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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why Nigeria’ll remain PC dumping ground

Remmy Nweke

REASONS have emerged on why Nigeria would remain a dumping ground for Personal Computer (PCs) among other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.

The Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), has said that the dumping may persist in the country as long as economic situation remains unchanged.

Core situation in the reasons offered were economic wherewithal narrowed down to poor income which begets very poor purchasing power.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of CAPDAN, Mr. Godwin Enamoh, offered these reasons as to why the supposed fairly used market, particularly PCs would continue to strive, in an exclusive chat with correspondent.

While disagreeing with the word ‘dump’, he said it meant another thing which is harmful, hence insisting that what members of the group display for sale are fairly used PCs.

He also linked patronage of the so-called fairly used PCs to down turn in the economy of the nation which simultaneously affects the income and purchasing power of individuals.

Nigerians, he said, are eager to belong to the Information Society and further abridge the digital divide between them and the society.

“Most Nigerians cannot buy new PCs and they want to have PCs, so they can buy fairly used and use,” he decried.

According to him, the economic quagmire is with the government and not the citizens who want to improve themselves or individuals struggling to survive.

He, however, cautioned that those patronising second-hand, that is, fairly used PCs are doing so at their own peril, since they do not have any guarantee.

“If you buy, you buy for the sake of having good luck and if anything happens, you’re on your own,” Mr. Enamoh cautioned.

As much as he agreed that fairly used PCs among other ICT tools may not be good or best for individuals, traders and the economy, he likened their existence to temporary solution.

“When your hand cannot get to your back, you borrow something to scratch your back,” he explained.

He disagreed with the use of the word ‘dump’ because it was not the spirit behind some Nigerians importing ICT equipment at a low rate from abroad which are resold here.

Citing an instance, Mr. Enamoh noted that in advanced countries banks use PCs for about two years after which it would be discarded for a more modern system.

Emphasising that in developing nation like Nigeria, banks use PCs for upward of 10 years.“If banks cannot change PCs within two years, which is 24 months, how then are you expecting an individual to change and that’s where the economic factor comes in,” he submitted.

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