SON to Prosecute Substandard Phone Sellers

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Paul Angya

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THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has given sellers of fake and substandard mobile telephone sets till June to stop dealing in them or be ready to face prosecution. Paul Angya, acting director-general, SON, gave the ultimatum at a stakeholders’ forum on telephones and allied products on Wednesday, May 25, in Lagos.

At the forum, whose themed: “Standards, warranty, product liability and customer satisfaction,” Angya said the highest number of complaints the organisation had received from consumers of substandard products came from buyers of fake phones, adding that the complaints had been overwhelming.

“After June 2016, all proliferators of fake and substandard mobile phones and accessories will be prosecuted. Customers must obtain receipts and a 12-month warranty on purchased phones.  Any phone not registered with the SON will be seized and the offenders prosecuted,” he said.

According to Angya, the major issue he has been confronted with since taking office is the prevalence of substandard products, especially fake phones. “Of more prominence are substandard phones, because about 60 per cent of Nigerians use phones. Everybody is complaining, from the government to the ordinary man on the street, everybody is a victim of substandard phone sellers.

“Complaints about warranty, quality and liabilities have flooded our office and the problem has attained an epidemic level. Since the phones are not tested for compliance with the industry safety standards, they may contain dangerous levels of harmful elements such as lead.”

Angya emphasised the need for effective monitoring of the mobile phone sector because of the appalling health hazards and the impact of substandard phones on users, network quality and the economy.

He said this forum was convened to educate relevant stakeholders on the requirement of the standard, compliance and punishment for offenders, adding that the government through SON intends to ensure the safety of users by making sure that mobile phones and tablets complied with standards.

—  Jun 6, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT

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