On Tuesday, the office of InnJoo mobile in Lagos was raided by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for selling unauthorised mobile phones to the public. InnJoo was handed a fine of N4 million by the NCC for violating its orders and the company reportedly paid the money in cash on the spot.
According to NCC, the kind of unapproved smartphones InnJoo Mobile sells to the public will hinder network quality. In order words, sub-standard smartphones is not good for the public.
NCC had earlier warned the company to desist from such sales or risk sanctions. The Head of Enforcement at NCC, Salisu Abdu, made the disclosure while addressing Journalists in Lagos shortly after the payment of the fine. Abdu said the sanction had been suspended following the payment. He said NCC had in August, 2015 carried out an enforcement action against Innjoo and discovered that the company was selling devices that were not approved.
Abdul said the company had forwarded the phones for test, but six models were approved by NCC, while the remaining two were obsolete, hence, not approved. He said that after the approval of some of the phones, Innjoo had refused to pay the sanction for the marketing of the remaining two set of models without approval.
“we decided to come today to enforce compliance with payment. We have interacted with the officials of Innjoo and they told us that they actually did not receive the notice of sanction.
“The letter of sanction was sent to a lawyer representing Innjoo Technology Ltd, but the company said it never received it.
“So, when we gave them a copy of the letter of sanction, they immediately complied,’’ he said. “the company has paid the fine now, in the sum of N4 million, and the enforcement action has now been suspended,” Abdul said.
He, however, said the commission would not hesitate to sanction operators and dealers that did not seek its approval before selling any device in the country’s telecommunications market. Abdul said that type-approving a phone was necessary to ensure such device was compatible with the country’s telecommunications networks.He also noted that it was an offence to sell or use any device that was not approved by the regulatory body, NCC. According to him, selling of non type-approved phones is against the provision of sections 131, 132 and 133 of the Nigerian Communications Act.
“Substandard phones hinder network switchings so we have to subject phones to test to determine their qualities. “Sometimes, using non type-approved handset causes poor quality of service, so this is one of the fundamental aspects why type-approval is necessary. “So, we are saying that whatever equipment that is brought into the telecommunications market must be compatible with our network, otherwise, approval will not be given,” he said. Abdul said phone users should check the commission’s website to see the list of type-approved devices, so as to be guided accordingly.
I really am not pleased with the way these companies operate in Nigeria nowadays. Some days ago, Nokia office at lekki was sealed for operating without license for some years now and today, its innjoo. One might not be able to blame them because the law is hardly followed in this country. Or am I alone on this?