The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warned traders on the risks of selling phones and telecommunications gadgets that are tagged “non-type approved devices” by the Commission, saying anyone caught in the act would be arrested and prosecuted.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta gave the warning at the 5th edition of Market Conversation, a telecom consumer outreach programme of the commission, according to the statement by the Director Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka on Friday in Abuja.
The certification of telecom devices used in the telecom 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 telecom 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 EVC who was represented by the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, which took place recently at the GSM Village in Abuja, said the event was part of the sensitization efforts of the Commission to address the issue.
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 the type approved against none type approved phone devices.
The Chairman, 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.
Ajuogu thanked the NCC for devoting time to come and sensitise the traders not to sell or purchase non-type approved devices and promised that the traders would strive to abide by the prescriptions of the commission by cross-checking with the NCC’s list of certified and type-approved devices to avoid being sanctioned.