Nigerian Communications Commission Warns Consumers about Counterfeit Devices, Arrests Sellers in Kano

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning to consumers, urging them to be cautious about using counterfeit and non-type-approved devices. The NCC emphasized that the use of such devices not only compromises the quality of user experience but also exposes users to potential losses and discomfort. As part of its enforcement efforts, the NCC recently conducted operations in Kano, leading to the arrest of representatives from three companies involved in selling these illicit devices.

Mallam Salisu Abdu, the Head of Enforcement at the NCC, expressed concern over the prevalence of counterfeit and non-type-approved phones in the GSM Market on Beirut Street, Kano. He noted that many of the vendors operating there were not licensed by the NCC to provide communication services, raising questions about the effectiveness of existing regulations in Nigeria’s telecommunications market.

Counterfeit devices present various issues for consumers, including poor battery life, low-quality screens, inadequate memory, and a higher risk of overheating and potential fire hazards.These devices often lack crucial security features, leaving users vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches. To ensure consumer safety and satisfaction, it is crucial that all devices sold in Nigeria meet the standards set by the NCC.

The NCC’s enforcement activities have resulted in the arrest of individuals involved in the sale of counterfeit and non-type-approved devices. The seized devices included Gionee branded phones (models G800 and L990), H-Mobile phones (models it5606+ and H351), FoxKong phones (models F30 and F300), and KGTEL phones (models K2160 and KG1100). These arrests highlight the extent of the problem in the market and emphasize the need for more robust regulations.

In addition to its enforcement efforts, the NCC is committed to conducting post-enforcement checks and collaborating with market associations to ensure vendors obtain appropriate licenses. The NCC also aims to assist in apprehending major dealers and suppliers of counterfeit devices. This proactive approach demonstrates the NCC’s dedication to regulation enforcement and consumer protection.

The report does not specify the motives of the individuals involved in selling counterfeit and non-type-approved devices. It remains unclear whether they were driven by profit or simply unaware of the regulations governing such sales. The arrested individuals have been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for investigation and further necessary action. However, the specific penalties they may face are yet to be determined.

 The report also  raises questions about the role of market associations in ensuring compliance with regulations. While the NCC’s collaboration with market associations is a positive step, it is important to provide adequate training and resources to these associations to effectively fulfill their responsibilities.

The NCC’s timely warning to consumers regarding counterfeit and non-type-approved devices underscores the need for increased regulation in the market. The proliferation of such devices poses a significant concern, necessitating stronger measures to safeguard consumers.

The NCC’s enforcement actions in Kano and its commitment to post-enforcement checks and collaboration with market associations are commendable. However, further efforts are required to ensure comprehensive compliance with regulations and to guarantee adequate consumer protection.

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