Nigeria’s Computer Village, adjudged the largest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) accessory market in Africa, contributes about N1.5 billion to the country’s economy daily.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, gave the figure, while being hosted by the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), the leadership of the market in Lagos, yesterday.
Danbatta, who added that the contributions of the market to the economy since the telecommunications revolution began some 16 years back, was now around $32 billion, however, informed that the figures were provided by the leadership of CAPDAN during an earlier indoor-meeting in May with the NCC in Abuja.
According to Danbatta, there are about 3000 ICT Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) doing stuffs in the market, “as such the Computer Village market needs greater support to be able to contribute more to the economy.”
While announcing the readiness of the Commission to work with CAPDAN on any front that will promote economic development, the NCC chief informed that it would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the association.
Danbatta urged the association to address issues of phone and other devices cloning; substandard products, stressing that so many mobile devices sold in the market are not type-approved by the NCC.
According to him, these unregistered mobile devices are not safe and negatively affects the quality of service rendered by mobile network operators in the country, stressing that NCC has huge responsibility to protect Nigerians, “ we are calling on the CAPDAN to please support us to rid the market of unwanted elements peddling fake and substandard products.”
Danbatta said as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility functions, the commission would train many CAPDAN members.
In his welcome address, the President of CAPDAN, Ahmed Ojikutu, said the Village provides the highest number of ICT solutions in Nigeria and Africa at large, stressing that the market is also known as the hardware capital of Africa, which employs the highest number of graduates in the region.
Ojikutu reminded that their activities go beyond selling of mobile devices, “it is a hub where a lot of technical activities go on. The level of repairs, refurbishment and software related activities that are carried out here entails skills that are at par with the expertise needed for manufacturing mobile devices from scratch. It is the belief of CAPDAN that such expertise should be leveraged on to contribute to the Nigerian economy. For us, it is time to grow the innovative and manufacturing potential of the Computer Village by upgrading it to an African ICT Hub or Nigeria’s Silicon Valley or India’s Bangalore.”
The CAPDAN President appealed to NCC to among others offer them training and education through the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI); sponsorship of Computer Village to international seminars and conferences; facilitation of broadband in the market, among others.