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In 2012 statics released by the Lagos state government showed that 1.1 million vehicles were registered in the State, 67% of this were tokunbo vehicles. A Survey showed that 5% of tokunbo cars sold in Nigeria have either been altered from a right wheel drive to a left wheel drive and over 25% of cars sold as tokunbo have been upgraded from a manual transmission to an automatic transmission. All these alterations were done in Nigeria by our very own Super Mechanics! Carmudi Nigeria tells the tale of Nigeria’s biggest spare part market.
A stroll through the ever popular Ladipo market brings you into the back world of automobiles. Just like the United Berger Market along Oshodi Apapa expressway known for the sale of used cars, Ladipo market, Mushin Lagos is known for the sale of used motor spare parts. This is slowly becoming a very vibrant market as it serves the need of car owners in Lagos. The market is rumored to generate about 6% of the state’s revenue yearly.
We took a trip to the spare part market to get a feel of the market’s day to day activities. At the gate leading to the market amidst the hums of the generators and loud banging from the industrial workshops, a group of young men also known as freelancers were discussing the activities of the previous day. All around shops were in full gear at about 9.00am ready for the day’s business.
We sort out the office of the office of the Ladipo Market Traders Union/Association were we met some of the officials including Mr Nnamdi Nkemelu, PRO for the association. Giving us a history of the market, Mr Nnamdi said ‘I am from Anambra state. I came to Lagos and joined the market in 1994. From what I was told the market has been in existence since the late 1980s. Since then the market has grown so much that we can effectively provide any type of spare part you may require. Over the years the market has seen a lot of development.
Of worthy not is the fact that the market also boasts of automotive mechanics also know as automotive service technicians that inspect, diagnose, repair, convert, upgrade and servicing of automobiles, trucks and buses.
Just behind the market on Shotinoye Street, Mushin, a mechanic was fast at work converting a right wheel drive to a left wheel drive. According to him, converting a car from right to left wheel drive does not reduce the efficiency of the car. According to him once a conversion is professionally done, there will be no difference between a factory produced car and a converted car. He said that two important factors determine this alternation. The availability of the car dash board in the market as it is not advisable to convert the right dash board and steering wheel and the mechanic working on the car.