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Blues for ICT market: Endless anxiety over bid to secure single, common site

By Emeka Aginam
There  appears to be growing anxiety among ICT vendors in various markets in Lagos State  as efforts to relocate Nigerian Information Communications Technology market including Computer Village Ikeja, GSM Village, Saka Tinubu and GSM Village also in Ikeja may not have  yielded the expected results, CyberLIFE checks can reveal

This is as a result of various political interests, controversies  and many more issues  surrounding the  relocation of different ICT markets  which the vendors have been battling   for more than four years now.

Part of the reasons for the long delay in relocating the said ICT markets, it was gathered,  is lack of financial support.
This development, it was learnt,  has continued to worry  many ICT vendors  given the fact that nobody knows when the issue will be resolved eventually.

The current  anxiety  to relocate various ICT market to  a new site, CyberLIFE learnt was  in line with the  Lagos State Government’s policy to remove all illegal structures and  markets from residential areas to more spacious and conducive sites.

Meanwhile, genuine  promoters of the relocation  of the ICT market have reasoned that the various markets should be relocated to a more  spacious and conducive site that will attract international investors said to be eyeing Nigerian ICT sector.

Currently, the computers and peripherals market in Otigba market  promoted by Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, (CAPDAN) has  been making  moves to relocate  a new site at Gatankowa, in Agbado Oke Local Council Development Area, LCDA, in Alimosho Local Government Area (LGA) along the Lagos-Abeokuta Express Road.

While some sections of the ICT vendors in the Computer Village would want the market moved to a better site, the Community Development Association, (CDA) of the Otigba Village, it was learnt,  may be lobbying the Lagos State government to stay  action regarding  moving the market as a result of their economic benefits.

Before now , a section of CAPDAN had pulled out few years to form Tech Park, a new Computer Village  in Ogun State said to be toast of majority of ICT vendors in the Computer Village.

The Tech Park project, it was gathered,  is already exciting the Ogun State government .
Another section of CAPDAN, it was learnt, has almost concluded arrangement with payments made  to move to a  new site at Ikeja Cantonment

Similarly, the GSM Village at Saka Tinubu, Victoria Island promoted by the  Association of Global System for Mobile Dealers, (AGSMD) is also jostling  to relocate to a new site called Lap-large in Victoria Island, Lagos.

For the GSM Village, along Airport bus stop Ikeja, promoted by Telecommunication and Allied Product Association, (TAPDA) a section of its dealers, it was learnt ,  has   already moved to Olugbede market Egbeda  few years ago when the issue of relocation was at its peak.

“The issue of relocation has been settled. We are no moving any where again. It has been resolved. A section of the market has already moved to  Olugbede market, Egbeda when we were in court few years ago. They could not wait to see the end result. But the issue has been settled out of court. The original owners of this market is FAAN. It is under lease for 24 years with Ibile Holdings as caretaker agent.

“We went to court because of increment. We were paying N45,000 but were later asked to pay N150,000 and we disagreed. But everything is okay now. We are fine. We do not have challenge of street trading or area boys threatening others markets across the nation. There is complete sanity in this market. I can assure that,” Sunday Nnoaham, Chairman, TAPDA told CyberLIFE last Monday in Lagos.

According to him, relocation of various ICT markets in Lagos State has been marred by politics and bitterness, adding that various group should take their time to look for a good site suitable for everybody. But they need to sing with one voice, he said.

For Oti Kingsley,  AGSMD Chairman, relocation of Saka Tinubu GSM Village is still going on, adding that the issue of relocation would be completed about June next year.

“Our members do not trade in the street. There is sanity in Saka Tinubu market. But we are looking for a better site in Victoria Island called Laplarge which is part of mega city arrangement by the Lagos state government. We approached the State government before for a site but with no success.

“We are looking at 250 to 400 lock-up shops in our site to called Communication Village where GSM, its accessories and telecom terminal equipments can be sold. We will be moving about June next year. We are looking for banks to partner with us for financial support,” he said.
Meanwhile, effort to speak to CAPDAN and Teck Prack officials failed as at  press time but the truth of the matter is that the new Computer Village promoted by Tech Park is a when completed  is expected to  benefit everybody involved because of  its ownership structure.

When completed, the new Computer Village in  Ogun state, according to keen observers,  is expected to attract both local and international ICT vendors.

Be that as it may, the truth of the matter is that various ICT vendors at different markets must take a stand on where to go. They must speak with one voice to find a lasting solution on the issue of relocation otherwise politics will mare  efforts  of each group. This is a decision  time for the ICT vendors in Lagos markets.


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