By Prince Osuagwu
At a time insurgency and security issues appear to be the bane of the country’s economic growth, the efforts of the Nigerian Communications, Commission, NCC and its CEO, Prof Umar Danbatta have been brought to light as the way forward to a secured Nigeria.
This is as the commission and its Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, received awards at the first Security and Emergency Management Awards, SAEMA 2019, organised in Abuja recently
At the event, which was attended by many stakeholders, particularly agencies in the security governance sector, Danbatta beat other contenders and nominees in the category to emerge winner for his proactive decision to activate and oxygenate the implementation of Emergency Communication Centres, ECCs across states of the Federation and federal capital territory, FCT, Abuja.
The NCC, as a corporate entity, was also recognised with the Corporate Social responsibility Award in Security and Emergency Management in the country.
The commission, which has collaborated in using technology to curb the excesses of insecurity in the country since 2005, has however, been tinkering on the best strategies to get a water tight solution to solve the country’s intractable security issues.
In the year 2005, the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the commission set up a committee drawn from relevant key stakeholders to develop a framework to facilitate the establishment of a well-coordinated nationwide public protection and disaster relief communication system for the country.
However, on assuming office as EVC of NCC in 2015, Danbatta quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of Emergency Communication Centre, ECCs across the country in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act, NCA 2003 and Nigerian government’s desires to enhance security of lives and properties in the country.
As a result of that acceleration, the commission now boasts of having established and operationalised ECCs across 18 States of the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); all as a measure towards tackling the emerging security challenges.
Danbatta’s decision was said to have been based on his recognition of the NCC’s mandate of promoting and enhancing public safety through the use of a particular number, 112 which was designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally.
Another effort that qualified him for the award was facilitating prompt deployment of seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications throughout Nigeria.
Danbatta, at a recent event, revealed that in line with an item, Facilitating Strategic Collaboration and Partnership, which is in his 8-Point Agenda unveiled in 2016, NCC is currently embarking on some collaborative efforts with relevant agencies to ensure effective and efficient management of the ECC and service delivery, as well as facilitating and ensuring adoption/usage and publicity of the 112 emergency code number by the public and response agencies.
Speaking during the presentation of the award to the EVC, the Chairman of Panel of Jury for SAEMA 2019, Mohammed Audu-Bida, said nominations for winners were based on verifiable outstanding performance and track record of excellence in the category for which the nomination was made.
According to him, a total of 254 entries were received for all the categories, out of which 136 nominees qualified for the competition. Thereafter, 54 finalists were selected by the jury from which 18 winners of the 18 categories emerged.
The Awards is instituted to recognise remarkable and invaluable contributions to the security, emergency management and peace development by individuals, groups and relevant stakeholders. The Award also recognises gallantry, rescue efforts, safety measures, teamwork and outstanding contributions to security and emergency management in Nigeria.