The governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode would be the chief host of the Alaba International Market 40 years anniversary celebration.
According to the Executive Chairman of Alaba International Market, Electronics Section, Evang. Paulinus Ugochukwu, they would use the occasion to honour men and women of goodwill who had assisted the market through different ways in the past.
He said that they would honour the founding fathers of the market, stakeholders, past chairmen of the market, as well as others who sacrificed so much for the survival of the great market.
“Other prominent men like Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (Rtd); former military governor of Lagos state, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd); former military governor and vice president of Nigeria; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State; Mr Raji Fashola (SAN), former governor of Lagos; the five Southeast governors and other former govonors, senators, captains of industry, business moguls and administrators.
He disclosed that February 1 and 2 have been slated for the great event. “Our chief host is His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the executive governor of Lagos State and Hon. Rasulu Olusola Idowu, Executive Chairman of Ojo L.G.A will be on hand to receive all our esteemed guests.”
Many other prominent men and women celebrating with us include: HRH Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa. Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Chief Mrs FolashadeTinubu-Ojo; Iya Loja General; Chief Arthur Eze; Sir Emeka Offor; Senator Victor Umeh; Chief Austin Ndigwe; Chief Innocent Chukwuma; Senator Ike Ekweremadu’ deputy Senate president; Chief Ifeanyi Uba, among many others”.
He said that Alaba International market started with about 13 shops in 1978, but today has become the biggest electronics market in Africa with over a million shops.
He further stated that the market contributes immensely to the economic growth of Ojo local government, Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
He commended the Lagos State government for its security support to the market all these years, and prayed that they should continue with the support.
He said that the market is doing a lot in the area of employment as youths and graduates who should be roaming the streets are today gainfully employed in Alaba as sales officers, secretaries, accountants, managers, company representatives and so on.
“Today, Alaba market being the biggest electronic market in Africa, we have tried to key into the vision of the Federal Government of Nigeria by promoting local content. Most products in the market have brand names, which help to reduce our foreign exchange consumption or demand. Products names like: Polystar, Sound Prince, Rest Point, Genesis, Newcastle, Sumec, Yamaha, Elepon and many more. Most of these products are local brand names with high quality and very affordable. We have been able to eradicate fake and substandard products from the market in partnership with Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other relevant government agencies,” he said.
The chairman said that one of the greatest challenges facing local manufacturers and traders are the issue of double taxation being orchestrated by some revenue generating agencies of the government which is working against the economic growth the nation.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to look into this so as to assist the business community in living up to their expectations.
He said that as they celebrate their 40 years of resilient in the Nigerian business environment, the federal Government should do more by creating a conducive business environment.
He pointed out that a lot of them have built factories in Nigeria just as they have the capacity and are ready to build more so as to grow the economy.
He, however, lamented that unfriendly business policies are hampering business growth in the country and the market particularly.
According to him, most of the time the business communities are not consulted when policies that would drive businesses are being put together.
He appealed to the governor of Lagos State to look into the terrible bad spots along Lagos Badagry expressway particularly Alakija, Trade Fair, Ojo Barracks, Volkswagen and up to Okokomaiko to fix the spots.
He disclosed that a lot of times trucks conveying their goods had fallen while trying to navigate the bad spots and goods worth millions damaged without any compensation.
“Again the road leading to Alaba Market from Volkswagen bus stop (OjoIgbede road) down to the market and beyond is practically impassable. This is as a result of illegal parking and street trading going-on on the road. This ugly situation has resulted to many of our customers diverting elsewhere and huge revenue accrueing to government being lost daily because of the situation on this road leading to the market. It is rather a shame to us that there is no access road to the biggest electronics market in Nigeria. I, therefore, plead with the state government as we celebrate to assist us and clear the road of illegal parking and street traders.
“Again we have received empty promises all these years from the Federal Government concerning independent power supply which if provided will enhance our productivity and create more job opportunities for our teaming youths,” he said.