The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has clarified reports that mobile subscribers will be required to submit the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) of their phones to it from July 2021.
The IMEI is an identity number used to uniquely identify a mobile phone. The 15-digit IMEI number is an electronic fingerprint transmitted every time a phone is used, which reveals the identity of the mobile handset.
Earlier reports had said the directive is to be implemented within three months, as contained in the revised national identity policy for SIM card registration which was released on May 11, 2021.
In December, the NCC had directed Nigerians to get a national identity number and submit to their network operators.
It recently extended the national identification number (NIN) and subscriber identity module (SIM) integration exercise till June 30.
Reacting to the reports, Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs, said 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,” the statement read.
“It is pertinent to state that the Commission is in the process of deploying a Device Management System (DMS). The DMS will essentially protect subscribers against phone theft and will identify and enable the elimination of fake devices from the networks. The system will capture IMEI automatically without any requirement for subscribers to submit same.”
Adinde advised the general public to disregard the publications which have created the impression that telephone subscribers will be required to register their IMEI with their networks.