Infrastructure, they say is the key to economic growth.
According to the newly elected Chairman of International Market Association Electronic (IMAE), Mr. Paulinus Ugochukwu, infrastructure means connectivity like road, rail, ports and telecommunications.
These are basic to economic development and growth. With connectivity the economy will open up to the outside world, trade and commerce will flourish.
With connectivity industries will be established as labour and capital will flow from surplus regions to connected and developing areas.
Alaba International Market has been noted as one of the largest electronics markets, sub-Sahara Africa was established 40 years ago in Nigeria.
The number of investors trooping into the market on daily basis is quite encouraging. But infrastructure in the area is yearning for government’s attention.
Stakeholders in the market say government should do something fast to save the market from collapse, as road, internet network, health service, and other infrastructure are not there to make life comfortable for the people.
Ugochukwu lamented that there wouldn’t be any meaningful development without infrastructure in place. “We are appealing to the government to provide us infrastructure at Alaba international market.
The roads to this international market are death trap. A lot of visitors to the market are not comfortable at all with what is happening. Man-hour is being lost on daily basis due to bad road.”
In a chat with Daily Sun shortly after his inauguration, the Chairman said, there is no substitute to infrastructure. There is no half way to government providing infrastructure.
Cost of transporting goods
The cost of transportation of goods is another teething problem confronting every importer in the market. Poor road network and the absence of a rail system make the movement of goods slow and cumbersome.
Apart from that bringing in our goods from then port to Alaba Alaba international Market is now problematic as truck drivers don’t want to ply the road and those that will charge as high as N600,000 to N700,000.00 just to bring in goods from Apapa to this market.
“Government should find a solution to Badagry Expressway traffic gridlock and also provide the market with infrastructure like uninterrupted power supply, pipe borne water, among others,
For sure, the new administration will work with other members of the executive to bring more and improved infrastructure to the market.
We will decongest traffic on the streets by eliminating streets trade in the market ad return the market ‘s lost glory.
The rail transport system in the country is yet to be modernised and this makes the delivery of goods take longer than necessary.
Experts contend that lack of power supply is one of the reasons goods locally produced are more expensive than the imported ones today. They argued that until the power supply is tackled, the problem of electricity will keep on.
The Government, they insisted, should explore alternative ways of providing electricity for those in the Alaba International market.
We call on the government to pay attention to the market for constant electricity because of the growing population that demand for it.
This year Alaba International Market will be 40 years old. It was founded by 13 members. They sacrificed so much to develop the market to what it is today.
These founding fathers should be awarded with national honours by the Federal Government. Although, it is only five out of the 13 are still alive. We are saying, let government honour them.
We shall work with the Ojo Local Government and the law enforcement agencies to eliminate street trading and decongest traffic in the market.
Getting foreign exchange to run our business is on the high side. Government should create window where we can get foreign exchange cheaper – when this happens, it will add value to the growth of our economy by creating more job opportunities and to a great extent, reducing insecurity.
The new administration will work with the relevant government agencies to make sure that substandard goods are not in the market. We have told our members never to import any substandard products not to talk of bringing it to the market.
We are very passonate about what our customers buy from us.
High interest rates
Most investors are often discouraged because of unfriendly interest rates introduced by financial institutions that are not even ready to grant loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) .
Imagine a situation where financial institutions, in their bid to scare us away and continue their romance with the bigger enterprises, impose interest charges of 22 to 25 per cent. Interest rate should brought down for the return of the SMEs.