Nigeria’s Datasphir Solutions CEO hits out at the growing market for secondhand ICT products


Industry experts and retailers have bemoaned the influx of secondhand IT products into the Nigerian market, even as they expressed concern that its presence will continue to cripple the country's manufacturing sector. Henry Ananchi, a software specialist at Datasphir Solutions Ltd, said the proliferation of secondhand hardware especially desktops and laptops is as a result of its affordability.

He said, "one of the major problems why second-hand hardware are increasing in our market is because people are looking for cheap products instead of investing in good quality hardware products".

When Next visited the popular computer village in Lagos, the market for secondhand products seemed to be on the increase. John Nwachukwu, a secondhand phone dealer, said that there different grades of mobile phones. "There are two type of fairly used phones; there are the ones from Nigeria and the ones from London," he said. "The ones from London are of more superior quality than the new ones they sell here. Some of these new phones are refurbished in China.

“Look at this secondhand phone, the name on it is Nokia E71 and the China new phone's name is Nokia E71i. Nokia did not make any phone like this and even the size is different." Kadaisi Seye, a laptop and phone retailer, said he imports from the United States.

"My company import this laptops and phones from America," he said. "The laptops are of high standards and cheap. The difference is that we do not give any guarantee on the secondhand phone or laptop that we sell to customers but the new laptops have one year guarantee in case of problems”.

Concerns have also been raised about an increase in mobile phone and laptop theft. "Most of these fairly used phones are stolen and they are sold in the market for lesser price and since they are stolen you cannot go to any customer care company to complain in order not to be arrested", said Desmond Okoye, an IT consultant.

Tayo Philips, a customer, has no qualms about buying secondhand goods. "I do not see the harm of not buying second- hand phones," she said. "When, we are been robbed of mobile phones daily in Lagos, how many good phones can one buy? My phone was stolen two weeks ago at a bus stop at Mile 2, so that is why I'm here to buy a second-hand phone. I cannot afford to buy the kind of phone I had before."

Ananchi od Datasphir Solutions condemned the quality of secondhand products and said that customers were not getting value for their money. "The reason it's called secondhand technology is because these are goods that have one fault or several. It is cheap when bought but more expensive to maintain, one has to keep fixing it", he concluded.