Facts have emerged that unlicensed dealers estimated to reach 75 per cent are currently trading on devices that are not approved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Licensed dealers of tracking devices and equipment, who made the disclosure during the second Type Approval Sensitisation Workshop, organised by the NCC in Lagos recently, called on the NCC to protect the remaining 25 per cent licenced equipment dealers who have genuinely invested in the business, and to also sanitise the business environment in order to boost customers’ confidence.
Managing Director/CEO of Beta Bridges, Mr. Richard Abiodun, said there was need for the NCC to address the market threat emanating from unlicensed dealers who sell devices and equipment that are not Type Approved by NCC, thus selling counterfeited and substandard devices, just to make quick money.
In his presentation, NCC’s Consultant on Telecoms Devices and Equipment, Fidelis Onah, discussed the effect of counterfeit devices on telecoms equipment, and highlighted the global economic effect it has on businesses and national development of a country.
According to Onah, counterfeit telecoms devices find their ways into the Nigerian market and could cause serious danger to consumers who are the end-users of such devices and equipment.
He, therefore, stressed the need for standardisation and authorisation of telecoms equipment, which he said, must be Type Approved by the NCC before sales and usage, to avoid undue interference of telecoms signals and transmission networks.
Onah, who blamed the influx of counterfeit telecoms equipment in the market on the basis of greed and the tendency to make quick money by shortchanging the market, said there was need for telecoms equipment to pass through certification, Type Approval, and specifications in order to ensure best regulatory standard.
The Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department of NCC, Bako Wakil, who was represented by NCC Director, Anthony Ikemefuna, said: “Equipment Type Approval is one of the key regulatory functions the Commission is saddled with. The Nigerian Communications Act 2003 section 132 empowers the Commission to carryout Type Approval of all communications equipment for use in the Nigerian market.”
According to Wakil, it would therefore be an offence punishable under the law to import or sell communications equipment prior to obtaining Type Approval certificate from the Commission.
“The main objective of the equipment Type Approval is to ensure that communications equipment intended for the Nigerian market are fully complied with the Nigerian and international standards as it relates to Electromagnetic Radiation and Compatibility (EMC) and Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for human safety and other regulatory key performance indicators for the promotion of better quality of service,” Wakil said.
He further said the NCC remained determined to improve compliance with industry standards by all players in the industry, through its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department, which he said had since commenced clampdown of suspected markets where counterfeit devices thrive.
The Commission wishes to solicit for the participation of all stakeholders especially, phone dealers in the campaign to free our telecoms markets from none approved phones and other devices, Wakil added.