Computer village: A source of livelihood for ordinary Nigerians

Oluwole, one of the technicians of M&K Technologies repairing phone at Computer Village                                      PHOTO: DEBO OLADIMEJI

Oluwole, one of the technicians of M&K Technologies repairing phone at Computer Village PHOTO: DEBO OLADIMEJI

For many university and polytechnic graduates who could not get white-collar jobs, working in this ‘Silicon Valley’ has helped them to put food on the table.

Computer Village in Lagos is a good place for you to repair your phones and laptops. If your phone or laptop is faulty all you need do is to look for a good technician at the computer village to fix it for you.

They have technicians who can repair almost all the faults in computers and laptops except if the board or the IC of the phone is dead.They repair phones and laptops for people at cheaper rates compared to the service centres of popular phones like Samsung and the likes.The computer village is full of human drama. One technician will collect your phone from you, find out the fault and bill you for it.

He will then ask you to wait in his shop while he goes into the market to look for the parts. He comes back again with the parts and tells you that he has discovered another fault, which you have to pay additional money for. By then you will have no option other than tell him to go ahead with the repairs.

Femi Adegoju, a technician at the Computer Village disclosed that government has not been helping the people to be self -sufficient.
“We run generator 24 hours everyday. If the government is providing power for me it will enable me to be making something tangible.
“Now it is my survival instinct that is helping me. I can’t go for loans. The first thing I need to be self- sufficient is electricity.”

He disclosed that once there is no diesel he cannot work. “Government should also make sure that only phones with necessary spare parts are imported into the country. There are some equipment that would have made my job easier but I can’t afford to buy them.”

He added that there is an equipment to repair phone that costs about N3.2 million. “We need the tools that will help us to diagnose our phones. So it the smaller tools that we can acquire and most of the time we use our brain. The government is not helping us at all.”

According to him a phone can have a minor fault, instead of going to buy a new one, the person can repair it.Adegoju who read Geophysics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has a certificate in Computer Engineering.A staff of Huawei technologies, Omolola Adesuyi is doing well in the sales and repair of mobile phones.

“I was formally with Huawei Technologies, Ondo branch. Now I am now with the Lagos branch. I finished from Federal University of Technology Akure in 2013.”She recalled that due to the situation of the Nigerian economy she had to find any available good job to do.

“So I got an opportunity to be a representative for Huawei and I took the job in December 2013 and I have been with them ever since.” She said that when one has a rough screen or a network failure on his or her phone the person can upgrade it.

“You can upgrade your phone from kit cat 4.4 to loly pop 5.0 or to loly pop 5.1. We have a new upgrade of 6.0 which is called marsh mellow According to her if the phone is on kitcat 4.0 or 4.2 one can actually have a slow browsing network.

She said that we should even been thankful to technology because it has actually opened our eyes to a lot of things. “Before the introduction of GSM technology we don’t have cellphones to make calls. But now you can use your phones to make calls. Instead of sending your mails by post, you can do so through Whatspp, Blackberry. It makes it possible for you to communicate with your colleagues at work. Your parents in the village and all the likes.”

She said that if government can actually invest in technology, it would help to boost the economy. A student of Business Administration at University of Lagos, Johnson Adeleke, 28, the CEO of Eagle Communications, Computer village said that he was introduced into the business of selling recharge cards by his parents.

“From my secondary school, I was into selling of recharge cards. Now I sell phones, laptops and repair them.”He said that it was from the proceeds of this business that he is sponsoring himself in the university. “I am paying my rents. I am paying my school fees. As I am making some money I am also restocking my shop.”

On a good day, he said he could make N7,000. He can repair all brands of phones as long as it has a spare part. According to him some of the phone parts are very expensive. Some screen can go for N3,000. “Some are up to N3,500. Samsung and iphones parts are more expensive. The challenges of power and to get petrol to run our generator are what we face.”

Olamidipupo Olagoke, CEO of Soft Tech studied Computer Science at University of Ilorin. He finished in 2013. After his youth service in Makurdi, he rented a shop at Computer village and went into the business of repairing cellphones and laptops.

“I am a laptops Engineer. Whenever your laptop is faulty, I can help you to repair it. I can handle almost all laptop problems. I have been in this business even before I went to school. After school, there was no job and I just decided to start something.”Olagoke said that whenever the board of any phone is faulty or the system is not coming up he can handle them.

“Except if the board is totally dead. I will advice you to change the board or the IC. That will cost you about N8,000. If your hard drive is faulty you can reformat or if your screen is broken you can change it.”

He said with regular supply of electricity he will be able to do more than he is doing. “I have a lot of work on my hand right now, but I cannot work on them due to power outage and I cannot get petrol to buy to fuel my generator.”

He said that he is making money from the profession because almost everybody uses phones and laptops now. He said that the government should try and encourage the artisans to work and earn a living. “People have to do something to eke out a living and the government is not encouraging them by providing enabling environment.”

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