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Why FG Directed NCC To Collect Phone IDs Of Nigerians

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, has said Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their phones to it from July.
This is part of NCC’s move to implement the Device Management System, the regulator said.

This is contained in section 3.5 of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, available on the website of the NCC.

“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,” NCC said.

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The NCC’s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

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

“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.

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“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.

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

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NCC added that the 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, it said that 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.

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