Director General of the National emergency Management Agency (NEMA), AVM Mohammed Audu-Bida (rtd) has requested operators of telecommunications in Nigeria to commence the implementation of 112 as the National Emergency Call numbers for quick access to assistance in distress situations.
Addressing stakeholders in a meeting in Abuja at the weekend on the acquisition of the emergency number, AVM Audu-Bida said the National Communications Commission (NCC) should take necessary action on approval granted by the Federal Executive Council for the adoption of the National Emergency Code and establishment of an emergency communication and disaster relief network.
AVM Audu-Bida (rtd) said the NCC should facilitate a national coverage of the emergency numbers for the states that are ready to hook up while the others would be sensitized to follow upon putting in place the necessary structures. He discouraged the adoption of various emergency numbers by states and said there should be a single valid national code for easy identification.
The NEMA chief said the agency was already trying to put up a robust independent communication link with its stakeholders and establish call centers at its headquarters in Abuja and six zonal offices.
The NCC, through its representative at the meeting disclosed that the telecommunication operators were supposed to have dedicated channels for distress alerts and communication among emergency management agencies. He advised the response agencies to synchronize their communication on a platform through the expansion of a single network trunk. Most of the major telecommunication operators in the country, like Globacom, Zain, NITEL and Multilink Telcom were represented at the meeting, except MTN Nigeria Limited.