By Jessica Dogo
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warned cellphone sellers not to buy or sell non-type approved devices.
The commission gave the warning on Thursday during a sensitisation programme at the GSM Village Abuja.
NCC’s Deputy Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), Dr Emilia Nwokolo, said there was the need to sensitise sellers at the market so that they do not get arrested for selling non-type approved devices.
Nwokolo, who represented the Director Consumer Affairs, Mr Alkassim Umar said CAB was doing its bid to sensitise them, adding that there are other departments in the NCC responsible for monitoring and the enforcement.
“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 on 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.
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 taskforce that monitors type and standard of devices sold in the market.
Ajuogu said 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 phone or computer , we have members that deal on 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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Bureau is the interface between telecom consumers and Service Providers. (NAN)