The Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity IMEI numbers their phones to it from July.
The regulatory body stated this in the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
“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 of phones that have been reported as either stolen or illegal will be shared through the DMS to all the operators and service providers.”
What is IMEI number?
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.
According to an expert that helps the Nigerian Police track stolen phones, who pleaded anonymity, “The IMEI of a phone allows us to track the phone.
“It allows us to track the phone’s information, people the phone calls each day and the house address of the people that call on the phone.”
However, some Nigerians have expressed concerns that the government might abuse people’s privacy if it has all the unique information to place them under surveillance.
Last year, communication minister, Ali Pantami announced that every SIM card in the country should be linked with a national identity number.
How to find your IMEI number
To find you IMEI number, dial *#06# and the unique 15 digit number associated with your phone will be displayed.