information and extension contact with fisherfolk in the area.