Traders in Computer Village market, Ikeja, Lagos, have called on federal government to intervene in their activities for improved growth and development.
Speaking on their behalf, Chief Executive Officer of Mojoy Computers Limited, Mrs. Nike Shittu, stated that considering the market’s huge potential, it was important that government at the national level and its relevant agencies set up a small and medium enterprises (SMEs), support programme to aid businesses in the market, being a critical segment of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in Nigeria.
Shittu noted that a lot of operators were migrating from the environment to pursue a career in the formal sector, hence, slowing down development in the general ICT space.
Shittu said: “I have been doing business in this arena for 18 years and I must say that the market has evolved to become the leading technology business hub in Nigeria. “It is however unfortunate that government have not shown enough support for SMEs which happens to be the backbone of the economy of many countries . Small businesses gather small number of people and before you know it, they are taking unemployment out of the country.
“I should be doing more than I’m doing now but I cannot because of financial constraints. Despite the value of activities here, we have never been encouraged by the authority. By the time one goes to the bank, they start asking for things that one might not even own, this shows that the banks too don’t believe in us.”
The Mojoy Chief therefore appealed to institutions like the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Ministries of Communication and Information, to always represent the interest of the market before the federal government.
“We need help within the cluster, and I don’t think that Federal Government can see us from afar . With the intervention of relevant institutions,we believe we can get the needed help and be offered facilities that will be within unit interest to help and sustain us. Borrowing at 28%, 30% is like we are just working for the bank, we actually need this help so urgently”, she said.
Shittu also encouraged women and youths to remain committed to their respective businesses regardless of accompanying risks.
“You should know exactly what you are doing because these days, you can only take calculated risks. Why take stupid risks? Remain focused in the business and avoid distractions that may be coming from different corners. Also, don’t operate beyond your capacity, she admonished.”