Prof. Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has spent over N10billion on the establishment of emergency communication centres in the 36 states of the federation.

The centers are to serve as interface between citizens in distress or requiring emergency services with emergency services provider like the Federal Fire Services, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Ambulance services the Police and the five emergency services providers.

Meanwhile; Foreign Direct Investment into the telecom sector has increased from $50million in 2001 to over $60billion in 2015.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this when the Defence Adviser and Attaches to the Foreign Liaison Office, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Commodore Aminu, paid him a courtesy visit, said the Commission has a provision to expand the emergency services providers. He added that many countries are not aware that Nigeria has emergency communication scheme that provides an avenue for them to be given emergency services from the key emergency service providers to Nigerians.

According to him, “We do have emergency numbers, and it started in 2003, when the National Assembly decided and passed the Act to use the digit 1 and 2 as our emergency communication numbers.”

Danbatta observed that NCC is open to interested companies who may want to come to Nigeria to deploy fix telephony services in order to reverse poor service delivery and to alleviate the burden of grappling with the quality of service.

He said: “We neglected the fixed telecommunication sector when the euphoria of mobile services came and the impact then was unimaginable, and it took the teledensity to over 100 per cent as virtually all Nigerians had access to mobile services. But there is a price that we are paying for neglecting fixed telecommunications services. All of a sudden the mobile networks are overburdened. In many countries, they took a wise decision of managing their fixed lines together with the mobile networks and part of the burden of mobile networks is therefore lessened. If you have an alternative network that can carry all the services and I have said this before, was a strategic mistake that we made.”

The NCC boss observed that the Commission is working to increase broadband penetration in the country, adding that successful development of fibre optic across the length and breadth of Nigeria would accelerate the broadband penetration in Nigeria with resultant increase in the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP.

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