NCC Cautions Telecom Consumers Against Non-Type Approved Devices

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a cautionary warning to Nigerian telecom consumers regarding the risks associated with purchasing Non-Type Approved telecom devices. Dr. Emilia Nwokolo, Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of the Commission, delivered this warning during a sensitization program held at the GSM Village in Abuja on July 27, 2023.

Representing Mr. Alkassim Umar, the Director of Consumer Affairs at the NCC, Nwokolo emphasized the importance of educating sellers in the market to avoid the sale of non-type approved devices, as such actions could lead to their arrest. She further elaborated that the Consumer Affairs Bureau is actively working to raise awareness among sellers while highlighting the involvement of other NCC departments responsible for monitoring and enforcement measures.

She said, “As you know this is the GSM village and they deal with all these devices, phones, laptops and others. And the essence of coming here is to sensitise them to the danger of selling Non-Type approved devices.

’’Normally in NCC, we approve the devices that can be sold in the Nigerian Market because some of them are substandard, so we don’t want the substandard devices to be in circulation in the market.

“So based on that, we need to sensitise them to know the danger of selling such Non-type approved devices.

“We are doing our bid to sensitize them but there are other departments in the NCC responsible that go about doing the monitoring and the enforcement

“First of all before you bring in telecom devices, you have to seek approval from NCC so we have to check it and if it is okay, we go ahead and type approved it. There is already a fine actually if you are caught selling Non-type approved devices.’’

She said that the commission in 2001 established the CAB with the mandate to Protect, Inform and Educate (PIE) telecom consumers on their rights and privileges.

The Chairman of the GSM Village (Market), Abuja Mr Macdonald Ajuogu said the market union has a task force that monitors the type and standard of devices sold in the market, adding that they also have measures in place to sanction any member who defaults.

He said: “We have a platform in the market whereby anybody who deals with  cellphones in the market is registered with the union and we also have a task force that always checks on everything that is being done in the market.

’’If it happens that somebody is selling a product either a phone or computer, we have members that deal with computers  and the task force always monitors the proper distribution of these goods in this market.

“So, if there is anybody that is found wanting, the task force will always confiscate their goods.

’’Although sometimes some of our members always cut corners, trying to do one or two things, we always advise them not to deal with non-type approved phones or laptops in the market.

’’We don’t call it non-type approved phones in this market, we call them Chinco phones.  So, we always advise them not to indulge in it.  We want them to be sincere with their customers.”

On members who breach the rules, he said, “We have not been doing anything in terms of informing the NCC.

’’What we do is to sanction them because we have a constitution that states that when you violate the standard you are either fined or you are suspended.”

The NCC has on several occasions been on a sensitization drive against the patronage of fake and non-typed approved communication devices.

The Director of Public Affairs of the commission, Reuben Mouka, had in December 2022, warned consumers against patronizing counterfeited and not-typed approved communication devices.

Mr Muoka had strongly warned that such devices negatively affect the quality of experience while leaving their users vulnerable to losses and other discomforts.

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