Industrialisation: Stakeholders outline practical measures to resuscitate Nigeria’s textiles industry

*Stakeholders say if textiles industry is revitalised, the sector could attract Foreign Direct Investment for massive industrialisation of the Nigerian economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For a long-neglected industry, stakeholders in the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector have urged the Federal and state governments to reposition the sector in order  to enable the industry to contribute to the economic development of the West African country.

The stakeholders stated this at the maiden edition of the Paul Sunday Achimugu CTG Annual Lecture Series in Abuja, FCT.

Organised by the Paul and Mary Achimugu Foundation, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State, who was the Guest Speaker on the occasion, said if properly repositioned, the CTG value chain would be a potential ‘gold mine’ for the country.

ConsumerConnect reports the Cotton Textile and Garment sector of the economy is one of the oldest industries in Nigeria.

“It was primarily active in the early sixties, but over the years, textile mills collapsed across the country and the sector became deflated,” noted NIRP Project.

The CTG Value Chain had been a vital and vibrant part of the Nigerian Economy in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Oshiomhole, spoke on the topic, “Repositioning the CTG Sector as the engine of growth for the Nigerian Economy”.

The ex-President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), also said that the textiles industry, if revitalised, could attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for massive industrialisation of the Nigerian economy.

According to him, the sector is a major employer of labour, second only to government that contributed to the nation’s GDP and the Foreign Exchange (Forex) earnings of the country at the time.

Oshiomhole further stated that due to some number of factors, the whole sector is currently in a state of near-total collapse, which requires urgent attention.

He said: “To revitalise and reposition the Nigerian CTG sector, the following important decisions and actions must be taken and followed through by government and the CTG stakeholders.

“Government must provide special tariff power; that is, gas and other energy sources for the CTG sector.

“Re-tooling for obsolete machinery, more aggressive and tighter control at the Nigerian borders to reduce the smuggling and influx of second-hand clothing.”

The former Edo State Governor noted: “Engagement with China at governmental level, special treatment for the CTG sector in terms of tax, finance and so on.

“Establish clusters like Industrial parks with shared facilities, convene another high level stakeholders’ CTG summit, among others.”

Also speaking at the forum, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Governor of Kano State,  said there must be sincerity and strong political will by the government to revive the sector.

Kwankwaso also stressed “no industry will survive let alone flourish without the government putting the right policies and support infrastructure in place.

“Supporting the production of cotton, that is, cotton farming and liberalising the import of modern textile machinery is the second step.”

The ex-Minister for Defence also noted that a multi-faceted action plan, including reducing the cost of power and energy, cutting bureaucratic bottlenecks, providing critical and strategic infrastructure to support industry growth, among others.

In his remarks, Dr. Anibe Achimugu, Chairman of Paul and Mary Achimugu Foundation, said that all hands must be on deck to revive the CTG sector in the country.

Achimugu stated: “Before late 90s, cotton was grown in abundance in Nigeria and cotton Lents sold to the textile industries to produce garments that flooded our markets and those of African countries.

“The CTG sector then was the second largest employer of labour after the Federal Government. However, this same cannot be told about the CTG sector today.”

The Chairman of the Foundation added for industrialisation and rapid employment to be achieved, the stakeholders must make deliberate efforts to revive the sector.

Kindly Share This Story