Nokia’s recently released a statement saying their Lagos office has now been reopened after a being closed and sealed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In the statement, Nokia asserted that they had “effected constructive and collaborative engagement” with the NCC. As a result, the Lagos office was re-opened since September 9th and their business operations were not affected by the closure of the office.
Earlier this month, the NCC, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, closed and sealed Nokia’s office following claims that Nokia had been operating without a sales and installation license for decades in Nigeria. Nokia had been in the process of obtaining the $6,354 license but it hadn’t been completed at the time of the forced closure. Head of the NCC enforcement unit, Salisu Abdul indicated that some extra penalties might be paid in addition to the license fee, depending on how long Nokia has been operating in Nigeria before the office could be unsealed.
In the statement, Nokia stressed that they “…remain fully committed to acting in accordance with applicable requirements and regulations when delivering world-class connectivity solutions to the Nigerian market, in adherence with Nokia’s culture of high-performance, innovation, and integrity.” Hopefully, this means all “t’s” were crossed and all “i’s” were dotted finally.
The NCC has been taking stock of and penalizing foreign telecoms operation in Nigeria over different issues over the past couple of months. While the sealing of the Nokia office is nothing like the huge MTN debacle, it is still a very strong indicator of the problems in the telecoms sector.
Considering the role Nokia has played in Nigeria, as well as how long it has been in operation, it is interesting that licensing is still an issue in 2016. Nokia has been operating in Nigeria for over a decade now and has been an important factor in the GSM revolution here ( at one point, Nokia was the leading OEM in Nigeria).
It is superb that the NCC and Nokia were able to settle their differences without much ado.