The Nigerian Government has set up operational 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.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Dabatta, disclosed this in Abuja while delivering his keynote speech on: ‘Leveraging on Emergency Communication Centre for National Security’, at the Maiden Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA which he said was one of its strategies in ensuring a safer and secure Nigeria.
The ECC have begun operations and are active in Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.
Professor Danbatta said the creation of the ECCs across the country is to provide a universal, toll-free emergency telephone short code (112) which will enable members of the public in Nigeria to seek for help in times of distress or 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 needs 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.”
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, noting that it eliminates the need to determine which emergency agency to call.
Represented by Head of ECC Mr. Chukwuma Azikiwe, 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 tranquility. 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 September 23, 2019, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami commissioned the National Emergency Toll-Free number “112″ and the Katsina State Emergency Communication Centre, representing the North West Zone.