The Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, has said that the Federal Government plans to convert the Idu Industrial Centre located in Abuja, to a furniture and wood enterprise cluster is expected to help reduce foreign exchange leakages from furniture imports.
This according to the SMEDAN boss, the study which was conducted to ascertain the viability of industrial centres in the country, has shown that the Idu industrial layout had been selected for the pilot project for 2020 on development of industrial clusters across the country.
Radda said the proposed furniture and wood cluster would stem import of furniture from Dubai, Turkey and other parts of the world as all the machinery would be in place to equip entrepreneurs with the best tools to manufacture what Nigerians need.
He said SMEDAN would, however, ensure that the cluster meets all the standards required to have a world-class cluster for furniture and wood production.
He said after the pilot stage, SMEDAN would go into Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements with interested parties from the private sector to develop other industrial centres in Nigeria.
“The study recommended that the one in Idu should be converted into furniture and wood cluster, which will meet the global requirement. That is what we intend to achieve in 2020.”
The SMEDAN boss said money has been budgeted for project in 2020 budget and as soon as the funds are released, the project would be implemented, stressing that President Muhammadu Buhari would be invited to launch it.
He said the project would give people working in the furniture and woodwork sector of the economy a place to work, meet regulatory agencies and have modern working equipment.”The cluster will be where they will have their shops, and workshops will exist and have an independent power plant in the place so that whoever wants to do any work can go into our workshop, pay some money, do the work and go back to their shops.”