The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a stern warning to traders and stakeholders regarding the sale and purchase of phones and telecommunications gadgets that are not type approved by the Commission.
The NCC emphasizes the negative consequences of dealing with non-type approved telecom devices, as they are known to be sourced from grey markets and can significantly degrade the quality of services in the network.
The certification of telecom devices used in the telecom sector is a crucial mandate of the NCC, aligning with the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) aimed at safeguarding the rights and interests of consumers.
Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau, Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, representing NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, delivered this cautionary message during the 5th edition of the Market Conversation, a telecom consumer outreach program held at the GSM Village in Abuja.
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Dr. Nwokoro stressed the need to sensitize traders about the implications of dealing in substandard products, highlighting that those caught selling non-type approved devices could face arrest and prosecution. She expressed the NCC’s commitment to raising awareness and preventing substandard products from infiltrating Nigerian markets.
“The essence of coming here today is to enlighten the traders on the dangers of selling non-type-approved devices. The NCC has established procedures for certifying telecom products sellable and usable in Nigeria, and we aim to ensure that substandard products are not circulated in any market in Nigeria,” said Dr. Nwokoro.
To help traders identify type-approved devices, she informed them that the NCC has established a procedure for approval of telecom devices, and the list of all type-approved devices is readily available on the NCC website for public and user reference.
In response, Mr. Macdonald Ajuogu, Chairman of the GSM Village Market in Abuja, assured the NCC that the market union already has a task force monitoring the types and standards of devices sold.
The association has also implemented measures to handle any member found in violation of the rules.
“Normally, we have a platform in the market whereby anybody that deals with any phone in the market is registered with the union and we also have a task force that always checks on any product that is being sold in the market, including computers that are sold in the GSM village,” said Mr. Ajuogu.
He expressed gratitude to the NCC for conducting the awareness program and pledged that the traders would diligently cross-check with the NCC’s list of certified and type-approved devices to avoid any potential sanctions.