Exclusive by Technology Times
Lagos. September 9, 2012: Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs) sited in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure adequate security in Nigeria has so far gulped over N4billion with varying degree of completion stages, a government audit of the project implementation obtained exclusively by Technology Times has shown.
The ECC project is the outcome of a Special Inter-Agency Committee set up in June 2005 to work out modalities for facilities to enhance security in the country comprising then Ministry of Communications, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Security Agencies, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), among others.
The Federal Government had approved the Committee’s recommendations that ECCs be established across all 36 states and the FCT; adoption of either 112 or 199 as the 3-digit emergency number and implementation of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) expect to answer emergency calls and route them to the nearest agency for speedy response.
The situation pictured by the government audit report also showing that ECC project executions have recorded varying degree of progress across States of the Federation.
Huawei was awarded a $13.572million contract for the Communications Infrastructure Project part of the deal under which the Chinese equipment supplier will equip the bungalow-like structures with the required gadgets for exchanging information with designated response agencies, the audit shows.
Under the project, Huawei will equip the ECCs across the 36 states and FCT with the following: 11 workstations for call takers in each State; System Servers and Switches for each State; UPS Battery Bank for each State; Universal Access Platform; Array Storage Systems and Raised Platforms, according to the project audit report seen by Technology Times.
On the other hand, Civil Works Projects contracts involving the construction of bungalows housing the communication infrastructure across 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were awarded at the cost of N2.44billion to 22 companies with the audit showing that number of states allotted per contract beneficiary ranged from one to a maximum of three.
Additionally, the audit showed that the ECC projects have witnessed varying degrees of progress as with civil works so far completed in 23 states including Niger, Anambra, Gombe, Bauchi, Katsina, Zamfara, Osun and Benue.
Others states where civil works have so far been cited as completed include Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno, Enugu, Ekiti, Edo, Yobe, Kano and Imo, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Taraba, Kogi and Ondo.
However, nine states that have also recorded specified levels of progress as evaluated by the audit include Nassarawa, 90%; Oyo, 85%; Cross River, 95%; Adamawa, 50%; Plateau, 90%; Ogun, 75%; Delta, 40%; Abia, 50% and Kwara, 50%.
However, the audit reveals that little progress have so far been made in five states that include the FCT, where land for the construction of the ECC has just been obtained.
It is the same in Lagos State, where land for the construction of the Centre has just been obtained while an alternative land has also just been allocated in Bayelsa State, according to the audit which was silent on the state of implementations of ECCs in Ebonyi and Rivers States.
Also, three GSM networks, MTN Nigeria, Glo and Airtel have been chosen to serve as 112 carriers for the assigned Emergency code and will also provide interconnect facilities for the seamless running of the ECCs, according to the audit report citing that other phone networks will also be required to route all calls on the emergency numbers to the designated carrier at the respective centers.
So far, MTN Nigeria has provided interconnection at Minna, while Glo has provided interconnection at Akwa, Oshogbo, Makurdi, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina and Gusau.
Plans are underway for the development of a coordinated strategy for effective response to the ECCs by the designated Response Agencies including Fire Departments, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Ambulance Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police, among others, the report says.