Enviroment

Launch of National Emergency Number

For some time now, there have been calls from some quarters for an emergency number that will make it possible for citizens to access help in times of disaster.

This is particularly important if predictions by the Nigeria Meterological Agency of impending heavy rainfall is anything to go by.

Apart from floods, there are other disasters like fire outbreak, earthquake, accidental falls, building collapse that demand quick response.

Lagos State introduced a dedicated 767 and 112 call centre for emergency service in 2009.

The call centre manages over five hundred million calls monthly.

Ogun State followed suit in August 2012 with the introduction of 211 as emergency toll free number.

It came as a relief therefore when the Federal Government finally launched a national emergency number 112 through the Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Before now, the Nigeria Communications Commission had concluded plans to launch its emergency communication centres across the country to promote and enhance public safety.

The states already having operational emergency communication centres are Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Benue.

Others are Edo, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states.

With this development, Nigerians can access help from any response agency as the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, fire and ambulance services by simply dialing the toll free number 112 from any network.

Apart from enabling quick access to help, it is believed that the introduction of the number would reduce or possibly prevent losses.

At this juncture, it is imperative for Nigerians to get familiar with this number and not wait until disaster comes calling when hands could barely type and thoughts hardly coherent.

Research shows that during emergency, the brain goes into a panic mode and would be too busy searching for solution for it to recollect numbers that are too lengthy.

Children should also be made to memorize the number and other numbers to access quick help when needed.        

Anthonia Akanji

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