Nigeria regulator sets to link all emergency numbers
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to converge all emergency numbers currently existing in the country in order to further strengthen government agencies like the road safety agency, to effectively use technology tools for results. The aim is to link all emergency numbers to one that would be familiar to all Nigerians.
The plan was revealed by Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at the NCC while speaking for Dr Eugene Juwah, executive vice chairman of the commission at the eWorld Forum in Lagos. Juwah said Nigerians may not remember the different emergency numbers of different agencies like the Police, FRSC, Fire Service Commission, among others when they find themselves in a distress situation like road accidents, fire outbreak, or incidents of collapsed building and they needed to make instant distress calls.
At present, the emergency number of Fire Service Commission is different from that of FRSC and the Police. When people are in distress, and have needs to make distress call, they tend to forget the number of the agency that will address the situation. NCC said it was working to address the problem by harmonising all existing emergency numbers with different agencies, such that Nigerians could dial only 112 for any kind of distress call and get the required response.
“One critical effort of the commission in the direction of improving road safety is the current deployment of Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) in the 36 states capitals and Abuja. It will utilize the universal 112 code for telephone users to reach all emergency service like the Police, Fire Service Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ambulance Services and others,” said Juwah.
According to him, the NCC has collaborated with federal government to build two emergency centres in Minna,Niger State, and Awka, Anambra State. The two centers, which are ready for commissioning, will serve as pilot centers to receive all emergency calls from a single code of 112. The staff at the centers will immediately re-direct the distress call to the appropriate channel for prompt rescue action. While the Awka Centre will handle calls from West, Eastern and Southern parts of the country, the Minna Centre will handle calls from the Middle Belt, North Central and other Northern parts of the country.