Substandard phones: SON issues 7-day ultimatum to Computer Village dealers [Sun, The (Nigeria)]
(Sun, The (Nigeria) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Following last weekend's seizure of substandard telephones worth over N200 million, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) yesterday issued a 7 day ultimatum to mobile phone dealers and importers at the popular Lagos Computer Village to get rid of the products or face the full wrath of the law.
Head, Inspectorate and Compliance Department of SON, Mr. Bede Obayi, who read the riot act, while giving the media an update on the raid carried out at Computer Village, said the ultimatum takes effect from Wednesday.
''In view of the unwholesome activities carried out by some unscrupulous dealers and importers of mobile phones at the Lagos Computer Village in Ikeja, bordering on the sale of some fake and substandard mobile phones, SON hereby issues a seven-day ultimatum to those involved and the authorities of the market to get rid of the products or face the full wrath of the law,'' he said.
The agency noted that it has become necessary to review its relationships with market associations in the light of the recent event at the Lagos Computer Village, Ikeja.
Obayi regretted that despite the Memorandum of Understanding signed between it and the market leadership, the Computer Village Trade Association conspired with miscreants to prevent SON from carrying out its enforcement exercise to sanitise the phone market.
In view of this development, he advised the general public to desist from buying the identified mobile phones as they have not met the quality requirements of SON, warning that anyone patronizing these phones would be doing so at his/her own risk while SON would not take action on their behalf as the phones are fake/substandard.
According to Obayi, PAPDA, which under normal circumstances should encourage the sanitisation of the phone market, fought against the exercise indicating its complicity in the illicit trade.
During the enforcement exercise, SON specifically targeted Trinity Technologies and Communications identified as the baron of the unscrupulous trade.
He said Trinity Technologies and Communication imported unbranded phones so as to rebrand them as major brands Nigerian consumers patronize thereby short changing brand owners of their dividend of investments.
"As you can see, what you see on the package is different from what you see when you open the phone. This calls for caution and when anybody is buying a product in this country, you should take a good look at it before purchase. We do not want Nigerians to be shortchanged with these labels. This is economic sabotage and we can no longer tolerate it," he said.
"These phones are carrying different labels, indicating that they are fake and sub-standard. We carried out a surprise raid at the warehouse where these accessories were stockpiled. The owner/importer is a Chinese national, one of those who specialize in bringing fake phones and accessories into Nigeria," he added.
"What this suspect has been doing is bringing in assorted types of mobile phones which is nothing but economic sabotage, people like him have been causing untold hardship and economic distress to the nation and her citizens. We are determined to fish them out; we must sanitise every sector.
"We solicit the co-operation of the press towards successful attainment of our mandate to rid the nation of fake and sub-standards products. Nigerians should check well before they purchase because some importers are short-changing the consumers by putting different labels and make-believe inscriptions on fake products to make them appear genuine.
He advised all brand owners to be on top of their brands saying that SON would collaborate with them to ensure that every phone in the country is traceable to the importers and manufacturers.
He added that SON has given all phone operators a seven-day ultimatum to register their products with the agency to trace the importers and manufacturers of the products.
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