Nigerians have condemned the plan, citing privacy concerns.
The Nigerian Communication Commission has confirmed the government will collect phone identification numbers from Nigerians, but said it will do so automatically without asking individuals to submit them.
This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesperson of the commission, Ikechukwu Adinde.
A new government policy reported widely Friday says the government will collate the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to guard against theft and other illegal activities.
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The plan to compile registered phones with the Centralized Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) otherwise known as Device Management System (DMS), has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Nigerians have condemned the plan, citing privacy concerns. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, kicked against the directive describing it as illegal and a violation of the constitution.