Several Nigerians have expressed their views on the recent directive of the Isa Pantami led-Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) asking all mobile phone users to register their International Mobile Equipment Identity with the Commission.
They took to their social media handles to express their displeasure about the directive. While some described the directive as an unconstitutional order, others are calling for a peaceful protest against the NCC’s move.
Below are some of the critics’ comments:
Segun Awosanya, popularly known as Segalink, Human Rights activist, and Business & Strategic Consultant, tweeted:
“This madness ends here. It is actually lawful to disregard an unconscionable order that breaches the constitutionally protected rights and privacy of the citizenry.
The alleged demand for citizens’ IMEI is an overreach that must be resisted by all and sundry. #EndImpunity ?”
This madness ends here. It is actually lawful to disregard an unconscionable order that breaches the constitutionally protected rights and privacy of the citizenry.
— SEGA L'éveilleur®? (@segalink) May 21, 2021
Dr Olufunmilayo gave some tips on what one’s IMEI means and what can be done with it:
“With IMEI: Someone can clone your phone, Someone can listen to your calls, Someone can track your location, Someone can get all your messages, Someone can empty your bank account, They can impersonate you and defraud people in your name. Pls go ahead: Give your IMEI to Pantami.”
Someone can clone your phone,
Someone can listen to your calls,
Someone can track your location,
Someone can get all your messages,
Someone can empty your bank account,
They can impersonate you
And defraud people in your name.
Pls go ahead: Give your IMEI to Pantami.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc ?????? (@DrOlufunmilayo) May 21, 2021
Another phone user, simply known as Santino, tweeted:
“Good afternoon. Usually, before mandating such extreme measures on it’s citizenry, a serious administration conducts sensitization awareness about the intended measures & runs polls to ascertain public acceptance or rejection of the measure. They just don’t roll it out by force.”
Another user tweeted:
“Please be informed that once you’re on a Network provider ie Glo, Mtn, Etisalat… etc Your IMEI number is already available to your network providers, in the event that you change your mobile device, your IMEI number changes as well!! but my dilemma is with the word ‘SUBMIT’??”
What you should know
The NCC’s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Nairametrics.
A portion of the policy said, “Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.”
The NCC said, “With the aim 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, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices, one of the means to achieve this is through the deployment of Device Management System.”