Developer Encourages Stakeholders On New ICT Park

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Computer Village Ikeja shut down upon completion of Katangowa park
Bridge Ways Global Projects Limited, the Lagos State Government approved developer of the new Computer Village Market, Katangowa, has said the pioneer Information Communication Technology (ICT) market situated at Ikeja, may cease to exist, two weeks after the completion of the new site.

The Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Ways Investment, Dr. Jimmy Onyemenam, said this in Lagos, at the weekend, during an inspection tour of the ongoing project at Katangowa, by the executives of the Phone and Allied Products Dealers (PAPDA). He disclosed that the new ICT market will be ready in 24 months.

Onyemenam said the first phase of the project will commence in November, and go the next 24 months. By implication, this means that by December 2022, the Katangowa market should take off.

He urged the current occupants of the Ikeja market to take the early bird opportunity, and key into the Katangowa project, noting that although the relocation might have appeared slow, it is imminent, as it is the government’s position. “By the time the new market is completed, the Computer Village, Ikeja, may only take two weeks more before it ceases to exist. The initial plan of the current place is residential, and the Lagos State Government is keen on getting that place back. So, I implore people to key into the new project as early as possible. No marketer will remain at the Ikeja Computer Village market after completion of Katangowa.”

Onyemenam, who said the project is on a build-own-and-transfer agreement of 36 years, plus two years of construction before LASG will take it over, said the relocation would not change what has been done at the Ikeja Computer village, but rather, enhance it, as it would house more facilities.

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He disclosed that the project at conception in 2009, was to cost about N17 billion, “but as at 2018, it rose to N34.5 billion. Between 2018 and now, you can see what has happened to the Dollar, Naira, and the economy as a whole. Over 60 per cent of the items to be used are imported, so obviously, it would have an impact on the entire project cost. But we are trying our best to try and keep ourselves within the range, not to inconvenience the people.”

According to him, the new ICT market would have an industrial park where trailers and containers could be parked by major exporters, warehouses and an assembling plant for coupling handsets and computers. He further said it would also house an eight-floor innovation and technology hub, which is projected to be the largest in Africa.

“Acquiring a space is done in such a way that it is easy for a common man in Computer village to afford, except he is not interested in. The arrangement has been done in such a way that it is based on one’s cash flow that one can key in and pay gradually until the shop space is ready.

“But if you wait until that time, it will become a challenge because you will dig deep and bring out your money in bulk,” he said, adding that they are talking to the government to secure certain incentives, which if members key into today, will be to their benefit.  Onyemenam said a five per cent interest per annum on loans in one of the banks has been offered, which will be done in a way and manner convenient for members. He further noted that all the grey areas have been cleared, adding that there would be no need for a house to be used as collateral because one wants to buy a shop.

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The developer said it was a known fact that not everyone has the financial backing to acquire a shop at the new ICT market hence, the need to leverage the newly proposed payment method.  Onyemenam said the reason behind such a gesture was because of the unfavourable state of the economy in recent times, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Responding, the PAPDA President, Ifeanyi Akubue, said stakeholders would go back home to tell the people the reality of the ICT market.
Akubue said the executives would sensitise their members on the need to key into the project by acquiring the shop on time, so as not to be left out. He said that the movement was long overdue, as members were looking forward to a bigger and more conducive environment.

Source: The Guardian



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