Pandemonium as Nigerian govt orders citizens to submit phone IDs within 3 months

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Nigerian government has issued a 3-month ultimatum for citizens to submit their phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to the Nigerian Communications Commission starting from July.

Nigerians were thrown into confusion on Thursday, 21 May, 2021, following the announcement through its Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration, which revealed that the directive was given by President Buhari. 

NCC stated that the purpose of this move is to reduce the counterfeit mobile phone market, prevent mobile phone theft, enhance national security, protect consumer interests, increase government revenue, reduce kidnapping rates, and reduce the possibility of using stolen mobile phones to commit crimes. And also help block or track stolen mobile phones and other smart devices.

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

“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.”