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Computer Village in Ikeja Lagos Nigeria
Market information about computer village in Ikeja
Computer village is a small area of roughly 6 km2 bordering Ikeja’s Government Reservation Area (GRA), Anifowose, Awolowo way and Agege motor road. This small area is regarded as Africa’s largest I.T market both in terms of population of traders and customers as well as the sheer volume of transactions that takes place there. This market is extremely popular for people looking for cheaper alternatives for pcs, mobile phones camcorders, digital cameras and other digital and electronic devices. Hence it is a beehive of activities on all days of the week except on Sundays and public holidays.
Who is who in computer Village?
The market is home to mostly mobile phone and computer dealers but also has the presence of technicians specializing in repair and maintenance of faulty mobiles phones and computers. There are also dealers in accessories such as mobile phone accessories like batteries, chargers, memory cards, LCDs among other phone components other dealers may sell computer components especially mother boards, batteries and monitors.
Another set of dealers in this market are people providing auxiliary services such as petty traders who sell edible items, pirated softwares, Movie DVDs and musicals and used mobile phones, memory cards etc. not forgetting technicians who like to call themselves engineers. You can have any mobile phone, laptop or digital camera repaired here as most of the ‘engineers’ are quite good at what they do unfortunately they are often exploitative so be prepared to haggle with them over their fees.
Police and other law enforcement agents
There is also the presence of the vigilant and often overzealous police (they usually put on plain clothes to catch the unsuspecting) who in addition to trying to maintain law and order are usually on the look out for people carrying suspicious items such as unregistered laptops and electronics which these officers see as an opportunity to extort money from traders or customers hence ensure that if by chance you visit this market that you have receipts and other necessary documentation for laptops and other electronics you are in possession of. Note that even if the laptop is yours you will still have it confiscated unless you can provide documentation for it or are willing to part with some money. There is also tax enforcement officers who in conjunction with the police ensure that only registered dealers, trade in the market since they pay their taxes but occasionally you will find unregistered traders who use very portable boxes to sell mostly pirated Software.
Touts and lobbyists
These are usually young able bodied men who hang around looking out for expectant buyers. They would usually beckon on them asking “wetin you buy?” “laptop?” or sometimes ask “download?”. They aren’t dealers but merely middle men soliciting customers for dealers who pay them commissions on every sale they bring in. The unfortunate thing is that many of these touts could pose as dealers and will try to get you to pay as much as possible even if those prices are cut throat.
In as much as computer village is an economically friendly option for your I.T needs it is notorious for a number of reasons such as having many idle hands, some of whom will gladly pick your pockets if you are not vigilant enough. The police sometimes contribute to the notoriety of the place by being unnecessarily zealous for checking suspicious items although they deserve commendation for restraining trouble makers in the market.
Tips for any would be visitor to computer village
1. Do not accept unsolicited assistance from touts no matter how friendly they may appear to be. They are out to exploit customers as much as they can so if you patronize touts who are simply middlemen or sometimes trouble makers you not only risk paying more for an item that costs less than you should pay but you risk buying a substandard product without warranty.
2. Buy from authorized dealers only as they offer warrantees since they sell genuine products. However if you wish to buy second hand products then you are advised to buy directly from engineers as they sell refurbished products although they don’t offer warrantees they are often times more reliable than touts or other middlemen.
3. Visit as many shops as possible I suggest at least five in order to compare prices and make an informed buying decision.