" ITREALMS: Joda flags off anti-mobile phone theft scheme

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Joda flags off anti-mobile phone theft scheme

Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Alhaji Ahmed Joda, weekend in Abuja, flagged off the national anti-mobile phone theft scheme.

The scheme, which has been structured to curtail the menace of mobile phone handsets theft in the country, would see that any reported stolen phone would be barred from any of the mobile networks, thereby making that handset useless within Nigeria telecom space.

With this launch, all the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile operators have already signed to move their subscribers into the system with Zain Mobile already connected to the Netvisa anti-phone theft system.

At the launch which took place at the Netvisa Nigeria Limited office in Abuja, Alhaji Joda, who led four other commissioners of NCC to the event, noted that the menace of mobile phone theft had become a serious problem in the country that had not only inconvenienced many people but also endangered lives and businesses.

He solicited the co-operation of all the mobile operators to connect to the system to safeguard the handsets of their subscribers.

As said by him, with increasing complaints from people nationwide, about the problem of mobile phone theft, the Commission sought for a way to stop the problem, which resulted in the collaborative effort between the NCC and the mobile phone operators to engage Netvisa to manage the system for the benefit of over 70 million handsets being used in the Nigerian networks today.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe in his input said the commissioning signals a success story of the scheme which had taken a lot of hard work in planning and coordinating for the benefit of the nations teeming mobile phone subscribers.
“A lot of work had gone into getting the scheme to this phase of flagging off. We took our time to do a lot of study before initiating this scheme and we believe that based on the support of everyone, it would be a success,” Ndukwe said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Netvisa, Mr. Prince Uchendu, said the scheme included the establishment of a national database of stolen phones, which would be used to curtail the perpetration of the theft in the future.

“This registry is in direct support of the NCC mobile phones anti-theft initiative conceived under the thoughtful leadership of the EVC of NCC. The menace and scourge of stolen phones has touched many lives in Nigeria and some, tragically,” he said.

Also, Mr. Uchendu said the service would be at no cost to the subscribers but the subscribers are expected to register their 15 digit International Mobile Equipment identity (IMEI) numbers with the Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR) to be managed by the company through which any mobile phone reported stolen will be blocked from all the networks.

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