The Federal Ministry of Information has on Tuesday, commissioned the National Emergency Toll-Free Number – 112 in Katsina State. The Honorable Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said the goal is to establish Emergency Communication Centers (ECC), in each state of the federation.
Before now, only a few states in Nigeria like Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Edo, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Plateau have operational 112 Emergency Communication Centers. And its effectiveness was not at all times certain. A reason why the Lagos State Government created the 767 toll free emergency number.
In June, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), directed the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to establish 112 centers in each state. The FEC also directed that training should be given to personnel for the effective dispatch of distress calls to relevant agencies.
Each state is required to volunteer a piece of land for the purpose of the call center.
Hon. Pantami said the move is timely considering prevalent security challenges existing in the country right now, and other cases of emergencies like flood or fire.
He also used the opportunity to campaign for SIM registration, emphasizing that every unregistered sim card will be cut off on the 25th of September. He said the decision is to use the medium to checkmate the activities of criminal elements operating behind phone lines. That once a crime is committed using a telephone, it would only take 60 minutes to fish out the culprit.
The Minister said the next state in line for ECC is Ogun, and urged Nigerians to display security consciousness by alerting security agencies when they notice criminal activities.
The Nigerian Police, Nigerian Civil Defense Corps, National Emergency Management Agency, Fire services, Federal Road Safety Corps etc. are all connected to the ECC, and their personnel have been urged to live up to their responsibilities in cases of emergency.