By Salim Yunusa
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed Nigerians to submit their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of their phones from July 2021.
This was made known through the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
The IMEI is an identity number used to uniquely identify a mobile phone. The 15-digit IMEI number is an electronic fingerprint transmitted every time a phone is used, which reveals the identity of the mobile handset
“Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months,” a portion of the policy disclosed
The NCC further stated, “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.
According to the directives, DMS will also provide access to all operators to cross-check the IMEIs and their status before allowing a device to become active on their network.
Furthermore, registered mobile phone technicians will also be provided with an interface to check IMEIs and ensure it has not been reported as stolen or illegal before they render their technical services.
“To achieve this, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) would be responsible for the implementation and management of the DMS to achieve the policy objectives.”