By Marvin Ogah
‘Computer Villagers’ at Ikeja, Lagos, have played host to the Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, tabling their demands, especially for improved patronage of computer and allied products manufactured locally.
Operating under the auspices of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), the Body made a-five point demands which Ojikutu Adeniyi, the President, described as areas of working relationship with the Minister.
Ojikutu said, if met, the demands will improve the Nigeria’s ICT Ecosystem and show recognition of the informal sector like the Computer Village in the Ministry’s programs.
CAPDAN is the umbrella body comprising the Dealers, Vendors, Artisans, Technician and SMEs at the popular Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Body sought the Ministry’s collaboration in training to get technicians at the Computer Village to international standard and building incubation center for more training; drive local content in the ICT sector so as to develop more made in Nigeria products; help facilitate free broadband in Computer Village through the Nigeria Satellite and funding for ICT research to develop Nigeria based software.
Responding, the Minister said he is honoured to visit the Computer Village, which has made a valuable contribution to the awareness of ICT in all spheres of life of the Nigerian populace.
He disclosed that there are concrete steps to transform Computer Village into ICT regional Hub, owing to its estimated N2billion turnover per day. The Minister admitted this is a huge contribution to the Nigeria’s economy, which is largely dependent on Oil.
“The federal government is ready to partner CAPDAN, especially in the area of local content because we know you have first hand experience in terms of ICT usage,” he assured.
The Minister also noted that any ICT related product that can be produced in large quality must be discouraged from being imported, saying Nigeria cannot be a dumping ground.