The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning to traders and other stakeholders regarding the potential negative outcomes associated with the sale and purchase of phones and telecommunications devices that have not received official approval from the Commission.
One of the primary responsibilities of the NCC, as outlined in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003), is to certify telecom devices used within the telecommunications sector. This mandate aligns with the Act’s central goal of safeguarding consumer rights and interests.
Devices within the telecommunications sector that lack the necessary type approval are believed to enter the Nigerian market through unofficial channels, leading to a degradation in the quality of network services.
The Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau, Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, spoke on behalf of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, during the 5th edition of Market Conversation.
This event, part of the NCC’s efforts to raise awareness, took place at the GSM Village in Abuja. Dr. Nwokoro emphasized the necessity of educating market traders about the repercussions of dealing with substandard products. Those found selling non-type approved devices could potentially face arrest and prosecution.
“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 conveyed to them that the Commission has put in place a protocol for the endorsement of telecom devices. All devices that have received type approval have been released on the NCC website, accessible to both the public and users. As a result, traders are encouraged to utilize this information to differentiate between devices with type approval and those without.
The Chairman of GSM Village Market in Abuja, Macdonald Ajuogu, mentioned that the market union has established a task force dedicated to overseeing the quality and standards of the devices being sold within the market premises. Furthermore, he highlighted that the association has implemented measures to address any member who violates their regulations.
“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 expressed gratitude to the NCC for dedicating their time to educate the traders about refraining from selling or buying devices that do not have proper type approval.
He assured that the traders are committed to following the commission’s guidelines by carefully verifying against the NCC’s roster of certified and approved devices, in order to steer clear of any potential penalties.