Tecno Telecoms, a mobile phone manufacturing company, has linked the rise in counterfeit handsets in the Nigerian market to the government’s ICT regulations, which the company described as weak.
Chidi Okonkwo, the Deputy General Manager of Tecno Telecoms, told This Day in Lagos that the nation’s markets are filled with lots of counterfeit mobile phones.
He also noted the sad situation will remain if the government fails to strengthen its regulatory policies.
“Government policy on regulations is weak and because of these people took undue advantage of government to do all manner of things in a bid to smuggle unlicensed mobile phones through unauthorized channels into the Nigerian market. The laws are there but there are no strict regulations on compliance,” Okonkwo said.
According to him, the existence of stricter regulation will deter counterfeiters.
Corroborating Okonkwo’s assertion on counterfeit phones’ preponderance in Nigeria, the West African Sales Manager for the ITEL brand of phones, Shyamol Saho, confirmed that counterfeit mobile phones are finding their way onto the Nigerian market.
He said his company suffered from the effects of counterfeit products in 2012, when two of its products were faked and sold in the Nigerian market.
Okonkwo said phone dealers are to blame and described the effects on phone manufacturers.
“The reason for this is because most resellers are desperate to make profits and in the process, they smuggle in fake products into the market from unauthorised distributors.
“It comes with lots of pains on the part of the original phone manufacturers and the phone buyers themselves.
“Phone manufacturers lose money in the process because their products were faked and people would unknowingly patronise fake products, thus making the manufacturers to lose market margins to counterfeiters.”