By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. May 20, 2013: The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its current deployment of Emergency Communication Centres in state capitals nationwide including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja will improve road safety in Nigeria.
The telecoms regulator says that the growth in teledensity now stands at 83. 29 per cent and active subscriber base of about 116 million as at February, this year has reduced the volumes of trips which culminate in road safety and reduce avoidable road mishaps.
Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman (NCC) disclosed this at a recent event in Lagos in celebration of the 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, an Initiative of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Juwah was represented by the Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs of the telecoms regulator who spoke on the theme,: “Ensuring a Truly Digital Citizenry: ICTs and Road Safety.”
NCC says that the Centres will also provide emergency service to other bodies like the Police, Fire Service and Ambulance Services among others using a universal 112 code.
The regulator says that the project is a “patriotic step” of facilitating the existence of national emergency communications services which he believes will that governments at all levels will henceforth support.
“The impact of this initiative in contributing to the safety on our roads would be very significant. It is easily imagined that carnages in our roads in terms of accidents, fire, robberies among others would be more easily tackled with the availability of emergency communications services in the country”, Juwah says.
Prior to the establishment of the Emergency Centres, NCC had supported the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) by sponsoring radio jingles and other similar campaigns in raising awareness of the dangers of making calls while driving.
“As a nation, we may not have statistics to use to establish how many lives have been saved on account of availability of phone services in the country today. It would be easily imagined how telecommunications in Nigeria has contributed to safety on our roads in this direction”, Juwah adds.
NCC says it also committed to more availability of telecommunication infrastructure to cover areas where network has not covered like some major highways, interstate roads, state and local government road networks which he says are critical to the ‘quest to address safety of on our roads with the application of telecommunications and ICT services in improving our lives and businesses’.