…FG debuts 112 Tool-Free emergency number
By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has opened Emergency Communication Centres, ECC, across 27 states of the country to provide job employment opportunities for the teeming Nigerian youths as well as providing informal business activities to citizens across the nation.
Meanwhile, the ECC which is now fully operational in 27 state capitals are reachable on a Toll—Free number 112, which is operational like the popular 911 Emergency Numbers in some developed countries to address distress situations for those 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 (3) 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.
Four more centres are currently undergoing test-runs to commence services in September 2023, to bring the total to 31, while another set of four are expected to come into operations before the end of the year.
Emergency Centre services in Nigeria are live and available 24 hours of the day as the agents run in shifts to ensure that services are delivered real-time , all round, every day.
Furthermore, the Commission provided technology platforms such as Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems for the respective response agencies such as police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense 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.
The 112 code is designed to ensure that citizens in emergencies can easily recall the three-digit code to report emergencies and get a response.
To ensure prompt and effective services, NCC said it has provided the response agencies, with additional mobile communications devices, some installed in their offices, to enable them to instantly receive information from call agents at the centres.
Response agencies such as the Police, with round-the-clock duties to prevent, stop and arrest crimes, are now being provided mobile communication devices
to also ensure that the top echelon of the force are provided instant information for command and control over emergencies or incidents across the country.
More than 1,200 are currently offered employment at the 27 operational centres across the country, while more will be employed as the additional 8 centres under different stages of completion become fully operational by 2024.
The Centres are managed mainly by indigenous Nigerian consultants, who are engaged to provide total facility and operational management of the centers.
In addition to providing emergency communications services, the ECC is meeting the socio-economic needs of the country by providing job opportunities to the citizens as each of the centres has staff made up of Call agents, Facility/IT Staff, and Administrators.
The basic salaries of the staff of ECCs, have been carefully set by the Commission, to ensure that the jobs at the centres are attractive for the Nigerian youths, and other category of employees, NCC stated.