The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has disclosed plans to establish one Emergency Communications Centre, ECC, in each state of the federation by the year 2020.
The minister made this known on Monday at the Batch 10 Launching of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, projects in Abuja.
According to the minister, 23 ECCs were inaugurated in some states of the federation, with 13 others are underway.
He said: “In less than two years, we have commissioned around 23 emergency communications centres all over the country and we have around 13 underway.
“It is our plan to have at least one ECC in every state of the federation by 2022.
“These centres are very important; it is a toll free number and if you make a call nothing will be deducted from your mobile account.
“This is to make it easier for all citizens to patronise; and which will go a long way to support citizens in emergency cases, security situations,” he said.
On the Digital Economy Centre, DEC, Mr Pantami said the virtual engagements had saved cost for the Federal Government, hence the money deployed to other areas of governance.
According to him, the DECs are being equipped with computers for students and staff members, internet facilities, solar system, and in some cases backup generator for power.
“The DEC will serve as a capacity Building Centre to enable the promotion of knowledge-based economic growth, an avenue for creating jobs and providing access to information, knowledge and government enabled digital services for rural communities.
“The centre is an avenue for stimulating economic growth by creating new products, increasing productivity and promoting new commercial and administrative methods.
“The ECC project was set up to promote and enhance public safety through the use of the 112 number, designated as the Universal Safety and Emergency Assistance Number, for telephone services generally.
“It will encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment of a seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs,” he said.