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Offer Incentives to Boost Our Business – Cell Phone Technicians Say FG

By Fidelia Okosodo
Some cellphone technicians in Mararaba, Nasarawa state have called on the federal government to give them the incentives they need to boost their business.

The cellphone technicians presented the appeal in separate interviews with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) on Thursday.

One of the technicians, Mr. Ahmed Muhammadu, who works at Heart Plaza, said that although the company has helped meet some of the family’s needs, with more support from the government, he can do more for his family.

He said his desire is to grow his business to create jobs and wealth.

Muhammadu said he faces the challenge of lack of insufficient funds, working materials and equipment.

He therefore called on government at all levels to help artisans by providing them with the necessary financial and logistical support to expand their businesses.

“We have written several times to the government asking them to help our business but no response,” he said.

“If mobile phones are not made in Nigeria but we Nigerians can fix them if they are broken, that means that with good training we will be able to make them here in Nigeria,” he said.

Miss Charity Igozie, another cell phone technician, said the high cost of renting the shop is the main factor deterring many people from entering the business.

She added that she ventured into the business to further her education.

She told NAN that if governments subsidized rents, more jobs would be created as more youth entered the trade.

Igozie said that she trained in higher education with the money she made from the business.

She also called on the government to support artisans by subsidizing their tools.

“In order to keep my customers, I choose to fix low-profit customers.

“Sometimes I don’t make a profit because a lot of people doubt my abilities because I’m a woman,” she said.

Another technician, Mr. Emmanuel Olayinka, said that his five years in the business increased his knowledge of phones and communication devices.

Olayinka urged the authorities to strengthen security around large business premises as their shops are regularly raided by thieves.

He advised other cellphone technicians to endure the challenges in the industry while they wait for the federal government to improve their business environment.

He called on the federal government and non-governmental organizations to support their businesses with grants and loans.

Mr. Christopher Mailo, a student at Futo University, said he repaired a cell phone at school on a part-time basis to supplement his sponsors’ scholarships.

According to his own statements, he learned the trade from his older brother, who also works in the business.

“I also do the business when the schools are on vacation to make a living and save some money before school resumes,” he said.

He said the money he made from the business paid for his hostel while his parents paid for his school fees.

“Even as a student I can make a good phone if I get the opportunity and the equipment. In our country today we have thousands of cell phone technicians who are good in this field.

“I would like to appeal to the government to provide the necessary equipment so that we can start producing phones in our country and stop importing them,” he said.

Mailo also said the technicians faced the challenge of an erratic power supply, compounded by the high cost of fueling their generators. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Uche Anunne

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