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Computer Village: Meet the New Iyaloja, Abisola Azeez Raolat



  • Computer Village: Meet the New Iyaloja, Abisola Azeez Raolat

Computer Village, Nigeria’s renown ICT market, appointed a new Iyaloja and Babaloja (traditional market leaders) to replace the leadership of Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), headed by Ahmed Ojikutu.

The newly appointed Iyaloja, Abisola Azeez Raolat, is not your everyday traditional market leader despite protesters against her installation saying otherwise.

Raolat, who speaks fluent English, studied Linguistics and graduated from the University of Benin in 1990.

Her journey to the top of the ladder in Nigeria’s largest ICT market started in the 1990s after her graduation from the University.

The Iyaloja, according to her, used to have an office in the highbrow area of Lagos, Victoria Island to be precise, where she was importing laptops and selling them locally.

She, however, relocated to Ikeja some 25 years ago, five years before Computer Village was formally established in 1999.

So it wasn’t a surprise when she mentioned that she was a foundation member of CAPDAN, executive board member and doubled as its secretary before it was reformed recently.

“I am the secretary of the group that registered CAPDAN,” Abisola explains, “I was the major person whom God used to install the president of the association. Evidence of this can be found in the video of his electioneering campaign as I was in the forefront of it,” Raolat continues.

The New Iyaloja of Computer Village, Abisola Azeez RaolatDespite the committee having executive board, the Iyaloja said she was the lead negotiator for the association whenever they need to approach blue-chip companies and banks.

“As part of the executive board of CAPDAN, and apart from being the secretary of the group that registered the association, I am the one who goes out on behalf of the association to talk to the likes of Microsoft and other blue-chip companies. I’m the one they send. So I have been in the system for long doing all of these, adding value to the business and community at large,” she added.

Therefore, because of her efforts and contributions, she said she is fully aware of Computer Village needs to thrive.

“The challenges of the people here are many, but I can tell you that lack of funding for these shop owners sits somewhere at the top. I however equally know how to harness facilities that enhance the growth of businesses in Computer Village,” says Raolat.

She explains that in the early days of the market, banks used to be a stumbling block to most shop owners. Apparently, banks in the country were buying laptops in bulk and selling to customers with a well-thought-out instalmental payment plan.

“I was one of the people who wrote to the government to stop banks from selling laptops as they aren’t specifically in the business of buying and selling,” she stated.

The New Iyaloja of Computer Village, Abisola Azeez Raolat

The new Iyaloja, however, expressed concern over market security.

According to her, “majority of the people on the streets (of Computer Village) are doing nothing. It is impossible not to get accosted by at least 5 boys asking if you want to buy or sell laptop should you find yourself walking the streets of Ikeja. Those are miscreants. The ones that really have things to sell are in front of their shops.”

She stated that it is impossible to leave the market like, hence promised to restore sanity to the streets of Computer Village soon.

“We cannot leave a large market like this just like that, without adequate security. If we remove those, you will see that there will be sanity on the streets with free flowing traffic. Very soon you would see that, on the streets of Ikeja, there will be no waiting, no stopping and no soliciting. Just keep moving,” boasts Abisola.

On her appointment as the new Iyaloja, Raolat said it wasn’t really surprising as more than five meetings, spanning several months were held with stakeholders prior to the appointment.

“I have always been a leader. I’ve been called ‘Iyaloja’ by everyone in the market for over ten years, as a nickname and as a result of my contribution in the market. But in my humble opinion, I think it’s just the right time for God to crown the name with a position,” she concludes.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm




Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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