Nigeria is losing an estimated N450 billion annually to imported furniture, a trend experts say is inimical to the economy and the local furniture sub-sector.
The experts who spoke at the 2nd Furniture Expo held in Lagos at the weekend to boost local investors and manufacturers in the furniture subsector decried the absence of a strong government policy to encourage the local industry, noting that the failure to grow a strong and vibrant furniture sector had also contributed to the problem of unemployment in the country.
According to the Managing Director ofBKG Exhibitions Ltd, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, there existed huge potentials in the furniture subsector, which Nigeria was yet to effectively tap into.
He said the potentials in the industry for investors start from the three planting stage to the harvesting stage and the final production of the furniture.
“There are a lot of employment opportunities that could be generated from this sector if it is well encouraged by the government,” Agwu said.
“The demand for furniture products is very high considering Nigeria’s huge population of over 160 million people,” he said.
He explained that the development of the furniture sector would help to achieve the transformation agenda of the present government, which has its goal on wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction, adding that the multiplier effect of creating jobs and economic empowerment contributes to national stability and development.
He called for the need of collaboration between the public and private sector to move the sector forward.