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Computer Village May Be Shut Permanently

Posted by By Tunde Lemuel & Paul Sanusi on 2008/11/22 | Views: 2288 |

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Computer Village May Be Shut Permanently


If information reaching P.M.News is anything to go by, the popular computer village at Ikeja, Lagos, may be shut permanently by the state government.

If information reaching P.M.News is anything to go by, the popular computer village at Ikeja, Lagos, may be shut permanently by the state government.

This is because the traders and the government are yet to reach an agreement on the issues that led to the closure. The market was shut yesterday, by officials of the state government, following non payment of tax and environmental default.

Speaking with P.M.News, Alhaji Kunle Oseni, Director, Special Duty, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, said: "This market was closed due to their refusal to pay tax, violation of sanitation laws and the problem of street-trading. We cannot really say for now when the market will be re-opened."

In his own comment, SUPOL Bayo Sulaimon, Chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, who led the security operatives and the revenue service team, said: "We are here to enforce governmentís order on the closure of this market. We are to ensure peace and order."

Meanwhile, some of the affected traders who spoke with P.M.News, stated that the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) should be disbanded as it has outlived its usefulness. The association was formed to regulate activities within the market.

Mr. Blessing Senode, Managing Director, Blessing Computer Limited, said: "They were supposed to notify us before shutting down the market. What has happened today, is unfair. They asked us to go and pay, but to where? I have been to Access Bank but was told that I could not pay since they did not have the form, only the teller. Some are to pay N10,000 while some N5,000 and N2,000, respectively. How do you determine who pays what?

"On sanitation, we know how much we pay every Thursday to CAPDAN after the exercise. The association has done nothing. Let the government show some signs of seriousness. There are times in the past when we paid to the wrong people."

Mr. Ifeanyi, a computer dealer, believes that the executive members of the association have been enriching their pockets. "CAPDAN has been handling our affairs as if it is their personal business. On Wednesday, our shops were locked up by the association because they were asking for sanitation fees. Let government help us by providing people that can handle this properly," he said.

Mr. Bamidele Ogunmola, an entrepreneur, described the closure as "throwing away the baby with the bath water." "Many of us have been paying our taxes regularly, but this closure affects everybody now. We are losing so much money as a result.

"As far as I am concerned, there should be a better mechanism for tax collection by the government. The government has been making money from the street traders. No wonder they have waited till now. It is like saying something and acting differently.

"The government should make sure that these PSP firms come on a regular basis to collect the waste generated within the market. It is a lie that we donít pay our sanitation fees. Each building has an executive, and the executive ensures that they collect the fees from each shop." Most of the traders were seen this morning, in groups, discussing the steps to take to resolve the crisis.

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