The Senate is considering a Bill to make 112 national toll-free number.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, said that the National Toll-Free Emergency Bill presently before the National Assembly would establish a channel and put in place a structure to guarantee swift security response to Nigerians in times of emergencies.
Lawan made these known in an address delivered to declare open a one-day public hearing on two bills by the Senate Committee on Communications.
The bills are: Nigerian Postal Service Act (Repeal and Establishment) Bill, 2021; and the Nationwide Toll-Free Emergency umber (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
According to the Senate President, the bills under consideration by the National Assembly, when eventually passed and assented into law, would bring about significant improvement to the country’s messaging systems.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Communication, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) said the Nigerian Postal Service Act (Repeal and Establishment) Bill, 2021, seeks to unbundle the agency, whose responsibility would be the provision of universal postal services in Nigeria.
She disclosed that the bill makes provision for the administration and planning of a national post code system in line with global standards for efficient mail delivery.
According to her, it seeks to establish the Universal Postal Service Fund (UPSF) to be applied for the deployment of subsidized postal services and infrastructure.
Speaking on the National Toll-Free Emergency bill, the lawmaker said that the piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central) provides for the establishment of a nationwide primary emergency telephone number reporting of emergencies to the relevant agencies of government.
“The bill goes further to saddle the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) with the responsibility of supervising, managing and implementing this bill and its provisions”, Tinubu added.
Sponsor of the bill National Toll-Free Emergency bill, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented at the hearing by his colleague, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, in his remarks said the bill when passed and signed into law, “shall make 112 the emergency number of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and this number shall be free and uniform throughout the country.
“The 122 emergency number will enable Nigerians to have access to emergency service agencies for quick and timely response to all forms of emergency situations such as road accidents, fire outbreaks, burglary, medical emergencies, and recently we have kidnappings, banditry and so on,” he said.
According to Odebiyi, the availability of multiple telephone and helpline numbers in Nigeria are becoming impediments for people to get accelerated emergency response from emergency situations.