Barely a few months after debunking reports of its plans to enforce registration of telecom subscribers’ International Mobile Equipment Identity, (IMEI), there are indications that the Federal Government is again coming up with the plan.
But this time, new phone users are expected to compulsorily register their phones’ IMEI before their lines can be activated by their respective telecoms service providers.
According to the President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, (NATCOMS), a body representing telecoms customers in Nigeria, Deolu Ogunbanjo, who disclosed the new move by the Federal Government to newsmen, the industry regulator is holding a series of meetings in preparation to issue the order.
Ogunbanjo decried the planned action of Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), saying that it would compromise the privacy rights of the subscribers.
Speaking with newsmen, a dealer at the popular Computer Village in Ikeja, who simply identified himself as Christopher, said several attempts had been made in the past to stop the importation and patronage of substandard phones in the country without much success.
While the alleged move is not peculiar to Nigeria, the process for the implementation or enforcement of the initiative in other countries where this initiative was carried out, had human face, massive sensitisation and enough timeline was given.
Recall that in May, this year, in reaction to several media reports of a directive by the Federal Government given a marching order to telecom operators to ensure that their respective subscribers submit IMEI of their phones with effect from July 2021 or be deactivated, the industry regulator, NCC, denied the report.
Despite the debunked report, some Nigerians have not been comfortable, believing that their phone details might have already been captured.