Home Big Story Nigeria’s largest technology market shuts down tomorrow over Coronavirus

Nigeria’s largest technology market shuts down tomorrow over Coronavirus

Nigeria’s largest technology market shuts down tomorrow over Coronavirus
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Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos is shutting down tomorrow to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus at Nigeria’s largest technology market.

Mrs Bisola Azeez Isokpehi, the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village, told Technology Times in an interview today that the market closure commencing tomorrow is in compliance with the Lagos State Government directive.

The market shutdown is coming just as the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village has asked for government support to cushion the effects of the deadly virus on the Ikeja Computer Village business community.

“We will be on ground as the market management board with relevant government agencies to enforce the closure of the market so that no one can come in”, the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village says today in the interview with Technology Times.

Mrs Bisola Azeez Isokpehi, the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village
Mrs Abisola Azeez, new Iyaloja of Computer Village seen during the interview with Technology Times held at Nigeria’s largest technology market in Ikeja, Lagos.
File photo shows Mrs Bisola Azeez Isokpehi, Iyaloja of Computer Village during an interview with Technology Times held at Nigeria’s largest technology market in Ikeja, Lagos.

“We will be on ground as the market management board with relevant government agencies to enforce the closure of the market, so that no one can come in”, the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village says today in the interview with Technology Times.

Prior to the planned Thursday shutdown, the Ikeja Computer Village Market Management Board had carried out sensitisation rallies across the market to enlighten the merchants on the deadly virus, she says.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday directed that all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close for seven days as part “more restrictive measures to break the cycle of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State.”

Nigeria’s largest technology market shuts down tomorrow over Coronavirus 1
Photo file shows Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announcing the restrictive measures to check Coronavirus spread in the state.

“Yesterday, we held a rally to let them know what to do and what not to do, and to be safe.

And today, we shut down for cars. We did not allow vehicles to come inside the market so that there is social distancing. Once there are no cars inside the market, people can move freely within the market without touching each other”, according to the Iyaloja of Ikeja Computer Village.

Under the plan, she says the market board made an announcement of the planned enforcement of the Lagos State Government’s directive that all markets across the state be shut down.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday directed that all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close for seven days as part of “more restrictive measures to break the cycle of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State.”

In search of locally-made IT and technology products: Business activities underway at Ikeja Computer Village, Nigeria's biggest technology market
Technology Times photo file shows business activities underway at Ikeja Computer Village, Nigeria’s biggest technology market

The directive which comes into effect tomorrow will also reduce the number of people that must participate in a public gathering at any given time from 50 to 25.

“Of course it is going to have a negative impact on the market. Closing here for one week is a big deal, but life is more important than any economic value. So, it is better to be safe. It is when you are alive that you talk about how your business is faring. So we just have to comply with what government has said. It is for our own good”, the Iyaloja says.

According to the market leader, “most of the products we sell here are import-based, so this government is saying that they will remove tax from importation for the time being.”

According to the market leader, “most of the products we sell here are import-based, so this government is saying that they will remove tax from importation for the time being.”

Technology Times photo shows phone brands seen on display at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos
Technology Times photo shows phone brands seen on display at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos

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.

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.”

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