The Thriving Security Gadget Business
or Ignatius Ezike, who deals on security gadgets at Utako Market in Abuja, business has never been the same since last year. Ezike, who said there had been lull in business before the advent of Boko Haram attacks in the country, said he was experiencing a boom. "Since two years now, our security equipments are moving because of all these things in the country. About five years ago, we were not making good sales on these gadgets like body scanners, walkie talkie, and under search car mirror; they were not moving in the market because nobody knew their importance. However, since this Boko Haram issue, they have started rushing it." Ezike said.
Obeh Danboyi of a security solution network in Wuse, Abuja, admitted an increase in the volume of sales since the incessant assault of the Boko Haram sect. "Before, we made sales once in a while, but now more people are patronising us. It was only the highly educated and well traveled Nigerians who patronised us initially. Our market was limited to areas like Asokoro and Maitama but with the advent of Boko Haram saga, people have called us for installation of security gadgets in places like Gwarimpa, Kubwa, Galadima, Wuse, Jikwoyi, Karu and environs.
"If you approach five clients in the past three years about the products, hardly would you see two that would respond. But now, the reverse is the case as up to four out of five clients would look for your phone number and invite you for the installation of one gadget or the other." He enthused.
Some of these companies have engaged the services of marketers to help scout for customers.
More still, increase in demand for these gadgets has forced the prize to go high. A Closed Circuit Television, CCTV, with DVR recorder that was between N100, 000 and N150, 000 for a set of four cameras for wireless installation now goes for as high as N250, 000. According to one of the sellers, "even video door phone that does not move in the market before is now moving. Before now, black and white was N35, 000 now sells for N50, 000, while coloured is N70, 000 from N40, 000 old prices," a dealer told this magazine.
Fire alarm, a security gadget that used to be installed by big companies and banks are now being demanded by individual house owners. The gadget sends alert message to telephone handset whenever there is an intruder in the neighbourhood. Two years ago, the prize was N60, 000 but has skyrocketed to N130, 000.
But Ezeike attribute the price increase to the exchange rate and import duties.
The demand is no longer limited to security outfits and hospitality industry. Since the Christmas day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, almost all worship centres, especially in the northern part of the country, have adopted stern security measures to avert such ugly occurrence. For instance, there has been restriction on vehicles and motorbikes at places of worship. Also metal scanners are used to frisk worshippers and hand bags for every religious programme. Vehicles are parked some kilometers away from worship centres, while roads leading to the centres are condoned off by security personnel; sometime armed policemen and plain cloth security operatives are engaged.
A member of a Pentecostal Church in Garki, Abuja, said the security checks were causing untold hardship to the people. She called on government to urgently address the security challenges in the country. Mrs. Christy Tijeru, a member of one of the orthodox churches in Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja, however did not see anything wrong in the checks since it was aimed at wadding-off miscreants and for the safety of the worshippers. A leader in one of the old generation churches, who would not want his name in print, confided in this reporter that some members stayed away from church when the security measures were first introduced at the wake of the security problems in the country. He, however, said members of the congregation had adjusted to the situation and were cooperating with security personnel.
Rev. Fr. Joseph Ukachukwu, assistant parish priest of St Luke’s Catholic Church in Kubwa, called on the police and the federal government to live up to their responsibilities by providing security for the citizenry. He said the church had to adopt some measures for the security of members since churches had become targets of attack by the outlawed sect. "At the moment, people don’t come with their handbags to the church any longer; they are deposited at the security post. This is something that is done for our sake. We can no longer rely solely on the government though government had been very supportive too because even the police and other security agencies they supplied, we have to assist them with something. It is our duty, and in as much as we want the church to grow, security should be part of it; it has to become a necessity that we have to invest more in security.