Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State, on Monday, was shut down as traders protesting against the activities of female and male market leaders known as Iyaloja and Babaloja in the market.
The traders halted activities in the technology hub, insisting that it does not need the imposition of taxes and leadership of Iyaloja and Babaloja.
According to them, the technological and commercial hub had been regulated by the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and no Iyaloja was needed to regulate their activities.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Timi Davids, president, Coalition of Associations, Computer Village, said the business hub was shut down in protest against the recent installation of Iyaloja in the market: “Ever since their installation without the consultation of the business people and the community, there has been unrest in the market. We have written petitions to the state assembly and Ministry of Community Affairs and we have been appealed to stay in peace and not to allow breakdown of law and order.
“But, their (Iyaloja and Babaloja) recent activities, which disrupt our business and peace in the market, is what we are protesting. People are angry and want to resort to violence, that’s why we closed the market. We are calling on government to come to our aid before Computer Village goes up in flames. We are professional bodies, we work with our communities, we are not under market women’s associations. We pay our taxes to government, both federal state and local government. And we have our rights to determine who to associate with.
“The Computer Village is adjudged as the largest ICT market in West Africa and adds enormously to government revenue yearly. It is an international market.”
Also, in a telephone interview, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), President, Adeniyi Ojikutu, said the critical stakeholders are appealing to the state government to save computer village.
According to him, the imposition of Iyaloja on market is threatening the peace which the business hub have enjoyed for over 25 years. ‘’We have over 3,500 companies and multinationals from within and outside the country registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). We are not Market Women, we are professionals and we pay our taxes to the government and these people are coming with their own taxes too. This is unacceptable because it is multiplicity of taxes and is killing business” Ojikutu said.