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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A visitor's guide to Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

By Onwueme Paul

Computer village in Ikeja is one of the largest markets in Lagos Nigeria. Recognized as the biggest IT market in West Africa, this market is home to some of Nigeria’s leading IT retail vendors. It is perhaps the only IT market in Nigeria where there is absolute competition for customer loyalty but which is also notorious for its compact and rowdy environment which hides many trouble makers.

At computer village you can get original computers to buy, also available are mobile phones, computer accessories, PC accessories, printers, scanners, photocopiers, USB products, SIM cards, IT services such as PC repairs, mobile phone repairs and what have you (pirated software and audio and video CDs and DVDs).

Although originally an IT market, computer village is also home to food vendors and apparels dealers. You can find really nice clothes, shoes, bags and perfumes at reasonable prices although most of the vendors are looking for who and how to exploit that person to the fullest.

Also watch out for touts and pick pockets as the market is very rowdy with a large number of idle people who are there looking for a sucker to mess up. The police also can be a nuisance with some of their men in plain clothes patrolling the market hoping to catch anyone moving about with unregistered electronics like PCs. If you happen to take your laptop to the market for repairs without your receipt just pray you are not spotted by one of them because if you are, you may have to part with some money before you are let off.

I particularly like the market because I can easily get quality electronics at reasonable prices compared with other places in Lagos Nigeria where the same items can be purchased, this is because the market is both a wholesalers market and a retail market as well, but that is because I know the market very well and who to meet for what. So having a contact who knows the market very well is a good start for you to get what you want there.

Whenever you visit computer village, always insist on buying from dealers directly and not middlemen because the middlemen will not offer you warranty on anything you buy from them plus the fact that they can inflate the price of whatever it is you want to buy. A laptop that should normally go for 40,000 with a dealer could sell for 45,000 with a middleman and if that lappy develops a fault you may never get to find them again to complain about it. Dealers have their registered shops within the markets while the middlemen are hangers-on without a shop or office.