Nigerian Furniture Makers Tuesday said that the country spends over $8 billion annually on importation of furniture.
Chairman, Kugbo International Market Traders Association (KIMTA) Abuja, Prince Emeka Egwuekwe, who spoke during a press briefing in Abuja said that the country loses millions daily from wood due to lack of attention.
Egwuekwe, while noting that furniture making has grown beyond local production, called on government to partner with the association especially in aspect of machineries and infrastructure.
He also said that with government partnership in furniture, it would generate revenue and create employment for Nigerians.
He said: “If the government provides machineries and power, we have the skills to produce whatever the country is importing yearly.
“The association’s wish is to attract developmental projects including getting the support of Federal Capital Territory Administration to have access to good roads, improve security network, provision of water and light.
He further called for the expansion of the market to accommodate all traders and those under apprenticeship so as to create an enabling environment for all.
Egwuekwe who specifically called for financial support from government under the present Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises entrepreneurship programme, added that the association would liaise with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to see how it can be of assistance in encouraging the export of furniture and woods from the country.
The Chairman noted that negotiation is ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to have a nationwide furniture association in order to enhance the market value of their products.
On other areas, he said the association wish is to attract developmental projects including getting the support of Federal Capital Territory Administration to tar the roads, improving the security network, provision of water and light.