The Nigerian Communications Commission has issued a statement requesting all mobile phone users in Nigeria to submit the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) of their phones to the agency from July.
According to the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration published by the Agency, “His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.”
The report stated that “The implementation of a Centralized Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) otherwise known as Device Management System (DMS) will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) 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. The purpose is to ensure that such devices do not work even if different SIM Cards are inserted in those devices.”
Also that the submission of IMEI number to NCC, will help “to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance National Security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices”.
Accordingly, the agency listed some of the objectives of the need for submission of mobile phone users IMEI number to the body to include:
to register and capture the IMEIs of all mobile phones and other smart devices on the DMS which will serve as a repository for sharing data of stolen devices across all networks;
to ensure all un-registered devices do not work in any of the Networks in Nigeria;
to ensure every reported IMEIs for stolen and illegal mobile phones and other smart devices are blacklisted and shared with all operators across all networks; 24
to mitigate Mobile Phone theft and protect Nigerians from been attacked to snatch their mobile phones and other smart devices; v. to blacklist and render all stolen Mobile Phones and other Smart Devices valueless in the Nigerian Mobile Phones Market;
to ease the use of mobile phones and other smart devices in all public places without fear of been attacked by mobile phone snatchers;
to facilitate the use of digital technology solutions to address key issues bothering Nigerians in the Tele communication Sector; and
to facilitate the implementation of Device Management System in Nigeria in accordance with best global practice.