The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said that the Federal Government has inaugurated 23 Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) across some states with 13 others underway.
Pantami, who stated this on Monday, May 31, at the Batch 10 Launching of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) projects in Abuja, said that the projects would be achieved by 2022
The launching of the projects, which held virtually, was in line with the Digital Economy agenda 2020 to 2030 and President Muhammadu Buhari’s target to fight corruption, transform the economy and ensure security.
The projects launched were the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions, ECC Akure, Ondo State; and also Digital Economy Centre (DEC), Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State.
Others were DEC, Delta State University, Abraka and DEC, Government Secondary School, Rigasa (Main), Kaduna State.
Pantami explained that the National Policy on Virtual Engagements, which was institutionalised in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Service, was to ensure the legality of virtual meetings in public service.
He said the ECC was designed to be present in every state of the federation for emergencies while the DECs, coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), were to facilitate learning in tertiary institutions.
“In less than two years, we have commissioned around 23 emergency communications centres all over the country and we have around 13 underway.
“It is our plan to have at least one ECC in every state of the federation by 2022.
“These centres are very important; it is a toll-free number; and if you make a call nothing will be deducted from your mobile account.
“This is to make it easier for all citizens to patronise; and which will go a long way to support citizens in emergency cases, security situations,” he said.
Pantami added that the virtual engagements had saved cost for the FG; hence the money deployed to other areas of governance.
According to him, the DECs are being equipped with computers for both students and staff members; internet facilities; a solar system; and in some cases a backup generator for power.
“The DEC will serve as a capacity Building Centre to enable the promotion of knowledge-based economic growth; an avenue for creating jobs; and also providing access to information; knowledge; as well as government enabled digital services for rural communities.”