By Idris Bakare
The Nigeria Communication Commission has vowed to prosecute any illegal sales or installation of communications equipment without the regulatory (NCC) type approval test certificate.
The commission said that anybody caught in this act would be liable to a fine of N100,000 or one-year imprisonment.
Head, Wireless Network, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Mr Chukwuma Nwaiwu,
gave this warning in Lagos during the inauguration of the 1st Type Approval Industry Working Group Meeting.
Nwaiwu explained that the type approval also known as equipment authorisation was an approval given to both radio and non-radio devices, which would be interfaced with the Nigerian communications network.
He said that type approval was a necessity which would ensure safety of the public from dangerous equipment and facilitate quality service.
“Type approval would also protect public telecommunication networks and ensure compatibility, interoperability of the equipment connected to the national networks, ‘’ Nwaiwu said.
He noted that the categories of equipment required for type approval were spectrum dependent equipment, non-radio dependent devices, short range devices, terminal devices and Internet of Things (IoTs).
Also speaking, Mr Bako Wakil, Head, Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department, NCC, said that selling of non-type approval or counterfeit mobile devices posed a major threat to the growth of the economy.
He said that counterfeit equipment had trademark logo of the original brand and its form factor “but they don’t have the intrinsic quality of the original device’’.
Wakil said that counterfeiting would lead to inadequate taxation and threat on the green environment.
“Counterfeiting will expose consumers to health and safety risks, lack of warranties and violation of consumers’ rights.
“It will cause reduced incentive on innovation, drop in the level of Foreign Direct Investment and growth of the economy.
“Counterfeiting will also have economic impact on the rights of holders, prices, brand value, reputation, costs and scope of operations.
“It will lead to unfair competition as consumers will buy counterfeit goods, perceiving such goods as inexpensive.
“Selling of counterfeit devices will also lead to digital piracy and negative reputation to original trademarks, ‘’ Wakil said.
He said that currently the commission was having difficulty in the effective monitoring and analysing of the counterfeit equipment in the market.
“Currently, there is no agreed reporting structure for counterfeited products.
“It is also difficult to identify counterfeited products as it requires a level of expertise, ‘’ Wakil said.
He said that to combat the threat of counterfeit, the commission was planning to set up a test laboratory to test all equipment that entered the country.
He also said that the commission was calling for global efforts and strong collaboration with law enforcement agencies and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to combat counterfeit equipment.