Mr Ahmed Ojikutu, new President of Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) has told Technology Times that business owners at Ikeja Computer Village will be equipped with latest business skills on his watch as leader of the umbrella body of the biggest technology market cluster in the country.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]”You see them do business together but when it comes to moving to market forward, they play their ethnic card. We are not for that. I am a unifying factor and I tell you that by the special grace of God, we are going to get that out of us.[/quote]Ojikutu emerged CAPDAN President after series of election delays but says that the association is now moving forward while underscoring that learning and business development for members will be a major focus in making them “globally-competitive.”
”Basically, our plans are in different strata. The hallmark of our programme is business development and learning for our members. We are going to adopt Israel Kirzner’s entrepreneurship theorem that states that ”learning and training is the hallmark of business development”’, Ojikutu says in an exclusive interview held during a visit to the Technology Times corporate headquarters in Lagos.
According to him, business development encapsulates partnership with relevant stakeholders in the ICT and business sectors such that ”Computer Village will be the number one ICT destination in Nigeria and Africa at large.”
Before Ojikutu emerged the winner of the election, Mrs Adenike Shittu, Managing Director of Mojoy Computer, another contender in the race for the CAPDAN top job pulled out of the race.
Mrs Shittu surprisingly pulled out few days to the election by unexpectedly announcing that she was not running in the race’s entrere for the CAPDAN Presidency.[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]’Basically, our plans are in different strata. The hallmark of our programme is business development and learning for our members. We are going to adopt Israel Kirznerpneurship theorem that states that ”learning and training is the hallmark of business development”’, Ojikutu says in an exclusive interview held during a visit to the Technology Times corporate headquarters in Lagos.[/quote]
Asked the reason for the controversial withdrawal by his major rival in the race, the new CAPDAN President told Technology Times that ”I cannot speak for her. She is a well-respected stakeholder and she is loved by people and she is a good sister to me in person but the reason why she will do that, I cannot hold a brief for her. But I can tell you that the position that I got to in Computer Village is just ordained by God.”
According to Ojikutu, “all my life, I have been working in Computer Village. How then will I close my eyes and look at Computer Village progress, Computer Village fortunes, Computer Village image, Computer Village business to die without taking it upon myself to add my own value and to take Computer Village to the place of glory.”
According to Ojikutu, ”I have this capacity to move this market to the place of glory and thank God that the kind of person I am. I am a good listener.”
According to the new CAPDAN President, ”I have the ability that is given by God to move and work with a lot of people from different backgrounds and to be able to pull people together to achieve a defined goal, not minding their background. So, I think that this is an asset that really gave me the edge.”
The new President also tells Technology Times that the CAPDAN on his watch will do its best to forestall peace and unity in the market, amid the divisions created in the weeks leading to the elections.
”My campaign slogan was Ojukutu, the unifying factor or the symbol of unity as you may call it so if people can give me that name, that is to say that one of the agenda is to bring everybody together in Computer Village because I discovered that one of the major challenges we have is the inability of people to see themselves as one for so long a time. People have made use of the issue of ethnic background, religion, devisive politics to divide the people. But the economy that brought us together, which is business, does not divide us”, Ojikutu says.
”You see them do business together but when it comes to moving to market forward, they play their ethnic card. We are not for that. I am a unifying factor and I tell you that by the special grace of God, we are going to get that out of us.
”All the groups have dissolved and everybody is coming together now to move Computer Village forward, which has never happened. So the story is a success story and it’s going to be a success story till the end by the grace of God”, he adds.
Commenting on the role of the Lagos State Government in bringing peace and harmony in CAPDAN, most especially by intervening during the electoral process, Ojikutu says that ”I want to use this medium to say a big thank you to our amiable Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for taking the bull by the horn and giving Computer Village a new brain. This is what has not been achievable since the past administrations.”
According to him, the issues have always been up and downs but the Governor gave it what it takes. I want to thank all the cabinet members most especially the SA to the Governor on Civic Engagement, the Honorable Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs and Ikeja Local Government also for a job well done because without the Governor’s intervention, Computer Village would not be breathing this new breeze of peace and harmony. So we thank the Governor for his fatherly role and we promise him that with good partnership in Computer Village, Lagos will still remain the number one economic hub of Nigeria”
When asked on plans to attract more foreign direct investment from tech companies that supply their products through the market, Ojikutu tells Technology Times that, ”to be sincere, bringing foreign direct investment is key to any development, but we will try our best. We have partners all over the world. We have OEMs—original equipment manufacturers—even present here but they don’t manufacture from here. So, the government is key in encouraging them, giving them tax holidays to attract them. Now, the world is a global village, the competition is high. Nigeria as a nation is trying to woo investors of foreign direct investment. Other countries too are competing for the same investors. So it is the duty of the government to make sure that they try as much as possible to attract.”