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Labour Raises Alarm Over Nigeria's $4 Billion Annual Spending on Textile Imports

About 90 percent of textile products in Nigeria valued at over $4 billion are imported into the country annually, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has stated.

This is even as the federal government reveals strategies aimed at reviving the moribund sector.

Immediate past President of NUTGTWN, John Adaji, who disclosed this at the opening session of the just concluded 13th National Delegates Conference of the union in Abuja, called on the Federal Government to initiate policies aimed at reviving the moribund industry.

“90 percent of textile products in Nigerian markets today are imported. The government should revive and invest in the textile industry in order to create 2 million jobs in the country and as well reduce over $4 billion import bill incurred on textile and apparels annually,” he stated.

Adaji lamented the high production cost of textile materials in the country, which he attributed to poor infrastructure and high energy cost.

He further noted that the industry continues to experience low patronage, particularly from government agencies and parastatals in spite of the Federal government’s Executive Order 003 which mandates Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to spend more of their budgets on locally produced goods.

Referencing the South Africa’s clothing and textile sector which experienced a lull due to lack of local patronage and dumping of imported textile materials, he however noted that because of conscious efforts on the part of the South Africa government through “Buy South Africa” Campaign, the textile and clothing sector has been revived with many jobs created.

Meanwhile, also speaking at the conference, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Amb. Nura Rimi, expressed the desire of the government to revive the sector to its revenue generating status.

Rimi said the government had initiated lots of reforms geared towards resuscitating the sector, particularly in policy development and implementation to impact on both the industry and the economy.

According to him, the sector in the past employed at least 450,000 Nigerians, in over 170 textile mills throughout the country.

He said that the ministry was currently finalizing the textile adjustment tax levy, and stressed that the prospects and challenges in the CTG sector need cross- cutting efforts and strategic action by both government agencies, including the private sector to achieve the desired result.

Rimi some of the strategies put in place to ensure the sector’s revitalization include a grant of N100 billion for purchase of equipment, delivery of seeds to cotton producers, issuance of Import Duty Exemption Certificates to duty-free machinery and spare parts importers and Federal Government’s Executive Order 003, to boost local patronage and increase market access in the sector.

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