In Lagos, Nigeria, there are a number of markets that attract a large number of people for various reasons. Some people go to these markets to purchase items because of their relatively low prices while others prefer them for a quality shopping experience. Take for instance a small scale retailer based in one of the suburbs, he or she may visit these markets to purchase bulk items from wholesalers in order to resell at lower prices at a more convenient time and place. If you as a retailer deal in GSM products such as sim packs, mobile phones, GSM recharge cards and accessories the you will naturally visit a market that has a large number wholesalers dealing in such products. In Lagos Nigeria, such places include Computer Village in Ikeja, parts of the Lagos island Market (Idumota) and one end of Saka Tinubu in Victoria Island. This of course is just an example as there are unlimited number of products and services one could deal in.
Here is my list of popular markets in Lagos Nigeria and the Kind of products such markets deal in;
1. Yaba also known as Tejuosho Market currently undergoing renovation it is one of the most modern markets in West Africa with standard facilities and infrastructure. Tejuosho market is a densely populated market, with thousands of shopping units and tens of thousands of customers who patronize the businesses that are resident in the complex on a daily basis. Until 2007 when parts of the market were gutted by fire, Tejuosho market was perhaps the busiest market in Lagos Nigeria after Idumota, Balogun, Oshodi, Alaba Market and seme markets.
2. Alaba International market. The so called largest electronics market in Africa, Alaba international Market is home to the biggest dealers of electronic products in Nigeria. Many of the dealers are big time importers and distributors of electrical and electronic gadgets such as flat screen televisions, generators, home appliances especially refrigerators, fans, air conditioners, even DVD sets, digital satellite dishes and decoders and many more. The market is a beehive of activities on all days of the week except on Sundays when most of the traders go to church.
3. Computer village. Computer village as the name implies is a market that deals primarily in the buying and selling of computers including software and hardware, mobile phones and their accessories. It is home to some of Nigeria’s best phone and computer repair guys with many of them demonstrating remarkable skills in managing, maintaining and repairing phones, computer parts and other related gadgets. However there is a draw back, this market is also notorious for housing some people of questionable character such as touts, pirates, pick pockets and fraudsters. However the market offers many benefits such as affordable prices and quality products but only where such products are purchased from reputable and authorized dealers.
4. Idumota. One of the oldest markets in Lagos Nigeria, this market is the largest market in West Africa and possibly Africa with tens of thousands of lock up shops occupying various buildings in the market. The distinct feature about this market is that it is made up of very many multiple storey buildings some measuring 5 or even more floors. Most of the shops are actually apartment rooms converted into shops. The market is so big that as early as 6 am in the morning it is already recording large volume of transactions.
5. Balogun. Like the Idumota Market, Balogun market is located on the Lagos Island axis. It too is an old market with very many lock up shops however unlike Idumota market it has much fewer multiple storey buildings. Parts of this market extend into Marina and Broad Street (two of the busiest streets in the central business district of Lagos Nigeria).
6. Mile 12. This market is popular for being the hotbed of farm produce and raw foods. Any vegetable or fruit that grows in tropical Africa except those that are alien to Nigerian soil can be found in this market. It is the cheapest market for foodstuff especially vegetables, fruits and livestock other farm produce.
7. Mushin. Mushin market is a market known for having very cheap items when compared with other markets of Lagos Nigeria. The market is both a wholesale and retail market with almost every consumable imaginable available for sale.
8. Oshodi. Known for its rowdiness and large size Oshodi Market is Nigeria’s second largest market after Idumota market. Up until early 2008, Oshodi was a no go area for many pedestrians and motorists as its roads were so jam packed that free flow of traffic was almost impossible. That is a thing of the past following the determination of the Lagos state government to rid the state of rowdiness, lawlessness and disorderliness. Prices of commodities in this market are also relatively cheap.
9. Onyingbo (White sand). This market located in the mainland Yaba axis along with its sister market at Iddo is a prime market in that it serves as a transit point between Lagos and a number of Northern states with foodstuff arriving from Northern Nigeria straight to it through Iddo. Although not as cheap as Ketu Market, oyingbo market has a number of affordable commodities mainly foodstuff and livestock.
10. Alade Market in Ikeja. This market is modern but not as complete as tejuosho. A number of businesses mostly corporate services and retail stores operate in the market offering services such as travel and tour services, bureau de change, resale of consumables and even car hire services exist in this market. Things are relatively expensive owing to its location (Allen Avenue) and proximity to the international airport.
Paul Onwueme is a business reporter and writes about business opportunities in Lagos Nigeria.