Textile Industry Wants MDAs To Patronise Local Textiles | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Textile Industry Wants MDAs To Patronise Local Textiles

Posted: Aug 10, 2016 at 4:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has charged the Federal Government to persuade its MDAs to source all their uniforms from the local textile mills to boost their production.

This is contained in a statement issued by Hamma Kwajaffa, the Director General of NTMA on Wednesday in Abuja.

Kwajaffa also called on the Federal Government to check the influx of counterfeit smuggled textiles and take action against those that use Nigerian trademarks on the imported ones.

Under the dual exchange rate policy being currently pursued by the industry, the director general called on CBN to allocate forex at official rate for the industry to import essential raw materials by the textile mills.

He lamented that Nigeria was currently spending over $4 billion annually to import textiles and readymade clothes.

Kwajaffa said that most of the imported textiles could be found at Kantin Kwari in Kano, Balogun and Oshodi in Lagos.

“Influx of smuggled goods continues to flood major textile markets in Lagos and Kano State; textile importation did not only undermine the local industry but steal our jobs.

“It deprived government of revenue; it is a drain on Nigeria’s precarious foreign exchange reserves,” he said.

He said that Nigeria had the potential to produce for the local market and to export to the ECOWAS market of 175 million people.

He said that Nigeria also had the potential to produce for the U.S. under AGOA and EU GSP Scheme which Kenya, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar and a number of African countries were already exploiting.

Kwajaffa said that textiles used to be Nigeria’s foremost industry being the second largest employer of labour after government and utilising indigenous raw materials such as cotton.

He said, however, that in spite of government intention to revive the sector, the reality on ground continued to be worrisome.

“The prevailing unprecedented harsh environment has dealt seriously on the already fragile industry.

“Unless government takes urgent steps to address key issues raised by the industry, the ray of hope that has arisen from the recent government initiatives may get extinguished.

“Other developing countries are helping their textile industry in many ways due to its high employment potential.

“Nigeria’s huge population of over 165 million people represents a large natural market for textiles.”

According to him, India which is the second largest textile producer in the world after China, recently announced $1 billion incentive package for the textile and apparel industry to create 10 million jobs in three years.

“We commend the interest shown by the government in reviving the Nigerian textile industry in the past six months.”

He said that the industry had listed eight specific issues to the notice of government to intervene within the ambit of existing policy framework whereas some require new initiatives.

“Re-scheduling of the CTG loan facility by the Bank of Industry to 10+2 years was agreed by the government and for this to be effective, a notification is still awaited.”

He called on government to review the tariff on gas supplied to the industry in naira to make it affordable.

He said that scarcity of black oil had crippled the operations of the textile mills in the North, adding that there “is need to ensure availability of the oil to the textile mills through direct allocation from Kaduna and other refineries.”

He called for consistent supply of certified seeds to ensure adequate supply of cotton to local textile industry.

According to Jaiyeola Olarewaju, the former Director General of NTMA in the statement, the benefits from a competitive textile industry in Nigeria “are numerous”.

Olarewaju said that greater demand for cotton would boost the income of Nigerian farmers.

“Government needs to walk the talk and fulfill the assurances given to the sector,” he said.