Nigeria have laws protecting local craftsmen, farmers and artisans from foreign imports. Yet you won’t find fat cats in Asokoro, Maitama, Ikoyior Victoria Island ordering furniture from Sunny O in Dei Dei Lumberyards when they can import it from the latest IKEA catalog.
There is no shortage of talented carpenters and craftsmen in Nigeria. When I needed a table for my studio in Abuja I went to Deidei Lumberyard, there I was able to pick wood from a forest in Ondo State and had my choice of craftsmen right there to build a table with very minimal tools.
To encourage this industry the Nigerian government banned the importation of furniture. A symbolic gesture to appease the poor masses, what are the chances of Akintunde a Danfo driver in Ibadan ordering his new living room furniture from Ikea.
How do you tell the latest big money politician who just had his new castle in Maitama designed by a German/Arab architect, marbles and stones imported from Italy, security doors by American and Israeli companies, appliances and such from South Korea, Japan and Germany. All ideas and materials imported, slave labor courtesy of the Nigerian labor force. The castle is not complete without a Bentley and a Rolls Royce from England to adorn the garages.
How do you tell this dude to have his furniture designed and built in Deidei and not Moda Italian.