Microsoft urges SON to act on fake imports

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Microsoft has expressed dissatisfaction over the unbridled influx of fake and substandard mobiles into Nigeria, adding that complaints about the purchase of such devices by unsuspecting buyers were on the rise.

The former Finnish original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Nokia, which was acquired by U.S tech giant, Microsoft, has therefore charged the relevant agencies with responsibilities over products standardization and importation, especially the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to move against the negative trend.

Manager Nokia Care Service Channel, West and Central Africa, David Efanga who spoke during the official opening of Nokia Products and Service Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State pledged the commitment of the firm to the production and sale of genuine products in the country.

He said, “We are calling on the necessary Nigeria agency that is responsible for standardisation of imported products to rise up to their responsibilities by monitoring what is being brought into the country to ensure that fake or substandard products are checked from entering.

“Though Nokia is not a security agent, we are here to market our genuine products. I assure you that we will try to liaise with the government agencies to ensure that the sale of counterfeited Nokia products is controlled.”

He said the decision to set up care centres in selected cities in the country including Port Harcourt was to meet the demand of its consumers to have a reliable place to fix their faulty devices instead of going to roadside repairers.

 He admitted that the company has delayed in bringing the service to Port Harcourt, but that it was “better late than never.”

Efanga said the OEM has created employments opportunities to Nigerians through the establishment of the care centres, adding that it implements 100 per cent local content policy in recruiting technicians to man the centres.

 “It has taken us quite some time coming to the Garden City to open up Nokia presence for Nokia products and services. I believe Nokia consumers in Port Harcourt would have good service delivery.

“We are here to fully represent the after- sale services of our products. We are also doing a similar initiative in Aba, Abia State.

“We are here because of the yearning of our consumers. They have been asking us: ‘When are you coming to the city?’ ‘We’ve bought your devices, who is going service them for us? It is taking you so long to come.

“We are interested in making sure that everyone that holds a Nokia device obtains service readily, and I can mention to you that all our technicians in our service centres are Nigerians.

“We implement 100 per cent local content policy and 100 per cent technology transfer without compromise. We train them both electronically and face-to-face contact and then employ them, thereby making sure we create employment.

“We have made arrangement to create outlets that will serve as collection points in Port Harcourt; the consumer doesn’t need to get here to get his device repaired. He can register and drop the phone at the shop where he bought it; they will collect and bring to us as many as they collected for repairs and the customers go back there on an agreed date to collect their devices.

“We also have web services in these centres. Our warranty conditions are also observed here, including the sale of accessories for our range of devices.”

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