‘Please don’t relocate us’ – GSM Phone Dealers Association sends SOS to Wada

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Association of Phone Technicians and Accessories Dealers in Kogi on Wednesday sent a Save Our Souls (SOS) message to Gov. Idris Wada to intervene and reverse plans to evict its members.

Mallam Tahir Salifu, chairman of the association who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lokoja said the state Tourism Ministry had issued an order to evict his members from Olusegun Obasanjo Square GSM Village.

Salifu said the dealers were relocated to the Obasanjo Square also known as Paparanda Square after their displacement from the post office area in Lokoja two years ago.

He said that the dealers had then pleaded with government to designate a permanent location to serve as GSM village after their eviction but were rather relocated to the Obasanjo Square on temporary basis.

“Recently a letter from the ministry of tourism ordering us to relocate was received. However there is no alternative arrangement for our members”, he said.

He said that members were still counting their loses from the previous relocation adding another relocation this time around spelt doom more so, that no alternative location has been provided and urged government to rescind its decision.

Salifu noted that the GSM business had helped to take a lot of idle youths off the streets of Kogi and given hope to ex-convicts and ex-criminals now engaged in legitimate businesses.

The chairman said that the business had provided genuine job opportunities for quite a number of youths and urged that rather than sending them back to the streets, government should encourage them through soft loans to secure their future.

Salifu said his members of over 400 youths paid rent of N1,500 each on monthly bases for the spaces they occupy which accordingly boosts the state Internally Generated Revenue profile.

He stressed that with over 400 youths kept busy; the multiplier effect of their contributions to the economy could only be imagined adding that they had been trained by Samsung on the technical knowhow of the GSM business.

“Our business activities have also been helping to curb unemployment which has been blamed in recent times for youth restiveness.

“Government has banned thuggery and yet they want to push us out of the legitimate business we are doing. It is not fair because they went to take us back to where we are coming from.”

He expressed optimism that Gov. Wada being a youth-friendly leader would look into their plight. (NAN)