The number of phones approved for sale in the country by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) increased to 1,961 as of January 2023.
The number of approved phones by the NCC increased by 70 new models in three months from 1,891 as of October last year to the current number.
The devices, which are of different brands and models, were tested by the telecoms regulator and found to meet the applicable type approval standards required to allow them to be sold to Nigerian consumers.
A statement detailing the approved phones, as seen by Nairametrics, showed that Chinese mobile manufacturers are still dominating the mobile market in the country. Tecno led the pack with over 300 models of its phones approved.
Why approval is necessary: Speaking on the moves to ensure that all phones in the country are type-approved, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, recently warned Nigerians not to buy any phone that has not been certified for the market by the regulator.
Danbatta, who frowned at the proliferation of counterfeit handsets in the country, said:
- “The menace of counterfeit and substandard handsets has assumed a global dimension and requires a lot of education on the part of the consumers and collaboration with other government agencies to address it.
- “Cases of influx and patronage of counterfeit handsets are more rampant in developing countries, such as Nigeria, where importers bring in substandard phones without recourse to the regulatory type-approval process aimed at certifying such devices as fit for the market.”
The market: With over 222 million active mobile subscriptions as of December 2022, the country remains a veritable market for mobile manufacturers across the world. This has led to the influx of mobile manufacturers into the country.
The NCC is empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to establish and enforce standards for all telecommunications equipment in operation in Nigeria to ensure that they operate seamlessly and safely within the Nigerian telecommunications environment. However, despite the regulatory efforts, thousands of unapproved phone brands are still being sold across the country.
While the unapproved phones are in most cases sub-standard or fake, they sell faster than the approved ones as they are sold at cheaper prices.