NCC cautions against the selling and use of Unauthorized devices

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned traders and other stakeholders about the negative consequences of selling and use of phones and telecommunications gadgets not type-approved by the Commission.

The certification of telecoms devices used in the sector is one of the mandates of the NCC as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003) whose central objective is the “protection of the rights and interests of consumers.”

Non-type approved telecoms devices are considered to be supplied to the Nigerian market from grey sources and are known to degrade the quality of services in the network.

The Guardian checks showed that as of July 2023, the NCC has type-approved 2,146 devices, which are largely dominated by Chinese brands.

Deputy-Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau, Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, who spoke for the Executive Vice of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, at the 5th edition of Market Conversation, said the event was part of the sensitisation efforts of the Commission to address the issue. The event, a telecom consumer outreach programme of NCC, took place recently at the GSM Village, Abuja.

She said there is a need to sensitise traders at the market about the implications of trading in substandard products as they may face the risk of arrest and prosecution when found selling non-type approved devices.

“The essence of coming here today is to enlighten the traders on the dangers of selling non-type approved devices. The NCC established procedures for certifying telecom products sellable and usable in Nigeria, and that explains the Commission’s efforts to raise awareness to ensure that substandard products are not circulated in any market in Nigeria,” she said.

She informed them that the procedure for approval of telecom devices has been established by the Commission, and all type-approved devices have been published on the NCC website for public and user reference. Therefore, traders should take advantage of this information to identify type-approved against non-type-approved phone devices.

The Chairman of GSM Village Market, Abuja, Macdonald Ajuogu, said the market union has a task force that monitors the types and standards of devices sold there, and that the association has also put measures in place to deal with any member that goes against their 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,” he stated.