He said: “I want the government to look at ways of including our members in the CBN N50b COVID-19 intervention loan. Our members need this bail out loan as the furniture industry provides jobs for millions of people.
“The government should look into our sector, the furniture industry, because if care is not taken, a lot of furniture dealers would go out of business after this COVID-19 pandemic,
“If you go to the Kugbo furniture market in Abuja here alone, you will discover that over 6,000 Nigerians are making their living from the market.
“I tell you that after this COVID-19 a lot of companies will go extinct as most of our raw materials are imported from China, and since we have not been able to import for sometime and the companies are not working.
“So I am pleading with the Federal Government to include us in the bail out funds. We have lost over N600million, not only in revenue, this market has lost over N600million because of the lockdown.
“The business aspect is closed. People are crying and this is happening when the year is just picking. So many people imported goods, but cannot clear them and others cannot replace their stock.
“I speak, so many are still losing so much money as they cannot get their goods or bill of lading to clear the goods. We are in a quagmire, and are calling for government’s intervention to save our businesses” he said.
The UFDAN president spoke in Abuja on Sunday where he distributed COVID-19 palliatives to some communities. He said he earlier gave out such palliatives in his home community of Enugu-Agidi.
Egwuekwe who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Prince Interior Furniture and Furnishing Company Limited, said he gave the palliatives in line with his belief in giving back to the society.
The communities in Abuja that benefited from the palliatives, which include bags of rice, noodles, hand sanitizers, face masks and cash, are Kugbo 1 and Kugbo 11.
Egwuekwe commended the Federal Government for its efforts to contain the virus and alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
He urged the government and its agencies, particularly the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, the Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 to display transparency and accountability in the disbursement of palliatives, including the conditional cash transfer, meant alleviate the hardship necessitated by the COVID 19 lockdown on millions of poor Nigerians