Nokia to re-open closed Nigeria office

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Nigerian Communications Commission allows Nokia to re-open Lagos office, closed because of lack of licence

The Nigerian regulator is allowing Nokia to re-open its Lagos office, after it was forcibly closed last week because the equipment vendor had failed to pay for an operating licence costing only $6,300.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) closed and sealed the office because Nokia had been operating for a number of years without buying a sales and installation licence, which costs only two million naira ($6,354).

Nokia has not confirmed the news officially, but Global Telecoms Business understands from a source close to the company that “Nokia late on Friday received permission from the NCC to reopen the office”.

The lack of a licence seems to have been a major error on Nokia’s part. Global Telecoms Business checked with other telecoms vendors operating in the market and found that both Ericsson and Huawei have licences, though ZTE has so far not responded.

A Huawei official said that the company does have the necessary sales and installation licence to operate in Nigeria: “Huawei continues to operate normally in Nigeria and ensures that it is in full compliance with the laws and licence requirements of countries where it operates.”

An Ericsson official also confirmed that it has the same licence, that it had never had to close its office, and that it continues to operate normally in Nigeria.

The NCC said that Nokia had started the application process three months ago but had failed to complete it.