In an effort to make businesses in Ikorodu easily located and promote patronages for local businesses, ‘Made in Ikorodu Market Place Directory’ was unveiled at the Ikorodu Town hall on Monday, November 11, 2019, as part of the activities at the on-going Ikorodu-Oga Day Carnival.
The 138-page directory, which listed about 1000 businesses in Ikorodu, was published by Ikorodu-Oga Development Association in collaboration with the Ikorodu Oga Online Radio.
The Publisher of the directory, Omoba Peju Akinyemi, while speaking about the publication, stated that the idea was conceived about 12 years ago and since then, work had been in incubation going through various changes.
He added that the publication was ready for public presentation during the 2018 celebration of Ikorodu-Oga Day Carnival but had to undergone another 12 months review.
“Now, what we have today as Ikorodu Market Place Directory is a combination of a 12 month research work on businesses within and around lkorodu. It is important to note that this publication was due for launch during the last Ikorodu-Oga Day but we were not satisfied with what we had then”, he revealed.
“We decided that we have to give it more time and we thank God that today we can beat our chest and say that we have a publication to help businesses. Though, it’s not a perfect document, it’s work in progress, but it’s something that we all can be proud of coming from this part of the state”.
Omoba Peju stated that while the idea of the directory was in incubation, other related ideas were unveiled.
“When we started our publication, Trade and Contacts magazine in 2007, we discovered that Ikorodu was a growing community which had a lot of businesses – big, large and small, but the problem is that most of the time, people keep saying we are not making sales.I then sat down and did a personal investigation and what I discovered ,which is still the reality today, is that Ikorodu has grown so big in size that if you live in a particular axis in Ikorodu, you may not cross to another axis in one month or two”.
He stated that the market directory is an intervention strategy initiated to bridge gap.
“What’s the essence of the ‘Made in Ikorodu Directory’? It’s just a bridge. An intervention strategy. It is meant for those who have products and services and those who need the services, but need information that these services are available and that they can access them within lkorodu”, he explained.
The publisher stated that his research has shown that most residents are ignorant of the fact that goods and services they need are available in Ikorodu as they still waste hours to travel outside the community to get the same things that are within their reach here in Ikorodu.
“And what we have discovered from our private research is that a lot of time, the products and services, ‘Made in Ikorodu’, are available, but they are unknown to residents of Ikorodu.
“Ikorodu people still travel far to Lagos to get the same products or services supplied by the real producer here in Ikorodu but unknown to them that what they are looking for can be gotten here in Ikorodu without going far”.
He stated that Ikorodu has the market to sustain most businesses and that what is required are promotion and marketing which, according to him, ‘Made in Ikorodu Market Directory’ is being published to assist with.
“Your businesses are there, mine is too. We both need each other’s services, so we should connect with ourselves. The contacts are there (inside the directory) which are verifiable. Businesses’ email addresses and others are there also. You can make contact when you need the goods or services”.
Otunba Ganiyu Abiru, Chairman of the Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (IKODASS), in his welcome address, stated that the unveiling of the directory is a testimony that the body is not only concerned with the promotion of cultural aspect of Ikorodu, but also other aspects of the community.
“Today’s event further gives testimony to the fact that IKODASS does not only concentrate on showcasing our cultural heritage but also acting as a catalyst for productive economic activities and directing attention to unexplored viable commercial or economic potentials of the community”, he stated.
Giving insight into why IKODASS partnered Ikorodu Oga Online Radio to publish the directory, Otunba Abiru stated:
“This is a child of necessity borne out of discovery of economic ignorance pervasive among the small and medium scale entrepreneurs who, of course, form the bulk of business activities in the community.
“It was realized that many people are not even aware of various and diverse business organisations in the community”.
Otunba Abiru, while listing some of the strategic economic facilitators in the division like the Nigeria Port Terminal, Egbin, Industrial Estate, Dangote Pasta, Rice Mill, PZ Cussons and the abundance human and natural resources, described Ikorodu as a very strategic community to Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
Mr Bayo Sodade, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Economic Planning & Budget and the Chairman of the event, recalled that his first official assignment after his appointment by the governor was to oversee a budget consultative forum on 2020 budget in Ikorodu town hall.
He stated that the present administration is concerned with inclusive governance.
“The present administration wants to run an inclusive government and the intention is to get as much input as possible from the people. As a government, we want to know about what our people actually need and that, for us, is not possible if we just sit down in Alausa and be prepare your budget without knowing your needs, aspirations and what your priorities are”, he said.
He commended IKODASS for the market directory initiative while stating that Ikorodu which, according to him,has been known with social activities, are now attaching much needed importance to economic development.
“For every society, there are two major pillars – the social and economic pillars. For a very long time, Ikorodu has been renowned in the social aspect of things.
“I am very happy that we are now (Ikorodu people) combining the economic with social aspects and l am sure that that was what was on my friend’s mind in inviting me to this occasion knowing that l am an economist and I would be pleased with this kind of development”, he stated.
Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Primero Nigeria Limited, stated that the essence of the directory is to safeguard businesses in Ikorodu and promote them so that residents will not have cause to go out of the community for trade since all they required reside within their community.
He commended the publishers for the initiative and enjoined members of the public to support it.
Other eminent individuals at the ceremony were Dr Tajudeen Bawa-Allah, Mr Samuel Sogunro, Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic and Otunba Saheed Ibikunle, member of the Lagos State Universal Education Board among others.