Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has urged the Federal Government to introduce severe punishment against service providers that failed to block persons using unregistered lines.

The governor made the call on Tuesday in Katsina while launching the National Emergency Toll Free Call Number 112 and inauguration of Katsina State Emergency Communication Center.

Masari, who was represented by his deputy, Mannir Yakubu, pledged to enlighten and educate the citizens of the state on the importance of the toll free number.

“We are aware of your recent directives to all service providers in the country to disconnect all unregistered lines.

“This will provide solution to the issue of kidnapping where such lines are used to contact families of the victims without tracing their identity,” he noted.

He assured that the state, with support of the federal government was doing a lot to tackle insecurity in the state.

According to the governor, the toll free line will enable citizens report any emergency promptly.

Earlier, Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Pantami said the federal government would work with all states and the FCT in the area of ICT.

He noted that the emergency number was introduced to assist in saving lives and property.

In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said 33 tolls free call centres have been established across the country.

“We have so far launched and commissioned 19 of the Toll call free centres in Nigeria.

“We are today commission the 20th in Katsina which is strategic, as it was established to checkmate armed banditry in the state.

“We will want the centre to assist in checking the menace of armed banditry, cattle rustling and armed robbery in the state,’’ he said.