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CAPDAN, Fonreg battle phone theft menace

By Benjamin Alade
10 May 2017   |   4:35 am
Computer and Allied-Product Associations of Nigeria (CAPDAN), in conjunction with an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) security solution firm, FonreG...

Different brand of phone display at Computer village.

Computer and Allied-Product Associations of Nigeria (CAPDAN), in conjunction with an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) security solution firm, FonreG, have introduced software aimed to tackling persistent mobile phone theft, which comes with the phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) registration.

Over the years, Computer Village, acclaimed the largest ICT market in West Africa, has witnessed incessant cases of buying and selling of stolen phones thereby denying the market its integrity.

The software stores real-time database of stolen and lost mobile phones for safe and secure market place; to buy and sell mobile phones which also deals and offers from mobile network operators and manufacturers.

Some of the features of the software include free checking of the IMEI numbers, reporting of lost and stolen mobile phones, buying and selling of phones among others.

Speaking on phone theft in Nigeria, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, commended the brains behind the initiative, and warned the general public against buying and selling of used phones popularly called ‘London use’ in Nigerian parlance.
Represented by the Commanding Officer, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Tunji Disu, the Police chief added that if the public must buy used phones, the seller must provide the purchasing receipt, valid means of identification, and a functioning phone contact, in case an issue arose from the purchase of the used phone.

The CAPDAN President, Ahmed Ojikutu, explained that that collaboration between the association, software and security agencies showed their commitment to zero tolerance against stolen phones and the embarrassments it has cost market operators in recent past.

He added that the only way to solving phone theft in the country is to adopt software, a local technology to crack down on the illicit acts.

Ojikutu said: “We want to protect the interest of both the buyers and sellers of phones by ensuring that only registered phones on software platform would be certified for either selling or buying.”

“We are in a tensely technology driven world where various cases of criminalities such as phone thefts, stealing and losses thrives, and it can ordinarily be solved by the use of the technology.

“If we want to buy or sell a phone and realised it has been registered by another person’s identity on the software platform, what we should do is to report the case to the security agents for necessary action. Through this platform, we are also protecting ourselves from buying and selling phones to persons of questionable character,”Ojikutu said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mobile FonreG Nigeria Limited, Ayodele Thomas, expressed deep concern over mobile phone theft in the country, adding that the ugly trend that gave birth to the software.

Thomas, who said with introduction of the software, perpetrators would find it very hard to thrive in their nefarious act, adding that it will also seek approval from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), and other relevant government agencies.

Thomas said all efforts are geared towards ensuring that the initiative is sustainable, and urged the general public to see the avenue as the latest save haven for their phones.

On phone registration on the platform, Thomas said it is free for life, adding that a service charge of N50 would be applied on subsequent deals on the platform, just for the ease of business.

“We at FonreG believe everybody should contribute to crime prevention. There is an increasing trend of mobile phone crimes, therefore, by registering mobile phones and reporting lost or stolen mobile phones we can help reduce crime,” Thomas said.