Stakeholders task Lagos on Ikota access road
Operators and traders at the multi-billion naira Ikota Shopping Complex, have appealed to the Lagos State Government to ensure good access roads and effective management of traffic during this season.
Specifically, they called on government to re-think its cancellation of the planned direct turning from the Lekki-Ajah Expressway into the Victoria Garden City (VGC), saying the lack of direct access was also hampering market activities especially this period of its trade fair. The appeal came as customers thronged the ongoing 14-day trade fair, which took off on December 9, to take advantage of the price slash on choice items.
Spokesman for Ikota Shopping Complex Owners and Operators Association (ISCOOA), Umezurike Austin Umezurike, said stakeholders have adopted the mantra, “Ikota Must Work.”
Noting that Ikota makes about N5.5 billion monthly turnover, Umezurike described the mantra as “a paradigm shift from the old order and focuses on total rehabilitation and upgrade to enable the market achieve an international status.
According to him, though mistaken as purely elitist, the market hosts almost all the financial institutions in the country, and all kinds of business interests, including boutiques and telecommunications.
“However, it has a standard operating procedure (SOP), and there are goods you cannot bring in here.
“We don’t display items outside. Apart from the evidence of flourishing business activities you will notice here with the huge vehicular traffic, many shop owners also transact business online, because it is a modern market by all classification.
“The common thing this market is known for is quality, and most trade articles here, including fabrics, are foreign. We want to tell the whole world with this trade fair that every budget works here, and the items go for the same price as at any other market where found.
“The price slash for the fair ranges from 15 to 70 per cent, depending on the owner, because when you do business from January to December, you would want to sell off all the old stock for new ones to come in, especially ladies’ collections.
“Over a million customers are expected within the 14 days of this fair, because this market also services the Lekki Free Trade Zone, with all the big investments there.
“Of major concern, however, is the lack of direct access because, coming from Lekki to this place, you have to go as far as Ajah for a turn, and with the traffic situation there, it is very difficult. It would have been better if people could turn into VGC and then into the market,” Umezurike said.
He noted that the Lekki Construction Company (LCC), which owns the road, has not completed work, so the drainage is not yet properly channelled.
“it’s just too shallow and untidy.
“Also, the pedestrian bridge has been abandoned. We’ve made inquiries and they told us that it was a contractual issue, and definitely it is affecting this place. We have tried to engage the state government on these, but it is not working out yet,” he added.
Meanwhile, participants have expressed delight at the massive clearance sales since the opening day, as both buyers and sellers take advantage of the price slash.