The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a stern warning to traders and stakeholders involved in the sale and purchase of phones and telecommunications gadgets that lack the NCC’s type approval. The commission emphasized that such actions could have severe negative consequences.
Under the Nigerian Communications Act (2003), the NCC is entrusted with the crucial responsibility of certifying telecom devices used in the sector. The primary objective of this act is to protect the rights and interests of consumers, ensuring they have access to safe and reliable communication products.
Devices without the necessary type approval are believed to be entering the Nigerian market through dubious channels, often referred to as “grey sources.” These uncertified devices have been found to compromise the quality of network services, posing risks to consumers’ communication experiences.
In light of this critical issue, the NCC organized the 5th edition of Market Conversation, a telecom consumer outreach program, at the GSM Village in Abuja. Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau, conveyed the message on behalf of the NCC’s Executive Vice, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta. The event aimed to raise awareness among traders about the gravity of selling unauthorized devices and highlighted the potential legal consequences they might face, including arrest and prosecution.
Traders and stakeholders are urged to comply with the NCC’s type approval regulations to ensure the safety and quality of telecom products circulating in the Nigerian market. The NCC reaffirms its commitment to protecting consumers and maintaining the integrity of the telecommunications sector.
“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 set up a clear procedure for approving telecom devices, and all devices that have received type approval are listed on the NCC website, accessible to the public and users. Hence, traders should utilize this valuable information to distinguish between type-approved and non-type-approved phone devices.
Macdonald Ajuogu, the Chairman of GSM Village Market in Abuja, mentioned that the market union has a dedicated task force responsible for overseeing the types and standards of devices being sold. Additionally, the association has implemented measures to address any member found violating 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.
In a show of appreciation, Ajuogu thanked the NCC for dedicating their time to educate the traders about the significance of refraining from trading non-type approved devices. He further assured that the traders would diligently adhere to the commission’s directives by carefully verifying the NCC’s list of certified and type-approved devices, thus ensuring they steer clear of any possible sanctions.