Stakeholders in the textile industry Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital urged the Federal Government and government officials at all levels to as a matter of policy wear clothing from fabrics made in the country and in that way, encourage the textile industry.
They stated this at the 28th Annual National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) and the Nigerian Textile, Garment and Tailoring Employers Association (NTGTEA).
The President of NUTGTWN, John Adaji urged President Muhammadu Buhari to shift from rhetoric to practical actions about the nation’s textile industry saying that the achievement of Buhari can only be measured by the success he is able to achieve in reviving the textile sector.
On his part, the Director General NTGTEA, Hamman Kwajjaffa called for a bail out adding that the poor electricity supply remained a major challenge in reviving the ailing textile sector.
He lamented the smugglers have taken over the textile market bringing goods from Asia and other parts of Europe. He said the height of the compromise in the sector was the recent raid by the Nigerian Customs of some warehouses where smuggled textile materials worth N350 billion were seized.
The General Secretary of NUTGTWN and National Vice President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Isa Aremu, said the recent re-orientation launched by President Muhammadu Buhari should start from members of his cabinet.
“The new change manra must start from the textile industry. The president, Vice president, ministers, must appear in made in Nigeria textiles.
“Our school uniforms, military and para-military uniforms, uniforms of the NYSC should be made in Nigeria with Nigerian fabrics, we must patronise what we produce at home. Secondly, we need uninterrupted power supply because the cost of production is very high”
In her response on behalf of the federal government, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar said it is working out ways to ensure that made in Nigeria textile is patronise by Nigerians.
Represented by a Director in the ministry, Barnabas Jattau, the minister disclosed that there is presently an ongoing discussion with Nigeria military and Para-military, to patronise made in Nigeria textile for their uniforms.
While noting that this is one of the government plan to revive the textile industry in the country, the minister said other plans include reduction in the cost of production, as well as checking smuggling.
According to her, the government is presently in a high level discussion with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on how to stop smuggling of textiles materials into the country through the nation’s border posts. “The other plan is to reduce production cost, especially in the reduction in the cost of gas. We are working out ways to change gas pricing from dollar to naira.
“The federal government is passionate about reviving the industry, which is why we are working our ways to see that our military and other security agencies use Nigeria textile for their uniforms,” she stated.