Firm plans N5bn IT Mart

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The Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mr Lai Omotola sid the mart would be located in Ikeja.

Acording to him, the proposed project, to be named ‘Ikeja IT Mart’, will be built on three acres of land at Simbiat Abiola Way, beside the new bus station close to the Computer Village.

Omotola said that the initial plan was to have the project built on 10 acres of land, but the Lagos State Government took out seven acres for the new Ikeja Bus Station, leaving three acres for the project.

He said the project showed the Lagos State Government’s commitment and effort in diversifying the economy, particularly by improving the IT sector.

Omotola said: “Why IT? Basically today, there is so much crave for content and content development. And where does content travel to? Content travels through data.

“It is now known that data moves faster than voice; that shows people will be using more of data than voice.

“For us to prepare for the coming demand and the existing demand that is making our network today shaky, we have decided that we pioneer Ikeja IT mart as a way of solidifying the value-chain end of the IT and communication industry.

“Why do we want to solidify the value chain end? We have come to realise the value-chain end is very important in bringing us to global recognition as an IT super house.

“Why are we situating it in IKeja? Because we believe that the history of IT started in Ikeja and we must not lose that history,” he said.

Omotola said what the firm wanted to achieve was to build “our own Silicon Valley” in Ikeja and in Lagos, such that for anything concerning IT, the first point of call would be Lagos and Ikeja.

“We are bringing up an edifice that the globe will recognise as our own IT super house, and the responses we have received from the market is superlative.

“A lot of major players are very excited because for the first time they are going to be seeing a structured IT mart, first of its kind in Africa,” he said.

According to him, the mart is going to be a specialised mall that is basically for the specialisation and operation of ICT.

He said that the firm was building it to compete globally and to get the global attention that Lagos was ready for content development.

Omotola said the firm believed so much that IT would essentially and importantly drive the economy and was probably the only thing that would break barriers.

“What we want to do is to harmonise the entire scattered value chain end and concentrate them into one place to give unique services and also to compete globally,” he said.

The IT mart will have a ground floor plus three levels with 1,000 shop outlets.

It will have a multi-storey car park that can accommodate 280 cars, two bullion vans, trucking bay, banking hall and a globally certified IT laboratory.

Omotola said the site had been cleared and branded and the firm was at the stage of seeking approval from the government to move on with the project.

He said that from the time of approval, the project would take 18 months to complete

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