David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Electronics and Electrical business in Nnewi, Anambra State is growing at geometric progression, which has necessitated the traders to acquire a new site in the industrial community for expansion.
But relocation of all the dealers in that line of trade to a new site has become a source of worry to the traders’ association.
Chairman of Nnewi Electronics and Electrical Dealers Association, Sir Ugochukwu Udemezue who disclosed this to Sunday Sun at the weekend, said that the situation has made the new site underutilized.
His words: “Now, we have acquired a very big place and spacious. That is at Eneta Edo Square. And because of the largeness of the place, there are parking lots and even our cultural festival, Afia Olu Nnewi, our new yam festival is celebrated there, as well as other events like political campaigns. That tells you how large the new place is.
“We have over 2,000 stalls and offices there. Many of them are still vacant. And there is public electricity supply and a standby giant generator to complement. So, those traders still at the old site along Old Nnewi-Onitsha Road axis should relocate to the new site in order to have a collective bargaining and to develop it,” he said.
He explained that the old site was on residential buildings which stretched to the major road with the attendant hazards of frequent accidents and traffic jam.
He noted that most of the time people got involved in accidents because of blockage as gridlocks often seized up road users going to their offices, school run or Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital for hours.
Sir Udemezue said it was left for government to effect the relocation of the remaining traders at the old site to join their colleagues at the government designated area to avert the inconveniences of traffic hold up as a result of the existece of market there.
“Our business is picking up fast in Nnewi and you know our goods are needed in every home. When a house is built, it must be electrified. And you will have to buy electronics like air-conditioners, fans, televisions and so many other electronics equipment to keep in your house. We should all come together to develop our new site for our interest.
“Some people have come to me asking for us to embark on driving them to the new site. But it is government that will do that. And personal interest cannot override public interest. And I know once they relocate, their customers will look for them at the new site. They have added advantage because it will be easier for people to access loans from banks, if you are at a large place and the banks will be convinced that you deserve loans. That is the advantage,” he said.
The chairman said that some of the traders currently at the old site had secured stalls at the new site, furnished them and locked them up while they continued their business activities at the old site just as he described this as counter-productive.
He noted that the challenges the traders sometimes encounter were foreign exchange fluctuations.
He said that the abrupt rise and fall of dollars affected their trading activities, especially when a dealer had committed his capital to buy goods.
Udemezue expressed gratitude to Governor Willie Obiano who he said cared for the traders.
Some of the traders at the old site who spoke to Sunday Sun said that they were waiting until the new site began to boom before they relocate.
Power shortage dwarfing my business –Anambra industrialist laments
David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Chief Titus Amaechi Anyanwu, a small-scale industrialist in Onitsha, Anambra State, has lamented that Nigeria is losing billions of naira yearly, while billions of dollars in foreign exchange are also lost to regular importation of power generating sets and other power equipment due to lack of political will to solve the issue of irregular power supply in the country.
He noted that not only that jobs could have been created, if power supply were constantly available to power small, medium and large-scale industries in the country, but also the technology development of the country is as well lost.
According to him, despite the short comings and other challenges facing the quest for industrial revolution in Nigeria, “government should not lose sight that lack of power supply in Nigeria is adversely affecting the nation’s quest for actual industrial development and this is out of my experience as someone in the system.”
Chief Anyanwu who started the waste business of picking empty used cans from the streets of Onitsha which later led him to Lagos where he worked in an aluminum melting factory owned by an Indian today is a small-scale industrialist with about 50 people working in his company.
He disclosed that after watching and being fascinated by the conversion of waste metal materials, such as used cans and other waste products into aluminum cables and others, he decided to travel to Lagos to work in an Indian-owned factory where he learned the skill of converting waste products which were later used for the production of aluminuim cables and other metal materials.
He observed that due to his honesty while working with the Indian, the Indian sent him a N5million worth of production machine (Moonlight Alloy) on request after an initial part payment which he later completed.
The industrialist said he later came down to Onitsha to start his own factory in his house at Awada-Obosi near Onitsha in 2015 and progressed from strength to strength.
He noted that the business later collapsed in 2015 following the closure of the nation’s land borders as customers who came to purchase his products no longer entered the country due to the policy.
He explained that the business regained a boost after three months when the borders were reopened at that time, saying that since then he had been growing to higher level.
Anyanwu said inadequate power supply was heavily working against his profit margin and zeal to expand his business to guarantee employment of more Nigerians into his work force.
Make rehabilitation of Alabarago-LASU road our Christmas gift, Alaba president tells Sanwo-Olu
The President of Alaba International Amalgamated Association, the umbrella body of the 16 sections that make up Alaba International market, Ichie Fabian Ezeradi Ezeorjika, has appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make the rehabilitation of Alabarago-Lagos State University road their Christmas gift.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Sun, he said that the road has been one of the hindrances in the growth of the market as it has made them to be losing customers.
According to him, since to whom much is given, much is also expected, they have resolved to be paying their tenement rates and other levies as and when due to the Lagos State government.
He said that the government on its part should come to their aid with regards to infrastructure.
He pointed out that the market, which contains over one million traders lack basic amenities like hospital, standard garage, fire service and pipe-borne water.
He said that customers are discouraged because of the deplorable state of the roads that lead into the market, especially from the Alabarago-LASU road.
Ichie Ezeorjika commended the Chairman of Ojo Local Government Area who is now filling some of the potholes along Volkswagen-Alaba road.
He said that this has helped to ease the traffic that usually occur on the road.
He said that what was remaining for the local government was to drive away the street traders who are congesting the already narrow road.
He said that if the street traders are driven away, it would create bigger spaces for container-carrying trailers that usually come to the market.
His words: “This is Christmas, the season of gifts. We the traders at Alaba International Market want to appeal to the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make the rehabilitation of Alabarago-LASU road our own gift.
“The road is one of the major access roads to the market and for a very long time, it has remained unmotorable. This has been driving our customers away. Right now, the road leading to the market from Volkswagen bus-stop is a bit manageable because Ojo local government council is filling the potholes. However, roadside trading is still a problem on the road because the traders are helping to congest the road, thereby making it difficult for trailers carrying containers to pass freely and this as you know is accident waiting to happen.
“So, I am using this medium to appeal to the executive chairman of Ojo Local Government to fulfill the promise that he made to us by driving the road side traders away. We also need hospital, fire service station and other infrastructure in Alaba International Market.
“On our own part, we have promised the governor that we would be paying our tenement and other levies as and when due. Alaba International has a cordial as well as mutual relationship with the governor in particular and Lagos State in general and we would want it to be of benefit to the two of us”.