By Etuka Sunday
For his significant contribution to the Federal Government’s agenda aimed at improving security of lives and property through leveraging Information Technology facilities, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has been recognised as Nigeria’s Goodwill Ambassador for Security and Emergency Management in Nigeria.
This is following his efforts towards fast-tracking implementation of Emergency Communication centres (ECCs) especially at a time the country is faced with a number of security situations, as before his appointment in 2015 no single emergency communications center was operational in the country but Nigeria boasts on 18 centers now.
Danbatta received the recognition at the first-ever Security and Emergency Management Awards (SAEMA 2019) organised in Abuja by the Emergency Digest, a publication of Image Merchants Promotion Limited, in conjunction with the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC).
At the event, which was attended by many stakeholders, particularly agencies in the security governance sector, Danbatta beat other contenders and nominees in the category to emerge winner for his proactive decision to activate and oxygenate the implementation of ECC across states of the Federation and federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Henry Nkemadu in a statement said, the NCC, as a corporate entity, was also recognised with the Corporate Social responsibility Award in Security and Emergency Management in the country.
On assuming office as EVC of NCC in 2015, Danbatta quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of ECC across the country in line with the decision of the Nigerian government to enhance security of lives and properties in the country and in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.
Danbatta’s decision was based on his recognition of the NCC’s mandate in this regard, which is to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number which shall be designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally; as well as encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment throughout Nigeria of seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.
Consequently, the Danbatta-led NCC has fully activated and operationalised ECC in 17 States across the country and the FCT. The list of the states include Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna , Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.
Speaking during the presentation of the award to the EVC, the Chairman of Panel of Jury for SAEMA 2019, Mohammed Audu-Bida, said nominations for winners were based on verifiable outstanding performance and track record of excellence in the category for which the nomination was made.
According to him, a total of 254 entries were received for all the categories, out of which 136 nominees qualified for the competition. Thereafter, 54 finalists were selected by the jury from which 18 winners of the 18 categories emerged.
The Awards is instituted to recognise remarkable and invaluable contributions to the security, emergency management and peace development by individuals, groups and relevant stakeholders. The Award also recognises gallantry, rescue efforts, safety measures, teamwork and outstanding contributions to security and emergency management in Nigeria.