The Nigerian Government is rolling out a phone device tracker system to captures the unique number that identifies devices used by telecoms subscribers, the telecoms regulator says.
The proposed Device Management System (DMS) will enable the Nigerian Commission Commission (NCC), the nation’s telecoms regulator, to identify devices used by phone subscribers across the country using their unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
At Q1 2021, Nigeria remains home to a bustling telecoms market accounting for 192,413,613 (100.80%) active phone lines, 144,949,194 active internet connections, and 78,613,689 (41.18%) broadband connections, according to official market information by NCC.
Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC says the DMS that will function as a phone device identification technology is being deployed to “essentially protect subscribers against phone theft and will identify and enable the elimination of fake devices from the networks.”
The telecoms regulator spokesman who says he was responding to media reports that subscribers will be required to submit the IMEI number of their phones denied any such requirement by the NCC.
Rather, the planned DMS will give NCC the automated capability to identify phone devices used by Nigeria’s millions of telecoms subscribers.
“The system will capture IMEI automatically without any requirement for subscribers to submit same”, according to Adinde.
“At no time did the Commission issue a Statement regarding the registration of IMEI by subscribers and it has no plans to do so.
“The reports in question have emanated from a section of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari and which has been uploaded on the Commission’s website”, he adds.