By Favour Onukaso
TRADERS operating at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos are upbeat about market turnaround in 2022, after witnessing lull in the last 18 months due to the impact of COVID-19 and slow economic growth in Nigeria.
Marketers, who spoke with The Guardian at the weekend, expressed mixed feelings about market recovery, but appealed to both the Federal government to help implement policies that will bring economic fortunes.
They equally appealed to the Lagos State Government to expedite actions on the several constructions going on around the market.
Speaking in Lagos, the Public Relations Officer of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Ademola Olaifa, said the markets were fully in operation for sales, to administration and have been moving smoothly.
Olaifa, who said they hoped for a better 2022, stressed that marketers, who travelled for festivities are gradually returning, “but largely, the market is calm and there are no issues for now.”
Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on the market, the CAPDAN spokesperson observed that the impact was massive, adding “since the last quarter of 2021, things have started to take shape. Market is picking up gradually and faster. But the challenge remains that people are not following the COVID-19 guidelines any longer. They forgot that the virus is still very much around; we still need to be careful. Nobody checks people in the market due to its size. Only a few of us comply.”
While appealing to the LASG assist the market, Olaifa said there are still challenges of insecurity and slow economic growth.
“In terms of security, the government should help us in that aspect because the market is surrounded with a lot of hoodlums pretending to be customers and sellers thereby scaring away true customers by stealing and exploiting them. This is making both sellers and customers go online to buy and sell. Even the police post that is in the market is redundant and lacks efficient manpower because of the overwhelming size of the market,” he stated.
Tackling the issue of fake products, the PRO said: “I will not say we have fake products in our market or anywhere, rather I would say we have high quality products and also low quality products in the sense that we have products that suits everyone’s pocket and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is in charge of checking products in Nigeria to see if it is fit to be sold in the Nigerian markets so we do not have fake products rather we have products based on quality.”
From her point of view, a marketer, Miss Chika Okoro, said there is still a lull in the market, but hopeful of a rebound anytime soon.
Okoro also stressed that the impact of COVID-19 is still very much around on the economy. She appealed to the state government to help expedite actions on the demolitions and construction going on around the market.
The Chief Executive Officer, Success Communications, Uchenna Agidi, observed that the market is still experiencing lull because both marketers and customers, who travelled for the yuletide are just returning to Lagos.