Beware of Fake, Substandard Devices – NCC Warns Consumers

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cautioned consumers against the use of fake and substandard devices even as it threatened to, henceforth sanction the importers of such devices.

The Commission, which gave this warning at the inaugural Type Approval meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, decried the influx of counterfeit products into the country, raising concerns about the serious threat they pose to the economy, foreign direct investment (FDI), green environment, and health.

NCC Headquarters in Abuja

According to NCC, substandard and counterfeit devices lead to increased vulnerability in online transactions, negative economic impacts on right holders, cyber threats, and privacy risks, besides their negative effects on innovations and the quality of service (QoS) of networks operating in the country. It said substandard devices also lead to increase in e-waste due to its low durability, warning of possible rise in crime rate if this trend is not curtailed.

The Commission said a total of 704 devices were type approved in 2017, which included 441 for mobile phone model, and 263 of other devices, adding that any technology device before launch to the Nigeria market must be type approved, either by the vendor, manufacturers or even individuals. Type approval is an approval given to electronic devices (radio or non-radio equipment), which will be interfaced with Nigerian communications networks or used in wireless devices.

The objective of type approval is to protect public telecommunications networks, ensure safety of the public from dangerous equipment, spectrum optimisation, compatibility and interoperability of the equipment connected to the national networks and facilitate QoS.

Under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, Section 132, individuals and organisations that do not comply with type approval are subject to arrest and on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment. According to the Commission, multiple initiatives to enforce implementation of type approval on all telecommunication devices have been set up, which include sensitisation workshops, quality of service, quality of equipment monitoring tools, inspection and deployment of device management, amongst others.

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