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TOUTS ARE RUINING OUR BUSINESS, SAY TRADERS

By NBF News
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By Nnamdi Ojiego
Traders at the popular Ikeja Computer/GSM market, Lagos are calling on law enforcement agents to come to their aid as the activities of touts in the market are getting out of hand.

The traders who expressed their worries to Vanguard Hi-tech said the menace of this group of people was beginning to tell on their businesses as customers who regularly fall victim of their dubious acts were looking elsewhere for their computers and phone needs.

They said cases abound where customers came back complaining that they were sold old products after paying huge sum for brand new items, while some complained that stones were packaged for them as handsets among other unpleasant experiences by the customers.

According to one of the traders, Mr Elvis Okafor, Computer Village was becoming synonymous with fraud and criminality. 'When you ask some people to go and buy a phone from Computer Village they will tell you no. Rather, they will go to other places.'

At the Computer Village Police Post, a policeman said the situation in the market was complicated as people come to the Police on daily basis complaining of one case of fraud or the other.

But where the problems lie is their inability to identify the person who sold to them or the shop they bought the said items from. 'How do you know who is a trader or not? These boys work with some big people in the market. Some shop owners also send their apprentices out to look for customers. In that situation, how do you make arrest? We don't make arrest like that unless you can identify the person who duped or cheated you in your transactions.

'But in terms of security of lives and property and to ensure orderliness, we are on top of the situation,' he stated.