Traders at the famous Kano GSM market popularly known as Farm Centre GSM market have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) message to the state government over the general development of the market.
The traders seek government’s intervention in areas of empowerment and improvement of existing poor relationships between government officials and the market operators.
The market is said to be one of the largest in Nigeria and across the African continent dealing in all kinds of mobile phones, computers and other accessories offering largely business opportunities to the youths and contributing to the development of the state. A part of it was recently demolished by agents of the government rendering several youths jobless.
Speaking to Kano/Jigawa Chronicle, the Chairman of the Farm Centre GSM market, Anajamu Bala Mandawari, said the market was witnessing an ever-increasing economic growth but masked with challenges liable to cripple the businesses.
“This is one place you can call an ‘all youth’ domain turning around millions of naira every day. However, as you all know, every business, especially one in which the operator is struggling to hold up the capital, is relatively hard to maintain.
“We are calling on the government to look into this market and see the contribution we are making and support us,” the chairman said.
Yakubu Tamma, a trader in the market, while calling for the empowerment of operators with less capital, also lamented over the poor relationship between the market and the government.
“If you go round the market, you will see small businesses spread all over. By merely looking, one can understand that we are struggling to raise enough capital to maintain them.
“The government seriously needs to intervene and empower us looking at the enormous contribution we are making. Still, not looking at the challenges, we accommodate others just to help our brothers.
“When you go out there, because of two challenges, lack of enough capital and congestion, you will see some people even doing their businesses by the roadside; just standing and roaming around and one thing with that is that bad eggs mingle with them in most cases to cheat our customers.
“When you want to identify them, it is hard because they are not registered members of the market but their daily bread lies here.”
Sabiu Ibrahim Gwarmawa, a business owner who repairs computers and deals in software in the market, called for regulation.
He said, “We have been left to the mercy of some businessmen who are not helping the system.
“These people are always looking for ways to tie us down. Before, this market was in the hands of the government; the charges now and then are incomparable.
“We used to pay the government the sum of N3, 500 but now the businessmen are collecting over N20,000 every year. We have complained severally to authorities concerned but to no avail.
“We are calling on the government to come to our aid by empowering our businesses.”
On his part, an elder in the market, Alhaji Saidu Garko, popularly known as Saidu Idris, also lamented the current state of the market
“I have been here for ages. We have over 10,000 businessmen in this market and each of them has at least three to four others attached to him. In some shops, even up to 10 or more people.
“Youths are the backbone of development. Our major concern is how we are left to cater for ourselves while contributing to the development of the state,” Garko said.