BY ABUBAKAR H. MUHAMMAD, OCTOBER 26, 2021, 08:24 PM
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that they have processed about 34 million calls on security and emergency issues in Nigeria.
He said this was achieved from January to August this year by 24 emergency communications centres, ECCs, built by the government, and are currently operational in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja,
Danbatta made this disclosure while delivering a goodwill message at the 17th edition of All Nigerian Editors’ Conference held at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja with the theme ‘Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus’ where he noted that ECCs have become a rallying point for the promotion of security of lives and property of citizens.
The conference is organized by the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Stating further, Danbatta said historically, the media have always been the vanguard of advocacy for values that are ennobling, edifying and unifying.
He used the occasion to urge media professionals to continue to play their role professionally and ethically, to ensure and enhance unity and security in the country.
He noted that accurate, unbiased reporting of national issues, especially those bordering on conflict and security matters, would promote economic development, fight corruption and ultimately improve security of lives and property in the country.
NCC is contributing to improving national security in the country through the establishment of ECCs, which offer a lifeline to citizens in times of distress, Danbatta said, revealing that there are 23 states in the federation and Abuja with functional ECCs, emphasizing that the centres have continued to have profound positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.
‘In addition to the 23 already established and functioning ECCs, the commission will soon activate ECCs in nine more states, and also plan to inaugurate similar project in the remaining four states by end of 2022, in keeping with federal government’s directive,’ he said.
During Covid19 pandemic in Nigeria, he said over 1,500 calls connected to the virus were received and processed by the centres.
‘The centres provided a platform for members of the public to seek life-saving information and support with regards to COVID-19 related cases by dialling ‘112’ from any of the networks. More remarkably, Nigerians have become more aware of and are using the 122 Emergency Number. Between January and August, 2021, about 34 million calls were made by Nigerians, who were seeking succour during emergencies or under other security threats and unrest within their communities,’ he added.
He also reiterated the commission’s commitment to implementing various national digital economy policies and regulatory frameworks aimed at deepening digitization, in order to further democratize access to communication facilities by the citizenry.
The red chamber of the national assembly has recently passed a bill to establish the Nationwide Emergency Communications Service, NECS.
Designated with 112 primary toll-free emergency number for the country, NECS was established in recognition of the importance of NCC’s emergency centre projects to national security and economic growth.
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