“Indigenous Furniture Is Stronger, Durable And Affordable” -Mr. Sulaiman Ahmed, CEO ICNEL

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    Mr. Sulaiman Ahmed

    A visit to his showroom will make one wonder if those furniture on display are really Nigerian made. Ibunkunoluwa Construction Nigeria Enterprises Limited, the giant manufacturer of modern furniture really stands out amongst its contemporaries in the furniture making industry. This however prompted the crew of Metropolix Magazine/Online to inquire about the magic behind Mr. Sulaiman Ahmed foreign like furniture.

    Since Foreign Furniture Seem To Have Taken Over The Market, How Has Indigenous Furniture Makers Been Coping?

    I tell you my brother, it’s not been easy especially with the present economy but we thank God for everything. Concerning what you said about foreign furniture taken over the market I won’t agree with that conclusion because foreign furniture companies are just being patronized by minority. By minority I mean just 30% of Nigerians and they are the multimillionaires.
    If I tell you some people will visit their (foreign furniture companies) websites, copy picture of any furniture of their choice and bring to us and perfectly we do it and still remain stronger that those.

    Does That Mean You Can Make All Those Ready Made Furniture?

    And more better. The scope is whenever any customer brings a picture of what he wants, we always know it’s a foreign furniture. We check keenly and work to give them the best to convince them beyond any reasonable doubt that we can also do it. Many customers have come like that and we’ve not disappointed any for once.

    With All These Beautiful Furniture And This Location Don’t You Think It Might Be Difficult To Get Quality Customers?

    That is a very good question my brother, let me start from the question of location, we also thought it would limit us from getting to the outside world or being accessed by prosperous customers but our works won’t just stop speaking for us. Once any job is being delivered, it must bring in another one. I’m always very surprised to see things working like that.
    Besides, we have our delivery vehicles that take jobs to different locations with ease.

    We All Know It Is Not Easy To Stand As An Entrepreneur In This Country, How Have You Been Coping?

    That’s the normal slogan in Nigeria, ‘ko easy’ but we thank God we’ve been able to do and handle things accordingly. I won’t go beyond my boundary and won’t bite more than I can chew.

    With All These Beautiful Works, It seems Where You Get Your Raw Materials Are Different From Other Indigenous Furniture Maker?

    Not at all but I don’t compromise when it comes to getting quality materials. If at all buying quality materials may affect my profit , I will still go for the quality materials. And once you achieve that you’ll allow experts among your apprentice to handle it. Even with their touch, I still a times give a touch Nigeria how strong it is.
    Though I buy foreign materials but 80% of the materials are local from Nigeria.

    We All Know It Is Not Easy To Stand As An Entrepreneur In This Country, How Have You Been Coping?

    That’s the normal slogan in Nigeria, ‘ko easy’ but we thank God we’ve been able to do and handle things accordingly. I won’t go beyond my boundary and won’t bite more than I can chew.

    With All These Beautiful Works, It seems Where You Get Your Raw Materials Are Different From Other Indigenous Furniture Made.

    Not at all but I don’t compromise when it comes to getting quality materials. If at all buying quality materials may affect my profit , I will still go for the quality materials. And once you achieve that you’ll allow experts among your apprentice to handle it. Even with their touch, I still a times give a touch Nigeria how strong it is.
    Though I buy foreign materials but 80% of the materials are local from Nigeria.

    So How Do You Want Nigerian Government To Assist You Entrepreneurs?

    Some years ago, I think when Babatunde Fashola was still Lagos State we staged a peaceful protest and marched to Alausa. The reason for that was because we heard government still orders foreign furniture every year end to replace older ones. Why would they do that when we are still here and paying our taxes. So what I will tell President Buhari is to work very fast to equip our financial/ banking sector or make provision for where to have access to loans, we need this. After this we should not be heavily taxed.

    Any Proposed Branch At the Moment?

    Yeah, Ikeja, Lekki, Badagry even beyond Lagos are in our agenda and I’m very sure we will achieve it.o

    Do You Want Nigerian Government To Assist You?

    Some years ago, I think when Babatunde Fashola was still Lagos State we staged a peaceful protest and marched to Alausa. The reason for that was because we heard government still orders foreign furniture every year end to replace older ones. Why would they do that when we are still here and paying our taxes. So what I will tell President Buhari is to work very fast to equip our financial/ banking sector or make provision for where to have access to loans, we need this. After this we should not be heavily taxed.

    So Any Arrangement To Open Another Branch Inside Lagos Metropolis?

    Yeah, Ikeja, Lekki, Badagry even beyond Lagos are in our agenda and I’m very sure we will achieve .

    Finally Where Do You See This Company In Another Five Years?

    Wow!! Thank God we started operating this workshop and hope you can see the number of workers and products on display. My project for this company is beyond Nigeria, I want all the neighboring countries to have a feel of what we are offering.
    In another five years I believe Ibunkunoluwa Construction Nigeria Enterprises Limited will be registered in one or two West African countries.

    How Do You Want Nigerian Government To Assist You?

    Some years ago, I think when Babatunde Fashola was still Lagos State we staged a peaceful protest and marched to Alausa. The reason for that was because we heard government still orders foreign furniture every year end to replace older ones. Why would they do that when we are still here and paying our taxes. So what I will tell President Buhari is to work very fast to equip our financial/ banking sector or make provision for where to have access to loans, we need this. After this we should not be heavily taxed.

    So Any Arrangement To Open Another Branch Inside Lagos Metropolis?

    Yeah, Ikeja, Lekki, Badagry even beyond Lagos are in our agenda and I’m very sure we will achieve it.

    Will You Allow Any Of Your Male Children To Do This If He Develops Interest?

    Not about interest every of my male children will go through my tutelage on this job. Even though he won’t later have it as his profession but the experience must be there. One of them (pointed to his son) is here, I don’t give him any preferential treatment because I want him to learn too.

    Finally Where Do You See This Company In Another Five Years?

    Wow!! Thank God we started operating this workshop and hope you can see the number of workers and products on display. My project for this company is beyond Nigeria, I want all the neighboring countries to have a feel of what we are offering.
    In another five years I believe Ibunkunoluwa Construction Nigeria Enterprises Limited will be registered in one or two West African countries.

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