THE Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has charged marketers of Information and Communications Technology products in the popular Computer Village at Otigba, Ikeja to promote Nigerian brands at the market
Johnson who gave this charge during her visit to the Ikeja Computer Village at the weekend, urged the marketers to support government efforts in promoting local content in the ICT sector by marketing and promoting local Nigerian brands.
She observed that her tour of the market showed that the marketers were predominantly promoting foreign brands at the Computer village to the detriment of local brands.
The ComTech minister reiterated the need for local brands of computers like Zinox, Omatek, Beta Brian, Veda etc to be marketed, the same way foreign brands are marketed.
The minister, who was impressed with the potential of the market and number of shops, urged the marketers to use that potential to promote Nigerian brands.
“My biggest disappointment is that there were not enough Nigerian brands in the shops I visited. We need foreign devices, but we also need local products from Nigerians on display in the market. I will work with the market association to ensure more of local products in the computer village,” the minister said.
On the issue of congestion, Johnson said: “The market is very congested, and it is important that the Lagos State Government work with the association for possible expansion. The market is huge but it needs an environment that is quite appealing for people to transact business. This is not the Federal Government issue, it is the responsibility of the Lagos State Government to take it upon itself and expand the market.”
She also assured traders of government’s commitment to grant zero per cent duty to all imported ICT products into the country, if the importers could prove that all Completely Knocked Down (CKD) ICT devices that are imported into the country, are used for product assembling.
Areas visited in the market include Brian Integrated System, Slot Technology, Micro Station, MizBeach, IT World, Large Michaels Technology etc.
In his remarks, Chairman of Slot Technology, Mr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo expressed the appreciation of the Computer village marketers to the minister. He stressed since the market was established, a minister of the Federal Republic was visiting the market for the first time to witness firsthand the opportunities and challenges in the market. He listed inadequate power supply, vendors of fake and substandard products, and market congestion as some of the challenges marketers are grappling with at Otigba.
Ezeigbo urged the minister to use her good office to help sanitise Otigba. “We need government to help us sanitise the market by getting rid of traders who sell substandard goods, because their presence is creating bad image for the market. The market, he stressed, has great potential to boost the Nigerian economy.
The minister has in the last couple of weeks toured the factories of major local computer brands like Zinox, Omatek, Beta and Brian Computers to further her local content initiative in the ICT sector. She unveiled the PC Ownership scheme for students, which will be launched later this year in a bid to make personal computers acquisitions for students in tertiary institutions stress free and more affordable. The scheme will allow students to pay as little as N3, 000 every month over a 24 month period to own a PC.
In addition to increasing the percentage of device ownership amongst Nigerians, the scheme will also help create more jobs for Nigerians.