SMEDAN Boosts Furniture Exports, Supports Cluster with Funding

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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has reaffirmed its commitment to facilitating the export of products from the Kugbo Furniture Clusters Association as a step towards promoting the export of made-in-Nigeria products.

The Director General and CEO of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, made the commitment during a visit to the furniture production hub in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Mr. Odii emphasised SMEDAN’s dedication to supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in enhancing their product quality to meet international standards.

He stated that SMEDAN is prepared to provide machinery and access to funding to improve production and product finishing, enabling Nigerian furniture to compete globally.

“This effort will not only foster competitive parity with global products but also stimulate export potential within the furniture industry and generate employment opportunities for Nigerian youths,” Mr. Odii said.

Accompanied by the Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Moshood Lawal, Mr. Odii highlighted the current administration’s focus on accelerating economic development and job creation as a solution to unemployment.

He stressed that adequately supporting nano, micro, small, and medium enterprises is crucial for achieving these goals. His visit aimed to gather firsthand information on the challenges facing the furniture cluster.

Also Read: SMEDAN Launches Document to Promote Made-in-Nigeria Products

The Coordinating Chairman of the Kugbo Furniture Cluster, Mr. Sebastian Emeningi, welcomed the DG’s visit and outlined several challenges, including low patronage by government agencies, limited funding for modern machinery, and a lack of training opportunities.

Mr. Emeningi also mentioned attempts by foreign furniture companies, supported by their governments, to push local businesses out of the market.

In response, Mr. Odii announced the establishment of a Common Facility Centre in Idu, equipped with state-of-the-art machines and equipment for the furniture makers’ use.

Mr. Odii added that a logistics company has been arranged to distribute finished products nationwide, enhancing their competitiveness and enabling exports to West African and European markets.

He further revealed that the agency has partnered with Sterling Bank to provide a 5 billion naira loan facility for eligible members of the furniture cluster. He emphasised that SMEDAN’s support would include comprehensive training and empowerment programs on modern production techniques.

In a show of support, Mr. Odii granted the association 800,000 naira and promised to provide working tools for many of its members. The association members are scheduled to visit SMEDAN to inspect the industrial machines at the Common Facility Centre later.

Source Press Release

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