Updated: NCC says Nigerians not required to submit IMEI numbers

Updated: NCC says Nigerians not required to submit IMEI numbers

- The Nigerian government has denied introducing another technology system to track citizens/residents' identities through their phones

- The NCC said phone subscribers will not be required to register their IMEI with their networks

- The rumour about the IMEI registration had been criticised by Nigerians

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says Nigerians do not have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of their phones.

The NCC made the statement in reaction to reports that IMEI registration has been added to the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.

Amid NIN Enrolment, FG Introduces Another Identity Management System for All Mobile Phone Users
President Buhari receives his New-Improved NIN Slip from communications minister, Isa Pantami. Photo credit: @nimc_ng
Source: Twitter

However, the commission said it would obtain the IMEI automatically with a Device Management System (DMS).

It said the DMS will essentially protect subscribers against phone theft and will identify and enable the elimination of fake devices from the networks.

Reasons for the new move

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The NCC listed several benefits of the new policy: These include

1. To curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market

2. To discourage mobile phone theft

3. To enhance national security

4. To protect consumer interest

5. To increase revenue generation for the government

6. To reduce the rate of kidnapping

7. To mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime

8. To facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices

The Device Management System

The Device Management System will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ 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 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.

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Expert speaks

An expert who helps the Nigerian Police track stolen phones said the IMEI of a phone makes it possible to track the phone.

He spoke on the condition of anonymity:

“It (IMEI) allows us to track the phone’s information, people the phone calls each day and the house address of the people that call on the phone.”

He said though some people already try to change the IMEI of stolen phones, there is a way to get the original ones.

With this move, the NCC will have the IMEI numbers, NIN, and mobile numbers of every Nigerian.

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NIN enrolment deadline extended

Meanwhile, the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has extended the ongoing National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module integration exercise. The exercise has been extended till June 30.

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This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde; and the head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission, Káyọ̀dé Adegoke.

The federal government had also on Wednesday, February 10, said it would soon announce the deadline for the integration of the National identity Numbers (NIN) with bank accounts.

Source: Legit.ng

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