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Nigeria to legalise national emergency number

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The Nigerian Senate may soon legalise the National Emergency Number 112.

This was disclosed in a press statement on Thursday titled ‘Senate reinforces legal status for National Emergency Number 112’ by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

The statement read, “Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, The Senate, has taken further steps towards strengthening the legal status for the country’s National Emergency Number 112, being implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission through its Emergency Communication Centres.

“The Senate Committee on Communications recently organised a one-day public hearing where stakeholders gathered to make valuable 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 Ogun State.

“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 number in the United Kingdom and 911 in the United States.”

At the public hearing, Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, was said to have emphasised the need to pass such a bill into an Act of National Assembly, while the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Oluremi Tinubu, was said to have affirmed that the bill will help to establish the Nationwide Toll-Free Number as a primary emergency number and contact point for all urgent services in the country.

Quoting Senator Amosun Ibikunle, who was represented by Senator Odebiyi Akinremi, with the emergency number, Nigeria will “have access to quick and timely response in respect of all forms of urgent situations such as road accidents, fire outbreaks, burglary, medical emergencies and so on’.’

When passed into law, the bill may be known as the ‘National Emergency Communication Act, 2021’, as hinted by the Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

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