Nigeria’s booming telecoms market has now been infiltrated by over 10% fake mobile phone brands, a key telecoms pressure group has told the industry watchdog.
Olusola Teniola, President of the Asscociation of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), made the disclosure while urging the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to take measures against counterfeit phones in the country.
Nigeria is home to one of the world’s fastest growing mobile telephony consumer markets has 152,800,848 active phone lines at the end of August this year, NCC market information reviewed by Technology Times shows, a growth that also fuels growth of various categories of mobile handset brands across the country.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]”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 sub-standard or unrecognised mobile phones circulating in Nigeria”, the ATCON President told the NCC chief.[/quote]Despite the impressive telecoms market growth, ATCON has alerted that “unregistered/unapproved brands” currently account for over 150 mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria.
Teniola made the disclosure when the telecoms industry group hosted Nigeria’s telecoms regulatory agency chief, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive at NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, while asking the telecoms watchdog to take firmer action against the issue of counterfeit mobile handsets.
“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 sub-standard or unrecognised mobile phones circulating in Nigeria”, the ATCON President told the NCC chief.
The telecoms group says that the call for clampdown against fake phone has become imperative because of “the obvious consequences of poor quality of service, loss of revenue to the government, loss of business by OEMS and loss of jobs as well in Nigeria mobile market.”
According to Teniola, NCC should step in to check dumping of counterfeit phones in Nigeria and kick in with “anti-counterfeiting measures” as the telecoms group underscores that “we have note that 10% of fake mobile phones products of some of the popular mobile phone brands are circulating in Nigeria.”
ATCON also wants the NCC cheif to address key telecoms industry issues including the implementation of the National Broadband Plan; Approval of draft National ICT Policy and the impact of the current Foreign Exchange policy regime on network roll-out.
Other areas include the proposed 9% Communication Service Tax Bill, which seeks to imposes additional 9% tax on consumers of telecoms and other communication services, which they group says will adversely affect the industry and consumers in Nigeria alike.
ATCON’s Teniola also wants the telecoms watchdog to address issue of local content to promote and deepen participation of indigenous companies and investors within the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria.
According to the ATCON President, the telecoms group will continue to work with NCC to promote growth and development in the Nigerian telecoms industry.
“The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is interested in the continuous development of the sector but there are some issues that have constituted a threat to investment friendly and enabling environment for our members”, Teniola told the NCC chief at the event.