Textile workers seek implementation of Executive Order 003
Having identified lack of patronage as one of its major problems, workers in the cotton, textile and garment (CTG) industry have said that Executive Order (EO) 003, if fully implemented, will facilitate the recovery of the sector.
The workers noted that the sector was a huge opportunity for Nigeria if local production could be increased through effective implementation of the order. President of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), John Adaji and acting Secretary-General, Ali Baba, said this in a communique issued at the end of the union’s zonal workshop and 82nd Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting at the Lagos sub-secretariat.
He assured the union would intensify the campaign to ensure relevant agencies of government complied with the executive order by patronising locally produced textiles.
While commending the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the direct intervention to address the cotton scarcity challenge, he urged President Buhari to ensure the holistic implementation of the CTG policy.
The NUTGTWN boss, who stated that cotton was an essential input for textile production, maintained that the industry remained a critical plank for addressing the current unemployment challenge in the country.
He said President Buhari’s vision to create 100 million jobs within a decade was realisable if the textile industry is fully revived.
According to him, Nigeria’s CTG sector alone can create over five million jobs, improve internally generated revenues, reduce over $4 billion import bill incurred annually on textile and apparel and conserve foreign exchange for the country.
On intervention to ameliorate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy and the textile industry in particular through palliatives, the union commended the CBN for the N50-billion bailout for the ailing textile industry at 4.5 percent interest rate.
The textile boss said the measures have helped to save over 15,000 existing jobs in the industry, adding that the sector did not record any job loss over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The union sought a further reduction in the interest rate and extension of the moratorium, given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on textiles.
Despite efforts to revive the industry, the workers said the sector was still confronted with many challenges like inadequate and costly electricity supply, smuggling which is still endemic, poor patronage, poor infrastructure, high taxation and interest rates and the falling value of the naira.
Even as they commended officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) having recorded modest achievements in combating smuggling, the workers said more work needed to be done.
Adaji said: “NCS should come out with the new creative measures that must include consistent raids of the warehouses of smugglers in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna and other cities.”
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