“You wan buy phone? We get all kinds of phone and dem dey very cheap”.
Walking into the ICT headquarters of Nigeria, Computer Village,located along Obafemi Awolowo Road, Ikeja, Lagos, street boys known as ‘middlemen’ or ‘market runners’ accost you all in a bid to get your patronage. As a first time caller, even as a regular at the market, you can’t but feel mesmerized at the sight of various state-of-the-art gizmos in display.
The market used to be a center for fraudsters as a medium to sell counterfeit mobile phones and computer accessories. There are several stories about stolen phones which often find their ways into the market but these unlawful act were said to be usually perpetrated by layabouts who roam the market. The nefarious acts of this fraudsters was stemmed by the presence of a Police station centered at the market.
Few months ago, the State Government made its intentions known about relocating this tech hub to ICT park, Katangowa market in Alagbado area of the state.
When you are going there, be sure to keep your eyes straight, walk briskly with pursed lips, game-face on and clutch your bag tightly. You should have a general ‘no-shaking’ stance as you approach the Village. While stories of unpleasant experiences in the market abound, it is still the one-stop shop for all things tech in Nigeria.