Subscribers Need Not Submit IMEI Numbers – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied reports that it intends to register the International Mobile Equipment Identity of subscribers’ phones from July, 2021. The Commission made this known in a statement issued by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde earlier today.

Adinde explained that the misleading reports emanated from a section of the Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari and which was uploaded on the Commission’s website.

He, however,  said that the Commission was in the process of deploying a Devise Management System (DMS) designed to properly identify mobile phones, protect subscribers against phone theft, and help eliminate the use of fake devices on the networks, adding that the system will capture IMEI automatically without any requirement for subscribers to submit same to the Commission.

He advised the general public to disregard earlier media posts, which have created the erroneous impression that telephone subscribers would be required to register their IMEI with their networks.

Panel of phone showing location of IMEI number

However, Consumer Life learnt that the deployment of DMS would help 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, curb the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices.

 

Mobile Phones

Facts About IMEI

IMEI numbers are commonly used to identify mobile phones that use terrestrial cellular networks. Phones that have dual SIMs usually have two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM slot. Network providers and security agents can use it to track and recover stolen smartphones.

The IMEI number is a 15-digit number unique to each mobile phone and can be located on the packaging, user manual, under the battery, or by Typing the code *#06# on the keypad of your smartphone. 

Another option for getting the IMEI number is by going to Settings >System >About Phone >Status >IMEI Information.

Since a mobile phone can be universally identified, anyone who steals it can easily be tracked and arrested. Moreover, the service provider can blacklist and block the phone, thereby making it unusable to the thief. When an IMEI code is blacklisted, the service provider also shares the information with other service providers who also proceed to block the number. So, changing the SIM card cannot work for the thief. Unfortunately, many thieves steal and are able to use stolen phones because the real owners do not know the IMEI numbers of their phones.

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