The GSM Village Handsets and Accessories Dealers’ Association, Abuja, has solicited the partnership of the Ministry of Communication and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in training its members.

The Chairman of the association, Mr Chris Eze, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.

Eze said the partnership and training became necessary because of the current trend in science and technology, especially in handsets’ manufacturing.

He said the sales and repairs of phones at the market had become a source of livelihood to all his members, hence, the need to have advanced knowledge in their workability.

‘’The challenges we have is in terms of training because the invention is all over now. If new phones come into the country, there are ways government can support us.

“If they train us, we can train others and the issue of poverty will be reduced.

“Here, the majority of our members are between the age bracket of 20 and 35 years and this is where you get the youths.

“Some of them get educated today through this business and most people here got married through this business,” he said.

Eze urged the government to encourage them by providing enabling environment “so that we can be able to do our business and do it in a way and manner that people won’t see us as touts but as genuine businessmen.”

He, however, expressed regrets that the union was yet to get any assistance from the government, saying “most of the things we do here are through individual’s effort.”

On how members who specialise in phone repairs adapt to new technologies, he said: “if any new technology comes in, most of our people who are educated, especially the graduate ones, go on the internet to learn more.’’

He said some of them even ordered for the phone parts before the phone would come in order to get the knowledge on fixing it.

“And when they get this knowledge on the internet, they will come and retrain others as well,” he said.

“There was a time we sought for collaboration with NCC for the training of our members and they gave us guidelines on how they can assist us.

“We are to pay individually. But since most of our members operate on the small and medium scale, they could not meet that target.

“For us, we want that avenue where they can come to train our people.”

He called on the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, to use his good office toward partnering with the association.

“My call to the Minister of Communication is that here is a place where you can exploit. If you are talking about empowering people, this place is where you come and pick the right people to empower.

“We have them; we have raw talents here, but it is just that encouragement is what we need. If they can support us, honestly, the sky will be our starting point.

“We do practical here and what we are doing is what people will take outside Nigeria and beat their chest that things are really working here.

‘’Even big companies like Samsung, Tecno, come here to pick engineers and they will go there and pay them a huge amount of money,” he said.

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