Nigerians Will Have To Provide The IMEI Of Their Phones To NCC From July

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will ask citizens and civilians to send the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of their phones to the agency in July.

The IMEI is a 15-digit number that can be used by GSM network providers and officials for a variety of reasons, including tracking and recovering stolen equipment. When you use a mobile phone to reach network services, such as making or accepting calls or sending SMS, the IMEI number is transmitted to the network base point. This enables IMEI tracking.

According to Punch, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the NCC’s introduction of the Device Management System, as well as the linking of subscribers’ National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their smartphone databases.

The following are few excerpts from the policy:

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 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 (DMS).

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.

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.

Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.

The objectives of implementing the DMS include the following:

i. 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;

ii. to ensure all un-registered devices do not work in any of the Networks in Nigeria;

iii. 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;

iv. 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;

vi. to ease the use of mobile phones and other smart devices in all public places without fear of been attacked by mobile phone snatchers;

vii. to facilitate the use of digital technology solutions to address key issues bothering Nigerians in the Telecommunication Sector; and

viii. to facilitate the implementation of Device Management System in Nigeria in accordance with best global practice.

This ensures that the NCC’s database would obtain records on all Nigerians. It allows the agency to check the phone’s history, text messages, who you call, and their home addresses.

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