The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that four Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) are currently undergoing test runs to commence services in September 2023, bringing the total to 31 ECCs across Nigeria.
The ECCs, which have been constructed and are now fully operational in a total of 27 State Capitals across the country, are reachable on Toll-Free Number 112 and are operating in a similar design to the 911 Emergency Numbers in some developed parts of the world, to provide succor to individuals, who are witnesses or under distress of emergency, arising from fire outbreaks, robbery or violent attacks, domestic and road accidents, health crisis, to instantly reach response agencies through the toll-free three-digit numbers, 112.
The three-digit code was designed to ensure that citizens in emergencies can easily recall the three-digit code, 112, to report emergencies and it is available, live, 24 hours a day as the agents run in shifts to ensure that services are delivered at all times of the day.
The commission disclosed this in a statement released on Monday and made available to newsmen.
The commission averred that it has, so far, employed over 1,200 Nigerians to manage the country’s ECCs, even as it planned to employ more people as the additional eight centres under different stages of completion become fully operational by 2024.
The commission noted that four more centres are currently undergoing test runs to commence services in September 2023, bringing the total to 31, while another set of four is expected to come into operations before the end of the year.
It added that the centres are also managed by indigenous Nigerian consultants who are engaged to provide total facility and operational management of the centres.
Highlighting the economic benefits of the emergency communications centres aside from managing emergencies in the country, NCC posited that, “beyond providing essential emergency response services to the Nigerian public, the Emergency Communications Centres (ECC), being implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) now provide employment placements for many Nigerian youth and professionals, as well as offering informal business activities to the citizens across the country.”
To achieve efficiency in emergency management, the commission said, it provided technology platforms, such as Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems for the respective response agencies such as police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ambulance Service, and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) to facilitate the dispatch of emergency calls through the national emergency toll-free number 112.
According to the telecom regulator, agents of the ECCs, have also been trained, and equipped with state-of-the-art communications equipment, including digital radio and Internet protocol (IP) and geo-location technologies to enable responders to easily identify the location of incidents for effective and efficient delivery of the rescue services to the public.