By Jariatu S. Bangura
Enquiry from key personnel revealed that the toll-free emergency line, 1199, provided through Africell for reporting emergency cases to the National Disaster Management Agency, was not functioning at the time of the audit, according 2021 Auditor General’s report.
According to the report, auditors further observed that some of the mobile phones provided to the agency to facilitate communication were faulty.
Auditors recommended that the Director of Communication should engage Africell to ensure that the emergency line is operational and that other mobile phone operators should be engaged in providing similar services to report emergency cases effectively.
However, the Agency responded that they wrote official correspondence to the National Telecommunication Commission and the Ministry of Information and Communications for a dedicated toll-free line to the Agency for emergency management.
They noted that among the three mobile companies in the country, only Africell responded positively.
“They offer the Agency 1199 toll-free line. This line at the outset was faulty but has now been fixed. This was a technical challenge on the part of the company. The agency took up the matter and they feel pleased to inform the auditors that it has been addressed.”