By Emeka Aginam
THE recent push by Lagos State Government to relocate the largest ICT market in Africa, Computer Village, Ikeja, to Katangowa in Agbado/Oke Odo Local Government of the state, may not have gone down well with ICT traders.
Although the relocation of the market is a long term project, the fresh plan to relocate it has left traders scared and worried. Some of the traders, it was gathered, whose tenancy has expired, have been apprehensive to renew same due to uncertainty, while the concern of others is that their investments in the market will eventually lose value.
Following the recent demolition of shops located at Ikeja new garage near Computer Village, ICT traders have, nonetheless, made plans to secure alternative shops around Toyin, Allen, Government Reserved Area, GRA, among others, in Ikeja as nobody knows the timeline for the planned relocation of the market, which successive governments have tried to relocate to the same Katangowa.
LSG explains reason for relocation
For the Lagos State government, the relocation will curb environmental degradation, housing stock deficit and traffic congestion in the Ikeja axis. The state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose, in a report said; “We have held a stakeholders’ meeting with the traders and they agreed to the relocation plan.”
Anifowoshe, last week, when the leadership of Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria, CAPDAN, visited him to seek clarification on the state government’s fresh plan for the market relocation, insisted that there was no going back on the decision to relocate the market. According to him, the government is yet to come out with the blueprint for the planned relocation, a development that has continued to worry the ICT traders.
Concurring, Assistant Public Relations Officer of CAPDAN, Mr. Presley Ibadin, in a media report had said that the state government has promised it would carry the leadership of the traders along in all its intents and purposes concerning the relocation plan.
“We visited the commissioner last week to seek clarifications on fresh plans to relocate the market, based on information we got, and he confirmed it. He said government has commenced fresh initiative to relocate the market, but assured us that it was not going to be immediate. The government will inform us on how it would go about the relocation process.”
Position of PAPDAN
The President of Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association, PAPDAN, Mr. Geoffrey Iyke Nwosu, had earlier said; “My association and other stake holders in the market have attended meetings regarding the relocation before this present administration assumed office. We have prepared our members on the planned relocation of the market after our town hall meeting with Governor Ambode during his campaign in Surulere in 2015. Once the Abule Egba fly over project is completed, I know that the governor will not tarry. We are, therefore, open to work with the Lagos State Government on the strategic planning for the relocation.”
One thing is certain, Computer Village will be relocated to the new site, it is left for ICT traders to move to the site or find an alternative site.
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