The current economic hardship in the country, Nigerian has forced scores of mobile phone users to head to the Abuja GSM Village for phone swap deals called ‘kankara.
The deal is an exchange of phones which give the users new handsets of their choice in exchange for their old ones at little cost. The deal has become a popular trend at the market located at the Wuse Zone One part of the Federal Capital city, with patronage cutting across all ages.
Phone users who may not have enough money for new ones prefer the exchange. However, the recent surge is not unconnected with the caveat by WhatsApp that it will de-list blackberry and some other mobile phones from its app from December.
The Abuja GSM Village is a bustling market for sellers of all sorts of phones and phone accessories, alongside artisanal services.
“The exchange entails a buyer handing over an old phone to a seller and getting a new or better one in return with just a little money added,” Mr Nonso Okoye, a trader at the market, said.
He said those involved preferred the exchange because they usually get the type of phone they wanted without paying the actual worth of it in direct cash transaction.
“Everybody wants to get a better version of handsets, but not everybody has the money to pay for it. So, `kankara’ offers the opportunity to get one’s choice phone with a little money.”
Another trader, Mr Ben Ibe, said sellers at the market usually make good profits from such exchanges as they would normally sell the exchanged phones at higher prices.
He however said they were not giving out phones in exchange without making sure that the profit from the transaction would be worth it.
“A customer may be given a phone whose cost is N35,000 for just N20,000, if he brings a phone that is worth N25,000. By the time I sell his old phone, I would have made a gain of N10,000.”
Miss Biola Ojo, who was at the market for a ‘kankara’ transaction, said she was there to swap her blackberry handset which had served her for too long.
She said she intended to exchange it for an upgraded version of any other phone that would be compatible with WhatsApp. The amount I will add to get another phone will depend on the quality of the new one offered to me,” she said In Nigeria, there is always a way to go round every difficult situation.