Senate reinforces legal status for national emergency number 112

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Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, The Senate, has taken steps towards strengthening the legal status for the country’s National Emergency Number 112, being implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) though it’s Emergency Communication Centres (ECC).

The Senate Committee on Communications recently organised a one-day public hearing where stakeholders gathered to make contributions and observations on two bills by the Senate Committee on Communications. These are the Nigerian Postal Service Act (Repeal and Establishment) Bill, 2021 and the Nationwide Toll-Free Emergency Number (Establishment) Bill, 2021, being sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun of APC, Ogun  Central. 

The emergency number bill passed the second reading on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 and the recent Senate public hearing on the bill was to have extensive discussion towards making the bill more robust to ensure a more effective, uniform and well-coordinated national emergency number 112, when it is finally passed into law, similar to the 999 emergency number in the United Kingdom and 911 in the United States.

Speaking at the public hearing, Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, stressed the desirability of the passing of such a bill into an Act of national Assembly, adding that the critical role of communication in modern day, especially in handling emergency situations cannot be over-emphasized.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Oluremi Tinubu, said the bill, when passed, will establish the Nationwide Toll-Free Number as a primary emergency number and contact point for all emergency services in Nigeria, thereby harmonising the various emergency numbers in the country into one uniform number while, at the same time, empowering the NCC to supervise and ensure compliance. 

SOURCE: THE SUN

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