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Consumer Protection: NCC cautions against sale, use of non-type approved devices

*The Nigerian Communications Commission stresses the need to sensitise traders and other stakeholders about negative consequences of selling and purchasing phones and telecommunications gadgets that are not type-approved by the telecoms regulatory Commission

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In continuation of its consumer education and sensitisation initiatives, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned traders and stakeholders against the negative consequences of selling and purchasing phones and telecommunications gadgets that are not type-approved by the Commission.

The telecoms regulatory Commission restated that certification of devices used in the telecoms sector is one of the mandates of the NCC as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003).

ConsumerConnect reports the Commission’s central objective in this regard is the “protection of the rights and interests of consumers”.

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

Dr. Emilia Nwokoro, Deputy Director Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), representing Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) at the 5th Edition of Market Conversation, a telecoms consumer outreach programme of NCC, which took place recently at the GSM Village, in Abuja, FCT, said the event was part of the sensitisation efforts of the Commission at addressing the issue.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, stated Dr. Nwokoro affirmed 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 CAB Deputy Director said: “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 telecoms 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.”

Nwokoro also informed the stakeholders at the GSM Village that the procedure for approval of telecom devices had been established by the Commission, and all type approved devices had been published on the NCC Web site for public and user reference.

The Commission, therefore, advised the traders should take advantage of this information to identify type approved against none type-approved phone devices.

Macdonald Ajuogu, Chairman, GSM Village Market, Abuja, said the market union still has a task force that monitors the types and standards of devices sold there.

Ajuogu stated 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.

“We also have a taskforce that always checks on any product that is being sold in the market, including computers that are sold in the GSM Village.”

Ajuogu also commended 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 in order to avoid regulatory sanctions.

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