How government’s move against imported furniture helped local market – Ngene
The manufacturing sector in Nigeria has remained in limbo for very long that no one wants to take the plunge of delving into it, and those who were in the sector have had to close shops and looked elsewhere for other businesses.
But for those in the furniture sub-sector, the story has changed and the government though said to still have many to do have eased the situation.
This is the view of Lawrence Nonso Ngene, the Chief Executive Officer of No Limits Furniture Limited, based in Jos, Plateau State.
According to him, the furniture business in Nigeria is beginning to enjoy a boom, so much so, the foreign competitors who were enjoying relatively bigger patronage are beginning to close shops as the government is creating an enabling environment for the local manufacturers to thrive.
“The furniture business is very lucrative, no doubt about that, if only you know what you doing. The government has also indirectly encouraged local manufacturers by increasing the tariff on imported furniture. So, we can now compete favourably with the imported ones. Again, every home in Nigeria needs one piece of furniture or the other, there is hardly a home without furniture. Yes the economy is harsh, but we have been scaling through, by using these strategies; Producing a high quality furniture that can stand the test of time, making our pricing very affordable for all, bringing up contemporary and unique designs, providing sales promo during festive periods, these and many more are the strategies we use to break even in the industry,” he said in an interview.
The business administration graduate of University of Jos, who first opened his showroom in 2011 in Jos, noted emphatically that the pendulum has swung in favour of the local manufacturers of furniture, adding that he foresees a bright future for the furniture business.
He said, “The future for furniture business in Nigeria is very bright, people are beginning to see the gold mine in it. Even people who have no idea of the business are venturing into it with their money.
Ngene, however, lamented the impact of unstable power supply on the business. He noted that he spends a lot of money fuelling his generator sets.
“More needs to be done by the government in the area of power, and other infrastructures as these are also a major set back for virtually all manufacturing firms in Nigeria, especially power.
“As for the average Nigerian attitude towards local furniture, honestly it’s very encouraging, our market, for now, is local, and we are getting high patronage from our fellow Nigerians. And we expect more and more patronage and I can see in the near future the foreign furniture will have little or no patronage.”
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