By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – As part of efforts to bridge the communication gap between the distressed and emergency response agencies, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has built and equipped 18 Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) across the federation.
The ECCs would help to reduce response time during emergencies such as efforts to deal with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, known as COVID-19.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, who announced the development, weekend, during the NCC Day at the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair, stressed that all telecoms operators were mandated to route emergency calls through the dedicated three-digit toll free number, 112, from each state to the emergency centre within that state.
“The operators, who are resident in the ECC, will then process the distress call and contact the relevant Emergency Response Agency (e.g. Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, police, ambulance) whose primary duty is to handle the case.
“As at today, 18 ECCs are fully operational and functional across the six political regions of the country,” he said.
The NCC boss, who was represented by the Head Economic Analysis in NCC, Reuben Muoka, said this year’s theme of the Enugu Fair, ‘Advancing the Growth of SMEs through Corporate Governance for Rapid Economic Development’, was apt, as it availed the commission the opportunity to educate Nigerians on its initiatives to ensure that telecom services got to the unserved and underserved areas of the country.
He said NCC was working hard to increase the tele-density in the country by ensuring that telecommunication services reach every part of the country.
“Businesses, including SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), have particularly taken advantage of sophisticated telecoms systems such as video conferencing, video calling and online-marketing to improve productivity, better customer services and increase growth, which invariably have lifted the Nigerian economy extensively,” he said.
Danbatta noted that as a regulatory body, NCC identified the consumer as a very important stakeholder in the telecoms industry, and had embarked on different initiatives to protect them, including launching campaigns against cybercrime, child online protection and telemarketing (otherwise known as unsolicited text messages/voice calls).
Earlier, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Sir Emeka Nwandu, who was represented by the first deputy president, Jasper Nduagwuike, stated that the industry had witnessed a great revolution in the socio-economic life, which has equally accentuated the pace of socio-economic life as individuals and as a nation.