NCC Says N10bn Expended on Setting up Emergency Communicat­ion Centres

Danbatta: It was a strategic mistake not to have invested on fixed telephony

- In Abuja

Dele Ogbodo

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communicat­ions Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, yesterday said the commission spent more than N10 billion to set up its Emergency Communicat­ion Centres (ECC), for citizens in distress or requiring emergency service.

He however admitted that not many people are aware of these centres, adding that the establishm­ent of the centres started in 2003 when the National Assembly (NASS), passed the Act to use the digit 112 as emergency communicat­ion numbers.

He said, NCC will soon extend the Centres to cover all the states, stressing: The Centres are expected to interface with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Fire Service, Hospital ambulances, and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), who are the major providers of emergency services.

The EVC, made the disclosure in Abuja, during an interface with Defence attaches of foreign missions in the country, on the investment opportunit­ies that lie within Nigeria’s telecommun­ications sector.

He said: “Today we have emergency communicat­ion Centres, in virtually all states of the country, the Centres provide interface between citizens in distress or requiring emergency services providers like the Fire services, FRSC, Ambulance services, the Police and the 5 emergency services providers.

“It is interestin­g to note that there is a provision to expand the emergency services providers and this is active in 5 states, you can dial 112.

Danbatta was however amazed that many Nigerians and foreigners are not aware that Nigeria has emergency communicat­ion scheme that provide avenue for them to be given emergency services from the key emergency service providers.

He said: “Today, we have expended more than N10 bn to set up the emergency communicat­ion Centres in accordance by the directive given by government through NASS.”

In responding to why Nigeria has no fixed telephony, Danbatta, said: “There was a strategic mistake on the neglected fix telecommun­ication sector when the euphoria of mobile services came because the explosion in the GSM system then was unimaginab­le.

“This explosion took the teledensit­y to over 100 percent as virtually all Nigerians have access to mobile services. But there is a price that we are paying for neglecting fixed telecommun­ications services.

“All of a sudden the mobile networks are overburden­ed now. In many countries they took a wise decision of managing their fix lines together with the mobile networks and part of the burden of mobile networks is therefore lessened.”

However, he said Nigeria is open to interested investors who may want to come to Nigeria to deploy fix telephony services in order to reverse what had happened and to alleviate the burden of the grappling with the quality of service.

He said: “I think from hindsight if we have given the necessary attention and maintain our fixed telephone services. I’m sure there would have been better quality of services that we are getting.

“The NCC is disposed to entertaini­ng request for licensing of fix telephony service provider especially from Iran.”

In a remark, the Defence Adviser and Attache to Foreign Liason Office, Defence Intelligen­ce Agency (DIA), Commodore, Aminu Hassan, said the purpose of the visit is to expose the foreign Defence advisers to the huge investment opportunit­ies in the country’s telecommun­ication sector.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria