ATCON wants NCC to check influx of uncertified phones in Nigeria

Umar Dambata

The Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON), has expressed worries over the circulation of more than 150 unapproved phones in the Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market.

President of ATCON, Mr Olusola Teniola, said this during a recent reception by ATCON for the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta at the Sheraton hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

He said that there were more than 20 mobile phone brands that do not have the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) type-approved certificates to operate in Nigeria.

“And these mobile phone brands have over 150 mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria,” Teniola said.

He said that dumping counterfeit phones in the country was a new growing problem in the industry, hence, the need for urgent measures to curb the increasing rate.

According to him, the association believes that more stringent measures should be taken to curb the counterfeiting of mobile phones, since such contributes significantly to the persistent poor Quality of Service (QoS).

“We plead with the government to put in place anti-counterfeiting measures such as the facilitation of integrated Web portal based IMEI-IMSI collection to stem the menace of substandard or unregistered mobile phones circulating in Nigeria, Since it is with obvious consequences of poor quality of service, loss of revenue to the government, loss of business by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)? and loss of jobs, as well as in revenue to the Nigeria mobile market.

“For instance, we have more than 20 mobile phone brands that do not have NCC type approved certificate to operate in Nigeria. This unregistered/unapproved brands have over 150 mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria,” he said.

Teniola added that the association observed that 10 per cent of fake mobile phones products of some of the popular mobile phone brands was circulating in Nigeria.

Earlier, Teniola had said that the reception was to give the industry the opportunity to meet with the EVC and share with him some of the challenges impacting negatively on the telecommunications industry.

“ATCON is interested in the continuous development of the sector, but there are some issues that have constituted threats to investment-friendly and enabling environment for our members.

“They include the implementation of National Broadband plan, approval of the National ICT policy, Foreign Exchange impact viz-a-vie network rollout, the proposed 9 per cent communication service tax bill and the issue local content within ICT sector,” he said.

Danbatta said the reception was a sign to indicate that the ICT players had finally accepted him in the industry.

He said that the commission had doubled its effort on equipment type approval, with the aim to ensure that genuine and standardised products were brought into the Nigerian market.

The EVC added that NCC’s quest to ensure equipment type approval would definitely aid innovation and protection of genuine products in the market.