Several years after the idea to relocate the popular computer and peripheral market in Ikeja, Lagos, the Computer Village was muted, debated, started and controversially started, the Administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated its resolve to effect the relocation for the convenience of the ecosystem.
The market location, which initially comprised of accounting and law offices, started transforming into a computer and peripheral market, and further as a major hub for ICT products and services from 2001.
As the market expanded into adjourning streets around the Otigba Street where it started, into seven streets, the Lagos State government under the administration of Babatunde Fashola notified the market administration of its plan to relocate it to Katangowa in Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA.
However, after the controversy the planned relocation generated, a situation where a faction of the traders at the market opposed the relocation, alluding that the plan will be counter-productive as it will stifle business in the market, the market gave birth to the GSM Market located around the Local Airport and the Oshodi Computer Market.
In a recent development, the Lagos State government says it will go ahead with the relocation, giving reasons why the market should be moved.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, said the relocation was to address environmental challenges occasioned by the rapid growth of the market in Ikeja. He said the choice of Katangowa was to offer more sustainable space.
Dr. Salako further disclosed that the new relocation process began with the engagement of stakeholders geared towards sharing vital information and deliberating on the successful take-off of the project.
He explained the Lagos State Government has commenced the process, urging stakeholders at the Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA Secretariat, Abule Egba to buy into the project, particularly the construction and upgrading of the network of roads within the new location.
According to him, the smart city will transform the landscape of the new location and positively impact lives by providing succour to many Lagosians.
He further addressed traders at the market: “You will start receiving in your domain agents of the government, who will make necessary assessments of property that will be affected, serve notices and carry out other responsibilities in line with this project. Please accord them the necessary support while relevant institutions of government will work out appropriate compensation to properties that will be affected”.
Dr. Salako said that by approving the infrastructure upgrade of the host community and the delivery of the project site, the administration of Babajide Sanwo- Olu has given the desired impetus to the long-awaited relocation of the Computer Village from its present location in Ikeja to Katangowa.
“I am happy to note that this is a landmark event, which in no small measure accentuates our commitment to achieving an orderly, sustainable megacity that is friendly to business and tourism as articulated in the THEMES Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu,” he said.
The THEME Agenda indicates Sanwo-Olu commitment to a “Greater Lagos” that the government would achieve through six pillars of development. The components are T-H-E-M-E-S and would form the basis for assessing the governor in the next four years. THEMES represent Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology.