FG to provide special fund to equip textile union workers
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Industrial Training Fund (ITF), to provide special funds for the training of members of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), to boost the implementation of Executive Order 003.
The President also defended the closure of borders, saying the action is aimed at boosting local production of commodities that Nigerians can produce.
Buhari, who was represented by the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof Josiah Ajiboye, said CBN and ITF should provide the training required for NUTGTWN members to meet the quality and quantity required in the production of local fabrics as specified by Executive Order 003.
Buhari added: “The existing 40,000 garments and textile workers must be trained and retrained; I will use this opportunity to call on the CBN to collaborate with your union and the ITF, to come in and encourage the union to provide funds to train and retrain the textile workforce in Nigeria.”He noted that NUTGTWN has the capacity to transform Nigeria’s rural economy, and revive the sector to bring about industries by creating more than two million jobs.
Buhari said: “In recent time, the CBN has taken a number of commendable efforts to encourage patronage of local fabrics towards driving economic policy. After series of engagements, the CBN initiated the signing of an unprecedented MoU between the Service Chiefs, Chief Executives of uniform services and textile garment manufacturers on the enforcement of Executive Order 003; on support of local content procurement, and I am glad to report to you that this is already yielding positive fruits.
“I am happy to tell you that all the uniform agencies, the military and paramilitary agencies are key-in already into this local initiative to make sure that they patronize our local garment industries for their uniforms.”On his part, the General Secretary of NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu, commended the Federal Government for the closure of land borders, which is aimed at reducing smuggling of goods into the country, saying the move was impressive because it has aided local production and consumption of goods.
Aremu stressed the need to sustain current efforts and support the Nigeria Customs to fight smuggling, adding that the garment industry has been boosted by the move.He added: “We will like to commend the efforts of the Federal Government in the closure of its land borders; this has helped in total overhaul of the textile and garment industries in the country. It is already on record that the textile industry is now making money, smugglers and importers have gone into hiding, and we should support the Nigeria Customs to do even more.”
However, he warned that the border closure should not be permanent, but for a short period.Aremu noted that within 31 years of existence of the union, industrial peace and harmony had been sustained through adherence to the principle of collective bargaining.He called on ITF to increase its intervention on worker’s training and skills development, as this has become imperative as the future of work is threatened by technology.
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