The Nigerian Communications Commission has said that subscribers do not have to submit their International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers to the agency as the data will be captured automatically.
Respomding to The PUNCH story on Friday that the regulatory agency would require subscribers phone IMEIs in three months, the commission said it would rather automatically capture the phone identifying numbers without reference to subscribers.
In a statement signed by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the commission 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.”
Adinde added, “It is pertinent to state that the commission is in the process of deploying a Device Management System.
“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.”
On reading The PUNCH story, Nigerians had vehemently opposed a system to capture their phone details.
Many of the people who made their positions known on The PUNCH portal and on Twitter said the government could not be trusted with their phone IDs because it hobnobs with terrorist sympathisers.
They doubted the real intent of the government warehousing their phone IMEIs, expressing fear that the database could be used to clamp down on opposing voices.