A CRITICAL STUDY OF THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF TIMBER BUSINESS ON ENUGU STATE (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU TIMBER DEALERS AND SAWERS ASSOCIATION KENYETA)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:
The twentieth century industrial revolution experience brought along with it technological developments and the expansion of business organization. As the need for individuals continued to increase, business continued to grow in number and scope so as to satisfy the increasing needs.
Before Nigeria gained her independence, import substitution was existing then as a means of industrializing our economy. Based on that our economy is purely based on production of Agricultural products. This aspect makes the economy to be the sole producer of agricultural inputs which fluctuates seasonally. Coupled with the fact that we are developing, many business organizations sprang up in the economy, many individuals went into industrialization to shape the future of our economy. To mention some few industries, which includes the timber industry, textile industry, automobile industry.
Because of the problems suffered by developing countries like Nigeria, these industries face different constraints and problems to date. The timber business has been in existence ever before the birth of Nigeria but for years, the classic image of timber business has been regarded as a mere local business run by illiterates and people of lower class in the society. However the timber business has changed dramatically. Timber business deals mainly with woods of all kinds, like Opepe, Obeche Nagzonia, Mahogany, Tick, Abora etc. These various kinds of woods serve as the main resources on which timber business based. It is an indispensable business in the country because of the services it is rendering to the stimulation of the economy. Is like other business encounters problems which could be social or economical in nature.
In spite of these problems encountered in the timber business, it has remained the pivot through which our economy is revitalizing today. This is seen in the roles performed by woods in our modern day life. Today, business is among the prime enterprises which is contributing to the economic growth and helps in alleviating some of the societal problems by providing technological products that enhance human well fare, like television magazines (papers) modern day furniture’s to mention a few are produced from wood processing.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Timber business in Enugu today is faced with a lot of problems just like their counter parts in other states of Nigeria. These problems go a long way to negate its growth and development in the country and thereby limiting its potential contributions to the development of the economy. Among such problems are general lack of funds by proprietors of the business and difficulty in raising it due to limited capital. Thus money to keep the business going and expanding are invariably a major handicap. There is lack of managerial acumen due to the proprietors limited education and training. A long side of this, it is lack of technological know –how . although there are many of these timber businesses in existence today, their impact in terms of the ever cherished industrialization of the country is still far fetched. They still operate within the limit of indigenous market research.
The dealers are confused by what is happening to their traditional markets in this fast moving commercial world. The dynamics of the business environment still look to them like a day dream. They are unable to conduct market survey, diversity their potential target markets and so on..
Above all, the timber business is faced with problems arising from government fiscal and monetary policies . in recent years, the tax climate and the governments business policies have placed serious restraints on the owners and the opportunities available to them.