Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), working with law enforcement agencies recently arrested two Chinese nationals over increasing complaints about fake and substandard phones imported into Nigeria.
The Chinese, according to Osita Aboloma, Director General of SON, imported fake and substandard mobile phones into the country.
Aboloma, who was represented by Bede Obayi, Director Compliance of SON, during a recent enforcement exercise in Lagos, said the agency has continued to receive numerous complaints about KZG phones from unsuspecting consumers in the country.
He said: “We have information on the activities of these Chinese people who are operating this KZG mobile here in Ikeja Lagos that people are complaining about the quality of their products and SON has to ensure that the quality of products sold in Nigeria is in compliance with the Nigeria industrial standards.
“Their attitude show that they know what they are doing here and they are not ready to talk, they are not ready to give us information about what they are doing here and their major warehouses. Based on the information we have gathered and what we found on ground in the office and the documentation of importation indicates that he is one of the leading suppliers of sub-standard phones in Nigeria,”
The Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON), having discovered that a number of the phones in the market are fake, substandard or type unapproved, raised alarm calling on regulatory authorities to step in.
The association called for urgent measures to curb the increasing rate of dumping fake mobile phones in the country, adding that they have information about KZG phones being fake.
ATCON President, Mr. Olusola Teniola, while calling on Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta to speedily intervene and rid the market of fake phones, said that investigations have revealed more than twenty (20) mobile phone brands in the country are not NCC type-approved and contribute significantly to the persistent poor quality of service (QoS).
Teniola said that the unregistered/unapproved brands have over one hundred and fifty (150) mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria.
He said that the association believes more stringent measures should be taken to curb the counterfeiting of mobile phones in the country.
Teniola said: "We plead with 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 with obvious consequences of poor quality of service, loss of revenue to the government, loss of business by OEMs and loss of jobs as well as in revenue to the Nigeria mobile market.
"For instance, we have more than twenty mobile phone brands that do not have NCC type approved certificate to operate in Nigeria. These unregistered/unapproved brands have over one hundred and fifty mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria".
He added that the association observed 10 percent of fake mobile phones products of some of the popular mobile phone brands circulating in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Prof. Danbatta, NCC EVC, in a swift response, said the commission has doubled its effort on equipment type approval with the aim to ensure genuine and standardised products are imported or introduced in the Nigerian market.
According to him, NCC's quest to ensure equipment type approval will definitely aid innovation and protection of genuine products in the market.