By Juliet Umeh
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has disclosed that over 1,500 COVID-19-related calls were received and processed through the Commission’s Emergency Communications Centres, ECCs, in the peak of the pandemic in Nigeria.
The EVC made this disclosure during the commissioning of the ECC in Owerri, Imo State over the weekend by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The event which was hosted by the Executive Governor of the State, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, had in attendance, the Chairman, NCC Board of Commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande; Chief Uche Onwude, NCC Board Member; Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Ibrahim, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, among other dignitaries.
According to Danbatta, “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 EVC said the ECC project, equipped with necessary Information Technology (IT) tools and personnel, is a one-stop shop through which members of the public can access help from any response agency, stating that the centre is essentially aimed at enhancing the security of lives and property of the citizens.
While restating the Commission’s commitment to operationalise the ECCs in all the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the EVC said 19 ECCs have been activated so far.
“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,” Danbatta said.