In a bid to checkmate cyber securities issues in Nigeria whilst keeping in touch with global best practices, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has finalised plans to launch cyber-crime control centres (known as Emergency Control Centres) across the country.
The move, according to a statement released by the regulator, is part of its mandate to promote/enhance public safety.
Launching the Centres: All the 36 states of the Federation (including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)) shall one centre each. These centres are expected to provide Nigerians with easy access to help from any response agency in the country such as:
- Federal Road safety corps (FRSC)
- The Police Force
- Nigeria security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
- Fire and,
- Ambulance services.
Prior to this time: The National Emergency Communications Agency (NECA) was established following the approval of the Federal Executive Council. The mandate was to start an Emergency Communications System for Nigeria, with members of the agency drawn from the Ministry of Communications, NCC, security agencies, telecom network operators, and other relevant agencies. The three-digit emergency number that has been adopted is 112.
In the meantime, all thirty-six states of the federation have been requested to set aside a suitable piece of land as part of their contributions towards the establishment of the ECC. The Nigerian Communications Commission, who is the communications regulator in Nigeria, will build, equip, and operate the centres for a certain number of years before handing over to the states.
The Nigerian Communications Commission has taken the practical steps to ensure that the centres are specially designed to answer to all 112 emergency calls while directing each call to the appropriate response agency nearest to the caller. This step will portray the NCC as the communication link between Public Response Agencies and the public.
What this means to Nigeria is that the 112 number (which is Toll-free) can be reached via any network. It will assist with providing timely information to relevant agencies to fight cyber-crime, rescue distressed persons, and possibly prevent disasters.
Note that currently, only thirteen states plus the FCT have operational emergency centres emergency numbers in Nigeria. These states are Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Benue, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, and FCT.