Oyemike Onaham, has urged the Federal Government to curb foreign exchange wastage on furniture importation by empowering indigenous furniture producers.
Onaham, Managing Director of the ongoing 1st made in Nigeria furniture fair, made the call while visiting stands at the exhibition on Sunday in Abuja.
He added that government empowerment with loans and grants would boost local production of world class furniture products and effectively curb importation.
“Government injection of fund and other policy support will open up the potentials of this multi-billion naira sector to the teeming youths for self employment.
“The present federal administration is a responsible and serious government, I therefore, appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to facilitate the empowerment of furniture industrialists by providing special support loans and possible grants to industrialists in the sector,” Onaham said.
He disclosed that furniture production business had been profitable for local and foreign companies in the country.
He said “the sector is almost still at virgin level with a huge potential for growth, employment and even exportation”.
Onaham said “Nigeria is one of the countries in the world blessed with amazing varieties of wood, including hard and water proof ones, which are suitable for production of dazzling and diverse furniture products for homes, offices, factories, vehicles among others ”.
“Since no one can do without furniture, it is now necessary that government pays full attention to the furniture industry,” he said.
Onaham added that funds assistance and patronage by the federal, state and local governments, and corporate organisations would boost the furniture industry and make it attractive to youths.
“Once there is patronage by governments as a policy, it will be easy for corporate organisations to follow suit and thereby expand employment opportunities in the sector,” Onaham noted.
The first Made in Nigeria Furniture Trade Fair is being organised by Baca Furniture Products Limited.
It urged prospective participants to contact organisers through – 08050535537 and 07038606995 for enquiries on how to ensure the growth of the industry.