From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
NEWLY appointed acting Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umaru G. Danbata, has lamented that counterfeiting of ICT devices was beginning to create a huge economic problem affecting a wide range of products in the country.
Danbata who said that mobile phones are especially targeted, with some 250 million counterfeit sold annually, spoke during stakeholders meeting on “Combating Counterfeit and Substandard ICT Devices” in Abuja, last week.
According to him, the number constitutes about 15 to 20 per cent of the global mobile phone market notwithstanding the negative economic impact of the ugly trend on the manufacturers of genuine products and government authorised dealers, which includes brand devaluation. He explained that the menace poses danger to the health and safety of consumers, insisting its negative effects on communication network operations was degrading Quality of Service (QoS) delivery too.
The stakeholder interaction focused on the impact of counterfeiting and substandard ICT products on various stakeholders on a global scope with particular reference to Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
It also included highlights of common concerns, challenges, initiatives, practices and opportunity of the various stakeholders in the campaign against counterfeiting and substandard ICT products.
Others are examining the possible role of ICT standards development organisations (SDos) and other global bodies, particularly the ITU, as part of the global strategy and solutions to curtail counterfeiting and substandard ICT products, assisting ITU in addressing the issues. The EVC disclosed that it was the desire of the Commission and its intention that the initiative would be escalated to the regional level in collaboration with the West Africa Telecommunications Regulator Assembly (WATRA) with the aim of sharing GSM and COMA blacklist database through the signature of bilateral or multilateral agreements.
It includes establishing a regulatory fiscal and or Customs mechanism that ensures greater control of imported handsets and preventing the exit or re-export of stolen mobile devices.
Source : SunOnline