The Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity(IMEI) of their phones to the commission from July.
The commission said this in it Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
The NCC’s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The NCC said, “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.”
The IMEI number is the mobile phone’s fingerprint. It is a 15-digit number unique to each phone. With the IMEI number, a phone can be tracked and located irrespective of the cellular number in it.
This implies that the NCC will have the IMEI numbers, NIN, and mobile numbers of every Nigerian.