Nigeria’s 112 emergency number has been designated a toll-free line and can be called from any phone network, the telecoms regulator says.
“The 112 number is a toll-free line and can be called from any network. This three-digit number will help to provide timely information to relevant agencies for the prevention of crime, rescue distressed persons, mitigate and possibly prevent disasters”, according to statement by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
NCC says the 112 emergency number for Nigeria will enable phone users across the country and the service is being expanded nationwide to promote public safety.
Under the plan, government is launching a number of Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) across the country to use the designated emergency number to offer assistance.
ECCs are already operational in Ogun, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Benue, Edo, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Plateau, and will be expanded to other parts of Nigeria, NCC says.
The telecoms regulator says the ECC plan is part of its mandate to “promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number which shall be designated as the Universal Safety and Emergency Assistance Number for telephone services generally.”
According to NCC, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), approved the establishment of the National Emergency Communications Agency (NECA) to set up an Emergency Communications System for Nigeria with members drawn from the Ministry of Communication, NCC, Telecom Network Operators, Security Agencies, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), among other relevant agencies and also adopted a three-digit emergency number, 112 for the country.
Under the plan, the Emergency Communications Centres will be launched in various states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Nigerians can now access help from any Response Agency such as the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Fire and Ambulance Services by simply dialing a toll free number 112 from any network”, NCC says.
“In the absence of an Act for NECA, the FEC approved that NCC should push for the establishment of one model Emergency Communications Centre in each of the states in the federation and the FCT”, the regulator says.
According to NCC, “Each state was requested to allocate a suitable piece of land, as its counterpart contribution for the establishment of the Emergency Communications Centre in the state, while NCC was to build, equip and operate the Centres for some years before handing over to the states.”
The telecoms regulator says it “has taken practical steps ever since to ensure that the Centres are established in various parts of the country. These Centres are specially designed to answer all 112 emergency calls and to direct each call to the appropriate Response Agency closest to the caller, thereby serving as a communication link between Public Response Agencies and members of the public.