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Nigeria Natcoms Seeks Free AntiMobile Phone Theft Service

Date: 1/24/2008 12:51:39 PM

The Nigerian Telecommunications Subscribers Association NATCOMS has called on the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and all the telecomms operating companies in the country to provide free antimobile phone theft service to Nigerian subscribers.

The Chairman of NATCOMS, Chief Deola Ogunbanjo said the call was imperative in order to curtail the menace of constant phone thefts in Nigeria.

He added that the service is free everywhere in the world, and in line with International Best Practices .

Ogunbanjo who stated that NATCOMS started the antimobile phone theft initiative tagged the AntiMOPHTI Project in Nigeria during the December, 2005 edition of the NCC Telecomms Consumer Parliament, stressed that everyone present at the meeting agreed that something should be done to stop the criminal menace.

He added that as a follow up to the AntiMOPHTI project, NATCOMS wrote an AntiMOPHTI project proposal through the Presidency to NCC dated 20th March, 2006 .

Ogunbanjo who gave a breakdown of several correspondences held with various telecoms bodies on the matter disclosed that on April 19, 2006 , NCC acknowledged the AntiMOPHTI project proposal stating that The Commission wishes to state that your proposed project is a noble idea which will go along way in addressing mobile handsets theft in the country. NCC went further to invite NATCOMS to their Head Office in Abuja for a meeting on the details of AntiMOPHTI. The venue was the Commissions Boardroom, the date was Tuesday, 16th May, 2006 while the time was fixed for 10.00 a.m. NATCOMS, along with Newstream Technologies Limited attended the meeting promptly.

In July 2006, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) sent out invitation letters to NATCOMS and other stakeholders to submit Proposals on Consultation on a National Scheme to Curtail Theft of Mobile Handset.

On August 30, 2006 , the NCC organised a consultation on a national scheme to curtail theft of mobile handsets which took place at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos .

NATCOMS made a detailed presentation and submitted an updated proposal on the antimobile phone theft initiative (AntiMOPHTI) project, emphasising that antimobile phone theft service must be free as it is everywhere in the world and in line with International Best Practices (IBP).

Some other companies presented a feepaying service while the Telecomms Operating Companies were silent on the matter, during the national consultation.

The GSM Association International is in support of all GSM operating companies worldwide to render the antimobile phone theft service free of any charges whatsoever.

They expressed readiness to partner with local GSM associations (in this case, the GSM Association Nigeria) for the main purpose of providing the service FREE..

Ogunbanjo added that NCC and the telecommunications companies in Nigeria must understand that Nigeria is a leading player in the telecommunications world and the comity of nations hence, we should always do things according to and in line International Best Practices (IBP) which in this case of AntiMobile Phone Theft Service must be FREE of any charges to Nigerian Subscribers as supported by the GSM Association International

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