Businesses resumed today at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos after the lockdown caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, but it will no longer be business as usual at Nigeria’s largest technology market, according to the management board.
Mrs Bisola Azeez Isokpehi, the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village, told Technology Times in an interview at the weekend that the market management board decided to reopen the market, but in line with Lagos State Government’s rules to check the spread of the deadly virus.
Under the plan, Ikeja Computer Village will henceforth have zero tolerance for street trading as part of plans being put in place to check the spread of Coronavirus in the market.
According to a joint statement issued this weekend by the market board seen by Technology Times, everyone entering the market must wear face masks, without any exception granted.
The Ikeja Computer Village Market Board listed the 10-point resumption requirements as follows:
- No face mask, no entry;
- Only two gates will be opened with the Otigba gate by Awolowo Road serving as the entry while the gate by Kodesho Street by Metro Quarters serving as exit;
- Meanwhile, all pedestrian gates shall be opened;
- Cars are not allowed into the market with exception granted only delivery and pickup trucks and vans;
- Embargo placed on street trading until Coronavirus is completely contained;
- Shop owners have been advised to maintain 60% crowd control stipulated by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in their offices, inclusive of staff and customers;
- Each building shall be required to enforce compliance with no-loitering and no hawking rules, with failure to do so risking sealing off of such building by the Lagos State Government;
- Shop owners are to provide sanitisers for use by their customers;
- Ikeja Computer Village trading now restricted to 9.00am – 2.30 pm as market is expected to be locked by 3.00pm;
- Ikeja Computer Village Market Task Force shall patrol the market to monitor and enforce compliance.
The Iyaloja had told Technology Times that the market shutdown that went into effect last month was in compliance with the Lagos State directive, aimed to check the spread of coronavirus in Ikeja Computer Village.
The market leader called for government assistance for merchants in Ikeja Computer Village to cushion the effects on the lockdown on their businesses.
According to her, “if the government can come to our aid and say that they should stay off collecting interest on whatever loans that we have, I think that would go a long way to assist our people as a group.”
The Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village says that “the important thing I would ask the government to do again specifically for Computer Village is that for this period, like they have proposed for other industries, if they can put a stay on interest on the loans that most of our people here are already enjoying.
“You know that banks will not tell you that government has locked down and there is no policy that they should stop interest on your loans. Even if you are locked up for one year, it is not their business. They will still collect their principal and interest”, she says ahead of the closure of Ikeja Computer Village.