The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has asked Nigerians to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of their phones to it from July 2021.
A phone’s IMEI number is a 15-digit unique number that serves as a fingerprint of the phone. It helps in tracking phones.
According to the NCC, the new order backed by President Muhammadu Buhari is contained in the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
“Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months,” a statement issued by NCC read.
The commission added, “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.”