Nigerian local manufacturers who are presently stifled by a lot of environmental challenges will obviously increase their contribution to economic growth, including employment creation if federal government ensures full implementation of the Procurement Act.
This was the view of Alero Imo, the managing director of Cyrus Kingdom Development Company, fully Nigerian furniture and joinery firm who regretted that government has not been supportive to local manufacturers, citing the procurement Act, and adequate power supply which she said has not worked.
The objective of the Public Procurement bill which was passed into law in 2016 by the Senate is to adopt local content which will favour local manufacturers and ensure speedy completion of projects.
The CEO called for continuous advocacy on the Act to ensure government adheres to its full implementation because of the inherent opportunities for local manufacturers and the economy.
Imo who said she strongly believes in Nigerian brand complained that the furniture and wood market is today experiencing unhealthy competition especially with importation from China and Europe. Reiterating similar comments by other operators in that industry, Alero said “It has been difficult contending with importation” in the face of other environmental challenges.
Imo who also said that Cyrus which specialises in the manufacture of furniture and joinery products as an alternative to the wholesome importation also cited electricity as another challenge for her company. “On working days, we have about four hours of electricity per day and the rest of the working hours we use generator to power our machines. This is a big cost on us”, she said.
However, Imo said that the challenges in the industry are though daunting but have not diminished the quality of Cyrus works. “In Cyrus, we build for international standard and our clients know that our products are of quality compared to imported ones”. It is worthy of note that at Cyrus, we manufacture quality doors and all types of furniture and kitchen cabinet. We also engage in home service where we build customised works for homes to suit taste”
Despite challenges facing the local manufacturers in furniture and joinery industry, the Cyrus managing director , has called on Nigerians to patronise locally made goods to promote the economy.
The company has also indicated its determination to deepen its operation to give consumers more value for their money.
As part of the company’s plans to raise the bar in the industry, Imo, disclosed that the furniture firm has consistently involved in training and retraining of artisans to bring the best out of them.
“We believe in originality and innovation and this has always reflected in our output, being doors, wardrobe, bed and kitchen furniture. At Cyrus, we have various segments with different machines for different task that can take like 17 workers at once. One thing we are always trying to achieve is to be on top of our game anytime, any day,’’ she said.
While stating that Cyrus equipment are latest in the market, to meet up with international expectation, the CEO pointed out that the company has various sections to prepare its products for exportation to other countries. The sections include; joinery section, spraying section room, finishing section and packaging section.
Speaking on how the company has weathered the storm in the last 20 years, Imo admitted that it has not been entirely rosy but was quick to point out that determination and poise for perfection have kept the company going.
“Looking back, the last 20 years have been very challenging and exciting, especially when we consider the peculiar challenges of our business environment and consumers’ apathy towards made-in-Nigeria goods. We found ourselves competing with global brands and this has helped us to deepen our operations as well as advancing in technology,’’
She however reiterated the need for Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods, stating that it is only through such patriotic endeavour that the country could grow its economy.
Imo further told journalists in her office in Yaba, Lagos that Cyrus which its journey started in 1996 has grown to a fully integrated manufacturing company with ultra-modern machines comparable to any in the world. “The company has become net employer of labour and has trained numerous artisans in the wood working trade”