The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a stern warning to traders and other stakeholders regarding the potential risks associated with buying and selling phones and telecommunications gadgets that lack the commission’s type approval.
As stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (2003), the certification of telecom devices within the sector falls under the purview of the NCC, primarily aimed at safeguarding consumers’ rights and interests.
Devices that lack the NCC’s type approval are often sourced through unofficial channels and are known to compromise the quality of network services.
Deputy director of the consumer affairs bureau, Dr. Emilia Nwokoro represented the NCC’s executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during the 5th edition of the Market Conversation – a telecom consumer outreach event held at the GSM Village in Abuja. She emphasised that the commission’s objective was to raise awareness among traders about the risks of dealing with substandard products, including the potential for arrest and prosecution.
“The purpose of our presence today is to enlighten traders about the risks of selling non-type approved devices. The NCC has established procedures for certifying telecom products that are permissible and usable in Nigeria. Our efforts aim to ensure that substandard products are not circulated in any market in Nigeria,” Nwokoro explained.
She underscored the Commission’s commitment to educating traders on the approved procedure for telecom device certification. Furthermore, the NCC has published a list of type-approved devices on its website for public reference. Traders are encouraged to utilize this resource to differentiate between type-approved and non-type-approved devices.
Chairman of the GSM Village Market in Abuja, Macdonald Ajuogu confirmed the existence of a task force within the market responsible for monitoring device types and standards. He assured that the association had instituted measures to address any member who violates their regulations.
“We have a platform in the market where anyone dealing with phones must be registered with the union. We also have a task force that checks the products being sold, including computers,” Ajuogu stated.
The NCC’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, conveyed Ajuogu’s appreciation for the NCC’s efforts in sensitising traders. Ajuogu pledged the traders’ commitment to adhere to the commission’s guidelines, including cross-checking with the NCC’s list of certified and type-approved devices to prevent potential sanctions.