Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
United Furniture Dealers’ Association of Nigeria has commended federal government over the inclusion of members of the association in the N75 billion Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) scheme.
President of the association, Prince Emeka Egwuekwe, who made the commendation, however renewed the appeal for inclusion in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N50 billion COVID-19 stimulus package for households and small businesses in the country.
The federal government recently released the guidelines to access the Survival Fund and Support Initiatives, which took effect from September 21, 2020.
The scheme, which is the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan includes the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and the N15 billion Guaranteed Offtake Schemes.
He further lamented that the furniture manufacturing industry lost over N600 million during the COVID-19 lockdown, warning that several companies risk shut down after the pandemic.
According to him; “the government should look into our sector, the furniture industry because lots of furniture dealers would go out of business after this COVID-19 pandemic. As the president of the association, I want appeal to the government to look at ways of including members in the CBN N50 billion COVID-19 intervention loan, our members need this bailout loan as the furniture industry provides over 6,000 jobs. Visit Kugbo furniture market you will discover over 6,000 Nigerians earning their living at the market.
“I tell you that after this COVID-19 many companies will go extinct as most of our raw materials are imported from China, and since we have not been able to import for sometime and the companies are not working.
“So I am pleading with the federal government to include us in the bailout funds. We have lost over N600 million not only in revenue, this market has lost over N600 million because of the pandemic.
“The business aspect is closed people are crying and this is happening when the year was just picking so many imported goods but cannot clear it and others cannot replace their stock.
“As I speak so many are still loosing so much money as they cannot get their goods or bill of lading to clear the goods we are in quagmire and calling for government intervention to save our businesses,” he declared.