Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, says a total of 2 million mobile telephones are lost or reported stolen in Nigeria every year.
Speaking at the launch of Nigeria’s mobile phone anti-theft initiative, a development expected to curtail the incidence of stolen phones in Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, Akunyili said: "It is on record that more than 2 million mobile telephones are lost or reported stolen in Nigeria each year."
"This means that 38,500 mobile telephones are lost or stolen every week, and that three mobile phones are stolen every minute," she said.
Akunyili said that the initiative was in partnership with telecommunications service providers and a private firm.
"A Central Equipment Identity Registry (CEIR) will be established to record all handsets so that users can report cases of loss, and it could be blocked and made unusable," she added.
In his remarks, Mr. Emeka Uchendu, Managing Director, of the company, explained that using the CEIR would enable all mobile phone operators to actively block lost and stolen phones on their networks.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Mr Ernest Ndukwe, represented by Mr. Stephen Bello, a Commissioner, isaid that the initiative would be extended to all parts of West Africa.