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Operator decries skill shortage in furniture industry

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The Chief Executive Officer of DO.II Designs Ltd, Ifeyinwa Ighodalo has shed light on the hurdles faced by Nigeria’s furniture industry, highlighting a significant skill gap and scarcity of dollars.

Addressing journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, Ighodalo disclosed these challenges while also unveiling the upcoming DO.II Big Black Friday sales.

She said the impact of the scarcity of dollars and high exchange rates is evident in the market prices of furniture items.

Ighodalo revealed that more than 80 per cent of the raw materials required for manufacturing designs and furniture are locally sourced, while the remaining 20 per cent are imported.

He added that the company imports some items, such as conference tables, to cater to diverse clientele needs.

From imported fabric to decorations, Ighodalo acknowledged the industry’s progress in reducing reliance on foreign sources.

However, she noted the continuous challenge of fluctuating prices, even within short timeframes, affecting operational costs.

Notably, she expressed concern about the insufficient tree planting in Nigeria, allowing the Western World to exploit this oversight.

Ighodalo said, “Some of those who are not able to import directly come to DO.II Designs Ltd because of the dollar challenge.”

She stressed that, before considering furniture purchases, individuals must contend with essential needs like food, rent, and other necessities.

Despite these challenges, Ighodalo recognised Nigeria’s pool of talented individuals but emphasised the need for training to refine these “rough diamonds.”

She proposed the establishment of a training school, advocating for the recruitment of skilled masters from around the world to contribute to the industry’s growth.

Commenting on the DO.II Big Black Friday, Ighodalo revealed that the event has been an annual tradition for the past 5 to 6 years, held in November on Black Friday.

She said the sale aims to offer opportunities for customers to engage with and benefit from the offerings of DO.II Designs Ltd.

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