By Emma Okonji
After several failed attempts to relocate the Ikeja Computer Village to a permanent trading site by past administrations in Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said that the state would begin the process of relocation before the expiration of its first four years in office by 2019.
The State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe, who made the disclosure when the leadership of the Computer Village traders visited him in his office to seek clarification on the state government’s fresh plan about the market relocation, insisted there was no going back on the decision to relocate the market, but did not give a definite date for the relocation process.
Anifowoshe told the traders, under the aegis of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) that government was prepared to relocate the computer market to its permanent site in Katangoa market, a suburb of Lagos in Okeodo Local Government Area of the state, but explained that government was yet to come out with the blueprint for the planned relocation.
The Assistant Public Relations Officer of CAPDAN, Mr. Presley Ibadin, who spoke with THISDAY on the development said the Lagos 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 on Thursday last week to seek clarifications on the fresh plans to relocate the market, based on information we got, and he confirmed it, and said government has commenced fresh initiative to relocate the market. He however assured us that it was not going to be immediate, and that government would inform us on how it would go about the relocation process,” Ibadin told THISDAY in a telephone interview.
He said the fresh plan on relocation had created fears among the traders; hence CAPDAN had to visit the commissioner to seek clarifications.
Past governments in Lagos had tried to do same and failed.
Former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who first initiated the move in 2004, had planned to relocate the traders to a permanent site in Katangoa, citing congestion of its current location as reason. He could not achieve the plan before handing over government to his successor, Babatunde Fashola, who also could not achieve the plan.