SELLERS and buyers beware. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has warned against the sale and usage of phone-jamming devices in the country. Tony Ojobo, director, public affairs, NCC, who issued the warning in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said the attention of the commission had been drawn to the illegal sale and installation of such devices in several locations, including but not limited to religious places and business premises.
According to him, it is a criminal offence to sell, install or use any equipment, which may hinder network operation between places and people. The NCC spokesman cautioned persons who were selling, installing or using such devices to desist from the act, as it was affecting the proper functioning of the networks.
“The commission, therefore, warns any person who sells, installs or uses such devices in their shops, offices, religious places, house or business premises and that such persons should, within seven days from the date of this notice, desist from this illegal and unauthorised act by stopping the sale, installation or use of such devices. The jamming devices should be deactivated, removed and handed over to the nearest police station to record and keep,” he said.
Ojobo said that the issuance of the warning was in exercise of the NCC’s mandate of ensuring the protection of consumers, good quality of service and technical standards. The director said the notice served as pre-enforcement warning to any institution, organisation or persons involved in the illegal activities. He said that the consequences of non-compliance with the notice might include seizure, detention, investigation and prosecution of any person or organisation involved in the contravention.
Decline in Nigeria’s External Trade
NIGERIA recorded a decline of N495.3 billion in total external merchandise trade in the first quarter of 2013. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, external trade in merchandise declined from N5.658 trillion to N5.162 trillion in the fourth quarter of the year. In the trade report released by Yemi Kale, statistician-general of the federation/chief executive, NBS, the bureau said the N495.3 billion represented a decline of 8.8 percent over what was recorded in the third quarter of the year under review.
The report attributed the change to a decline in the value of imports and exports by 19.1 percent and 2.7 percent respectively from the previous quarter. For instance, it stated that while the value of imports declined from N2.084 billion in the third quarter of 2013 to N1.686 billion in the fourth quarter; the value of exports also dropped from N3.573 billion to N3.476 billion over the same period.
The resulting trade balance of N1.790 billion, according to the report, represented an increase of N302.2 billion or 20.3 percent from the preceding quarter. On a year-on-year comparison, the report revealed that the value of the nation’s total merchandise trade declined by 28.2 percent or N2,022 billion. The Bureau said the total trade stood at N21,261 billion for the 2013 calendar year, while 24.3 percent or N6,810 billion lower than N28,071 billion was recorded for 2012, as a result of a decline in exports by 36.5 percent. The crude oil component of total exports stood at N2,981 billion for the fourth quarter, while the non-crude oil accounted for N495 billion.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Jun. 2, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT