Nigerians risk cancer, others as counterfeit phones flood market
The use and sale of counterfeit and substandard mobile phones in the country telecommunications space have been increasing to the extent that it has become a menace.
Simply put, counterfeiting means copying an original item, especially consumer products, with the intent of deceiving or defrauding the buyers.
Consumers are constrained by ignorance and sometimes; inability to detect counterfeit products; and poverty.
The interesting thing about the trade in counterfeit devices is that it is a buyer’s market. This means that it is the demand for the devices that encourages the supply.
Reliable estimates are hard to come by in Nigeria but it is believed that fake phone manufacturers and importers seem to be having upper hand in the current battle with such products’ regulators in the country.
According to an impeccable source in the phone manufacturing business, counterfeiters might have taken over more than 30 per cent of the market share, and glaringly displaying the products at markets and shops.
Disturbed by the situation, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that that sellers of unapproved Information and Communication Technology products were flouting the commission’s Act.
The commission warned that the sellers could face prosecution or seizure of their market items if they did not desist from selling such forthwith.
Mr. Adebayo Shittu, former minister of Communication, wax worriedly recently at the situation and concluded that it was high time Nigeria considers structuring her own mobile phones and gadget regulation industry.
That will restore normalcy and sanity to the market, ensuring that the country does not become a dumping ground for poor brands.
Basil Okeke, a telecom technician said that the preponderance of substandard phones was causing colossal damage to network services and health of users.
He advised phone sellers across the country to ensure the phones they buy from manufacturers and dealers were approved by the NCC.