Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lull in PC accessories worries traders

THE impact of the current economic meltdown across the world has begun to take its toll on the popular Computer Village in Ikeja, as traders and dealers alike complained of low patronage.

A visit to the once boisterous largest computer market in West Africa, revealed that all the traders who spoke to ITRealms Online, attributed the lull in business to the impact of the economic meltdown and the rise in the dollars which currently exchange for about N185 to a dollar.

Chief executive, Amen Computer Network, Mr. Gabriel Igwe, noted that at this time 2008, his company had recorded a turnover of over 100 million naira, but this year, nothing has happened as he has not being able to take delivery of a single container since January, this year.

“Can’t you see that my staff and the labour men are all idle? If you were here this time last year you will hardly find a place to stand,” he lamented.

He said the devaluation of the naira coupled with the activities of men of the Nigerian Customs have crippled business for them.

“The increase in the value of the naira has badly affected sales because the exchange rate is a determinant of the prices of our products,” he said.

He called on the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria, to do everything possible about the situation as this could lead to social insecurity.

Mr. Tayo Akande of Eminent Computers, also complained of the lull in activities in the market. He also called on the government to intervene and arrest the continued decline in the value of the naira.

A quick round check at the market showed that a Sharp AR 5316E photocopier which formerly sold for N125,000 in December 2008, now sells for N155,000. Also an HP D7094 laptop which sold at N80,000 now sells for between 125,000 and 130,000. HP officeject K7100 printer which sold for N32,000 now sells for N45,000.

Some of the customers who spoke to our reporter also complained about the astronomical increase in prices.

Mr. Tunji Ayeni, a student from Ondo State, who came to the market to buy a laptop said what he saw was not what he anticipated. He said the prices he got were very different from what a friend of his got when they came to the market in November last year.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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