Why NCC is Determined to curb Substandard Mobile Devices in Nigeria


The Nigerian Communications Commission frowns at the importation and marketing of substandard information and communications technology devices in Nigeria



THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is determined to end the use of substandard mobile devices in the country. This is as a result the continuous proliferation of substandard mobile phones and devices across Nigeria.

Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, who was represented by Nnamadi Nwokike, director of public affairs, NCC,  at an event in Niger State, frowned at the importation and marketing of sub standard information and communication technology, ICT, devices, saying that approved phone list is displayed on the commission’s website.

He advised telecom consumers to eschew patronage and usage of counterfeit handsets and other substandard mobile devices.  He made this known at a one-day event tagged: “Sensitisation Programme on Hazardous Effect of Non-type Approved Handsets and Impact on Quality of Service and E-waste”, held at Paiko, Niger State.

According to Danbatta, the programme is part of the commission’s deliberate move to educate and create awareness on the hazardous health effects and negative economic implications of the patronage of fake handsets. The programme was also to educate the participants on the negative effect of using other ICT devices in the country.

The menace of counterfeit and substandard handsets has assumed a global dimension, he said, adding, the proliferation of counterfeit handsets required a lot of education on the part of the consumers and the collaboration with other government agencies to address it.

Danbatta enjoined telecoms consumers to check the commission’s official website to find the list of the approved phones from which they can make choices of handsets to purchase. “Cases of influx and patronage of counterfeit handsets are more rampant in developing countries such as Nigeria where importers bring in substandard phones. Without recourse to a regulatory type-approval process aimed at certifying such devices as fit for the market.

“NCC was empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, Section 132, to establish and enforce standards for all telecommunications equipment in operation in the country to ensure that they operate seamlessly and safely within the Nigerian telecommunications environment. As such, all equipment manufacturers, vendors and operators, including customer devices such as mobile phones and wireless adapters, must, therefore, ensure that their equipment conforms to the applicable standards as mandated by the commission before bringing them into Nigeria,” he said.

The commission is also saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that consumer enjoys his or her stake in the telecommunications industry. The commission, in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and other government agencies, recently inaugurated two committees to design modalities towards curbing the proliferation of substandard handsets in the country.

Danbatta said the commission has developed regulations on electronic waste (e-waste) as another regulatory instrument. “Which among others, aim at providing a regulatory framework for the management and control of e-waste in the telecommunications industry, all in line with Section 132 of the NCA, 2003.”

On behalf of telecoms consumers and participants at the event, Mansur Mustapha, Hakimi of Paiko,  commended the commission for bringing such programme to the community. He, however, complained of poor network services and unsolicited text messages they receive from telecom operators.

He said they still get unsolicited messages and urged the commission to provide necessary responses, especially on the need to activate the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 Short Code to stop unsolicited text messages.

– Mar. 11, 2019 @ 17:39 GMT |

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