NCC Establishes Emergency Communication Centres in 18 States

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*Launches 112 toll-free emergency telephone number

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has established and operationalised Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) across 18 States of the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as a measure towards tackling the emerging security challenges.

 

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Engr. Umar Garba Danbatta, at the Maiden Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA) in Abuja.

 

Danbatta disclosed this while delivering his keynote speech on: ‘Leveraging on Emergency Communication Centre for National Security’, which he said provided the Commission the opportunity to speak on one of its initiatives/efforts in ensuring a safer and secure Nigeria.

 

According to the NCC Boss, the Commission embarked on the construction and operationalization of the ECCs across the country to provide a universal, toll-free emergency telephone short code (112) for use by members of the public in Nigeria to seek for help in times of distress/emergency.

 

Other reasons include: “To provide a one-stop shop for receiving distress calls from the public and dispatching same to appropriate Response Agencies (“First Responders”) who will respond to the need of the callers.

 

“To provide easy, effective and coordinated access by members of the public to Response Agencies (Police, FRSC, Fire Service, Ambulance Service etc.) in times of emergency/distress.”

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Danbatta, who bagged Goodwill Ambassador on Crisis Communication at the event said that there are only three numbers to remember in an emergency 1-1-2, which he noted,  eliminates the need to determine which emergency agency to call.

 

To this end, he said that the Commission has already fully activated and operationalized ECC in the following 18 States:  FCT,  Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.

 

Represented by Chukwuma Azikiwe, Head of ECC, Professor Danbatta said: “There is no gainsaying, that the discourse on security situation is a topical issue and of national concern, which every citizen of this country is conscious of, as its affects our well‐being and tranquillity.

 

“In the year 2005, the then Honourable Minister of Communication set up a committee drawn from relevant key stakeholders (Public and Private Sectors) to develop  a framework to facilitate the establishment of a well-coordinated nationwide public protection and disaster relief communication system for the country.”

 

He recalled that on the 23rd September, 2019, the  Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim (Pantami), commissioned the National Emergency Toll-Free number “112” and the Katsina State Emergency Communication Centre, representing the North West Zone.

 

Likewise, Danbatta said,  necessary preparations and arrangements are being put in place to ensure the successful commissioning of other Centres as well embarking a comprehensive publicity campaign on the usage of the emergency centres across the country.

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He went further to list the positive impacts of the operationalization of the ECC in ensuring safety, security of lives/properties and the associated socio-economic benefits recorded so far cannot be overemphasized.

 

He stressed that in line with an item of the 8-Point Agenda unveiled in 2016 through Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership, NCC are  currently  embarking on some collaborative efforts with relevant agencies to: Ensure effective and efficient management of the ECC and service delivery; and Facilitate and ensuring adoption/usage and publicity of the 112 by the public and response agencies.

 

Reacting to this development, the Executive Secretary of the Centre for Crisis Communications (CCC), Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), considered it  as heart-lifting, the report that the NCC is establishing Emergency Centres across the states.

 

Anas assured that CCC is willing, able and ready to partner with NCC to ensure that the Emergency Centres function effectively.

 

“With our pool of experts in crisis communication and media management, we are sure to compliment the effort of NCC in this regard,” he said.

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