About 1,500 COVID-19 related calls were processed by the Nigerian Communications Commissions through the Emergency Communications Center (ECC), an official has said.
A statement, signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde, on Sunday, said the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Umar Danbatta, said this during the commissioning of the ECC in Owerri, Imo State.
Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus in February 2020. Since then, over 55,000 cases have been recorded leading to over 1,000 deaths.
Mr Danbatta was quoted as saying “during the total lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECCs played a remarkable role by providing a platform for members of the public to seek lifesaving information or support and reporting COVID-19 related cases by dialling ‘112’ from any of the networks. I am happy to report to you that over 1,500 COVID-19-related calls were received and processed by the ECCs in the peak of the pandemic.”
The ECC project is equipped with necessary Information Technology (IT) tools and personnel.
Mr Danbatta described it as a one-stop shop through which members of the public can access help from any response agency.
He said the centre is essentially aimed at enhancing the security of lives and property of the citizens.
Mr Danbatta listed the response agencies to include the Nigeria Police (NPF), the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Fire and Ambulance Services, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and all its affiliate State Emergency Management Agencies, among others.
A total of 19 ECCs have been activated, so far, Mr Danbatta confirmed in the statement.
The beneficiary states include Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Plateau, Enugu, Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Oyo, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Adamawa, Kogi, Anambra and Imo states and the FCT.
“We have no doubt that, if put to maximum use, and kept functional at all times, the ECC facilities will serve to complement the State Government’s efforts at enhancing the security of lives and property of citizens,” Mr Danbatta said.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the country’s economy will reap huge benefits from effective implementation of more Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven projects across the country.
The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, thanked the minister and the NCC for the ECC initiative, which, he said, has enhanced the security of lives and property in the state.