The Senate on Wednesday said that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has built a hub where artificial intelligence and robots would be used to fight crime and criminality in Nigeria.
The Senate had said while debating a report on Nigeria’s report of rising insecurity.”
During plenary, the Joint Committee on Legislative Compliance and Communications, chaired by Senator Adelere Oriolowo, presented the report.
In his presentation, Oriolowo (APC, Osun West) further revealed that the Ministry of Information’ SIM registration exercise was a successful.
Kidnappers’ use of phones for talks has decreased dramatically as a result of the Communications and Digital Economy Act, which makes the provision of a National Identity Number mandatory.
According to him, the SIM registration’s early successes were undermined by the numerous agents employed by the communications companies to register SIM card owners across the 774 local governments.
However, he explained that this prompted the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to seek Presidential authorisation for the temporary suspension of SIM card sales in Nigeria, as well as the merger of all SIM cards with their respective owners’ National Identity Numbers.
He went on to say that the Joint Committee discovered that the Ministry and its agencies have various initiatives and schemes in place to help security authorities battle crime.
Oriolowo revealed that twenty-three Emergency Communication Centres using the 112 code have been activated, with another twelve (12) on the verge of being activated.
According to the lawmaker, “the goal, according to the Minister, is to have at least one Emergency Communication Centre in every State of the Federation by the first quarter of 2022.”
“The Emergency Communication Centres are meant to be multipurpose centres for emergencies and platforms for Nigerians to contact and connect to key institutions such as the Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Agency,” says the statement.
“These emergency lines are toll-free lines, and their effectiveness has been well reported across the country, including during the COVID-19 lockdown,” Oriolowo added.
He lamented the Ministry of Communications’ and its agencies’ inability to provide necessary information from the phone database in cases of crime such as kidnapping due to a lack of statutory mandate to do so, unless security agencies make a proper request and application for such information.