The Nigerian Communications Commission has given a directive that all Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their phones beginning from July.
According to the regulatory body the new development is accordance with the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
The Regulatory body ‘s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by the office of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.).
A portion of the policy reads
“Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.”
NCC Statement Reads
With the aim to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance National Security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce the rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices, one of the means to achieve this is through the deployment of Device Management System.
“The implementation of a Centralised Equipment Identity Register otherwise known as Device Management System will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity and owners of such devices.
“IMEIs that have been reported as either stolen or illegal will be shared through the DMS to all the operators and service providers.”
An IMEI number is the fingerprint of mobile phone’s . It is a 15-digit number unique to each phone. With the IMEI number, a phone can be tracked and located regardless of the cellular number in it.
According to a technology expert that works the Nigerian Police to track stolen phones,
“The IMEI of a phone allows us to track the phone.
“It allows us to track the phone’s information, people the phone calls each day and the house address of the people that call on the phone.”
“I can’t discuss in details how the IMEI of a phone works. It is sensitive information. Spilling the secret helps the people stealing the phone bypass the information.
“Some people make attempt to change the IMEI of stolen phones, but we know what to do to get the original one.” he added
If this smart move is successful, the NCC will automatically have the IMEI numbers, NIN, and mobile numbers of every Nigerian citizen.