By ADEDEJI ADEYEMI FAKOREDE
THE executive vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr Umar Danbatta had said that the commission had spent more than N10 billion on the establishment of emergency communication centres across the country.
Danbatta made this disclosure in Abuja during the visit of the Foreign Defence Attaches to the commission, which was organised by the Nigerian Defence Intelligence Agency.
According to him, many countries are not aware that Nigeria has emergency communication centres that provide an avenue for them to be given emergency services.
“We are trying to improve the process of emergency services to Nigerians; to date, we have expended more than N10 billion.
“NCC set up the centres in line with the directive given to us by the Federal Government through the National Assembly,” Danbatta said.
He said that the centres were established in virtually every state, adding that they would provide an interface to citizens in distress or requiring emergence services.
Danbatta said that the centres were established in collaboration with the emergency service providers such as Fire Service, Ambulance Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and the Police.
Danbatta said that under the drive of the NCC, the sector contributed more than one trillion (N1.4 tr) to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the first quarter of 2016.
According to him, the sector continues to show resilience and in the second quarter of 2016.
“In the second quarter of 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated that the sector also contributed N1.6 trillion to the GDP,” he noted.
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According to Danbatta, huge investment opportunities still abound in the telecommunication sector.
“For instance, one of the key initiatives of the commission is how to increase broadband penetration in the country. “To this end, the commission recently gave licences to two infrastructure companies to operate in the North-Central and Lagos Regions in line with the phased development of the Fibre Optic programme.
The licenses for the five other regions would be given in accordance with the commission’s programme of action. The leader of the group, Commodore Aminu Hassan, Deputy-Director, Liasion Services, Defence Intelligence Agency, said that the team was in NCC to see the area of investments.
Hassan said that the foreign attaches from the various countries were working with the Nigerian Armed Forces to promote cooperation between Nigeria and the various countries they represent.
“This is to expose the Defence Attachés to the huge potential of investments in the country particularly in NCC.
“In the military, we take communication very important, as it is the backbone of military operations.
Defence Attachés from Zambia, Angola, Bukina-Faso, Russia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Niger Republic, South Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Iran, Mali, Netherlands, Chad, Italy, Turkey, Cameroon, U.S., Japan among others visited