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SON Arrests Two, Vindicates ATCON on Fake Phones Alarm

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Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), working with the 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 by SON, said the Agency has continued to receive numerous complaints about KZG phones from unsuspecting consumers in the country.

Aboloma 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,” Obayi said.‎

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek had exclusively reported the growing trend in the market, as the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ATCON), discovered that a number of them are fake, substandard or type unapproved.

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 been fake.

Mr. Olusola Teniola, ATCON president while calling on Dr. Umar Danbatta, executive vice president of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) 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. This unregistered/unapproved brands have over one hundred and fifty mobile phone models circulating in Nigeria”.

He added that the Association observed 10% of fake mobile phones products of some of the popular mobile phone brands circulating in Nigeria.

‎Meanwhile, Dr. 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 Danbatta, NCC’s quest to ensure equipment type approval will definitely aid innovation and protection of genuine products in the market.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NCC, CBN Query Barclays’ Transparency in Sale of 9mobile

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The handling of the sale process of 9mobile by Barclays Africa, the financial advisers, has come attack from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), according to the Cable.

 

Barclays Bank has been saddled with the responsibility of finding investors for 9mobile based on the decision of Nigerian lenders.

 

In a joint letter to GTBank, which is the facility agent for the 9mobile syndicated loan, Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman of NCC, and Godwin Emefiele, the governor of CBN, expressed displeasure with the “unwillingness of Barclays Africa” to follow due process in the bid.

 

In the letter, dated November 4, 2017, the two regulators said they made it clear from the outset that the sale process must be “transparent and fair, with the financial and technical capabilities of the final bidders without question”.

 

They said they now have “serious concerns” since the appointment of Barclays Africa as financial advisers.

 

“They have repeatedly exhibited signs of opacity in the sale process for 9mobile. Given the overriding public interest in the company and the need for transparency, we advised that Barclays advertise the call for ‘expression of interest’. Barclays declined, insisting instead that the company being a private one, should not be taken through a public sale,” they wrote.

 

“This lack of a transparent process has proven to be selective and arbitrary, leading to allegations that the process is being teleguided to a rigged and predetermined outcome. The CBN and the NCC will not fold their arms and allow this to materialise.”

 

Danbatta and Emefiele said they had received reports and petitions from various stakeholders, including some bidders, which have further heightened their concerns — but their suggestions to the board of 9mobile and Barclays on how to restore credibility to the process have been ignored.

The CBN and NCC then directed that all steps and decisions taken by the financial advisers as well as other advisers from the end of “expression of interest” must be communicated to CBN and NCC, who will have to approve in writing.

They also directed that the final bid process must be “open and transparent” in line with international best practices.

 

Danbatta and Emefiele said the December 31, 2017 deadline for the handover of 9mobile to the preferred bidders “remains sacrosanct”.

 

On Monday THISDAY reported that 1o firms have moved to the financial stage of the bid process.

 

The companies listed are: Globacom Nigeria Limited, Bharti Airtel, Alheri Engineering Limited, Smile Telecoms Holdings, Helios Towers, Centricus Capital, Africell, Abraaj Capital, Teleology Holdings Limited, Ericsson, Africa Capital Alliance (ACA) and The Carlyle Group.

 

The company formerly knows as Etisalat Nigeria changed its brand name to 9Mobile in July after the Mubadala Group, the major investor from the United Arab Emirates, pulled out of Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator following a N541 billion debt.

 

The debt is owed to a consortium of 10 banks, with GTBank acting as the facility agent.

 

The sale of 9mobile, with 21 million subscribers, is expected to bring in the needed capital to restore it to good health.

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Airtel Emerges ‘Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement’ at SERAS 2017

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By peter oluka

Airtel Nigeria, has been awarded the Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) 2017 for its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative dubbed Airtel Touching Lives.

Airtel Touching Lives is an inspiring CSR initiative that offers practical relief, succour, hope, opportunities and credible platforms to liberate and empower the underprivileged, disadvantaged and hard to reach persons in the society.

The activities of Airtel Touching Lives are recorded and produced for national television with a view to promoting the spirit of giving, self-sacrifice and love among Nigerians.

The award came six days after the telco bagged the CSR of the Year Award at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Technology Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA).

Emeka Oparah, Airtel’s director of Corporate Communications & CSR,; HR Director, Gbemiga Owolabi; Head of Public Relations, Erhumu Bayagbon; Head of Customer Experience, Olubunmi Abejirin and CSR Manager, Chioma Okolie, received the awards on behalf of the company.

Speaking at the ceremony, Oparah said the award is a testament of Airtel’s efforts at connecting with stakeholders in the various communities where it operates, noting that the telco was committed to earning its social license through its corporate philanthropy and sustainability initiatives.

The SERAS – CSR Awards is an annual project, which aims to promote as well as raise awareness about the roles organizations play with emphasis on their responsibility towards   stakeholders and the social development of Africa.

SERA aims to substantiate the case that corporations who are socially responsible stand to gain huge benefits in regards to the triple bottom line – economic, social and environmental capital.

The 11th edition of the Awards which took place in Lagos on Friday, November 17, 2017 brought together sustainability experts, public relations practitioners, brand owners and public office holders.

 

 

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NCC to Make 32 ECCs Operational- Danbatta

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Umar Garuba Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that his commission is working to make 32 Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) operational soon.

 

Danbatta, who stated this when a delegation from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP) visited the commission headquarters in Abuja, said that only five of the 37 Emergency Communication Centres are functioning across the country.

 

The NCC boss, said the ECC Project was intended to bridge the communication gap between the distressed and emergency response agencies in the country.

 

The NCC has undertaken the task of facilitating the building and equipping ECC in all 36 states of the federation and Abuja, according to the NCC boss.

 

“All telecom operators will be mandated to route emergency calls through the dedicated three-digit toll free number, 112, from each state to the emergency centre within that state. The operators, who are resident in the ECC will then process the distress call and contact the relevant Emergency Response Agency (e.g. Fire Service, Police, FRSC, Ambulance, etc.) whose primary duty is to handle the case”, he said.

 

He said many of such centres were been built and provided with equipment across the nation in all six geopolitical zones.

 

Earlier, Dame Okah-Donli, NAPTIP DG while soliciting for the NCC’s cooperation in stopping human trafficking in Nigeria said the telecom industry regulator should help in monitoring, through technology, those behind trafficking within the country and abroad.

 

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