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Nokia chief laments existence of fake phones in Nigeria

By The Citizen
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Nokia's Vice-President, West and Central Africa, James Rutherfoord, has decried the preponderance of fake and substandard phones in the country.

He lamented that it has become a big monster that has become difficult to tame.

Rutherfoord, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the firm was, however, collaborating with the mobile phone operators and the relevant agencies to curb the menace, adding that the firm would step up campaign aimed at education its customers in the country.

'Presence of fake mobile phones is a big problem in Nigeria but we have employed multi-pronged approach to it. One is to educate the consumer on all our materials. We put our warrant stickers on it and also give them a careline where they can send SMS to check if their phone is fake or not. We educate our partners and our dealers in the market. We have also, on more than one occasion, trained them and show them on how to differentiate the fake and the genuine from the pack. So we have a number of initiatives against fake products in the market,' he said.

According to him, the only security agency it is partnering with is the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the agency responsible for checking the goods that come to the country from abroad.

'We don't really have partnership with security agents. The important agency to work with is the customs to help check the (inflow of the) devices into the country. So, we feel that is the point at which we need to work.

'On the other side, we are working with the operators to try and see what they can do about fake devices on their network because (poor service too have been traced to fake phones),' he said.

He added that the firm was collaborating with the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to fight the menace through the registration of mobile devices in the country.

'We also trying to collaborate with government, specifically with the NCC on the registration of all devices in Nigeria,' he said. (Nation)