NIGERIAN telecommunications company EF Network has developed a mobile application that can make devices unusable to thieves as part of a plan to curb the theft or resale of mobile phones and other gadgets across the country.
Across Nigeria, mobile phone theft has become a big issue of late with the explosion of demand and the growth of the telecommunications market. Ameh Ochojila, the company’s spokesman, said that the application named Ephonetaxi will help provide a solution to the growing number of stolen phones in the country and across the globe.
He added that it helps to lock out anyone who is unauthorised to use the phone, making it unusable and unsellable. According to Mr Ochojila, the application is designed to protect phone owners and the information stored on their phones from being compromised in the event of a phone theft.
Mr Ochojila added: “The application helps retrieve and send the user’s stored contents to his email. It also locks the phone, prevents either unauthorised access to stored pictures, videos, messages, or contacts of the phone owner.
“In addition, the app alerts the phone owner of any change in SIM card, monitors and tracks the phone location including taking pictures of criminals in possession of the phone and sending the pictures to the email address of the owner. The owner can do all these remotely in spite of the phone being lost or stolen. Once a phone is locked remotely by the owner, buying it will be a mere waste of money.”
Available data showed that in 2016 alone, over 400,000 phones were stolen in the UK, with a good number of them shipped abroad to countries like Nigeria for resale. Kelvin Raymond, EF Network’s technical manager, said that the application could also be used to trace kidnappers as it can reveal real-time location of mobile phones.
Gideon Egbuchulam, the company’s chairman added that the application was one of the applications lined up by the company to meet technical and software needs of Nigerians. Mr Egbuchulam said that the company had opened an incubation centre in Abuja where he planned to recruit brilliant young Nigerian information technology professionals.
He added: “Given an enabling environment, Nigerian youths will take Nigeria to the next Silicon Valley in Africa. Almost all giant tech companies in the world are interested in the Nigerian market and that is the reason our company is recruiting over 1,000 people by the end of 2020 to support talented youths.