By Amby Uneze
The federal government has inaugurated an emergency communication center (ECC) in Owerri, the Imo state capital with the intent to combat crimes and corruption in the south East region.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim (Pantami), who unveiled the Center on behalf of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, said it would help the country to fight issues of insecurity, corruption and economic sabotage.
Ibrahim, said that the federal government chose Imo for the building of the Center because of the strategic role the state plays in the economy of the people of the south East, adding “this is first to be commissioned in the South East”.
The Minister disclosed that the people of the state had the opportunity of disclosing emergency developments to the authority by dialing 112 on toll free basis.
According to him, Buhari was working hard in reviving the economy of the state, adding that the adoption of the dialling code 112 was in line with what is obtainable in the United States that uses 911 and United Kingdom with the dialling code 999.
The Minister said, “today, I commission this Emergency Communication Center on behalf of my boss, the president of the federal republic of Nigeria. This Center will help to fight corruption, crimes, assist in attending to healthcare issues and economic sabotage.”
The governor of Imo state and host, Hope Uzodinma, who was the chairman of the occasion, said that the state was grateful to the federal government for citing the Communication Center in the state.
He said that the state would take the advantage of the center to fight social vices and incidences of fire outbreaks.
The governor said that the state was in support of the president’s interventionist policies and programmes such as this emergency centre.
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta said the Centre is a one-stop-shop through which members of the public could access help from any response agency such as the Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Fire and Ambulance Services, Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, etc.
He said the centre is equipped with facilities such as eleven workstations, a server system that receives and processes 112-calls from members of public, power supply mix, etc.
According to him, the ECC had been activated in 19 States, including FCT.