Workers want government to incorporate revival of textile industry into economic plan
Workers in the textile industry have urged the Federal Government to incorporate the revival of textile firms into the framework of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
The workers argued that there must be a state-led industrialisation process in collaboration with private capital to consciously add value, create factories, and mass jobs to engage the unemployed population.
The textile workers under the aegis of National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), made the submission during its 40th anniversary celebration, and 30th anniversary of annual education conference, with the theme, ‘NUTGTWN@ 40: Repositioning Labour and Industry for the Next 40 Years’.
In his remarks, its General Secretary, Issa Aremu, noted that Nigeria needs good governance like in the 60s that ensured Nigeria made and consume what it produced, as well as halt capital flight through massive importation.
Going down memory lane, Aremu expressed regret that the first textile mill in Nigeria, Kaduna Textile Limited (KTL), and other textile mills, which started declining in the early 90s have been shut down permanently since 2002 with thousands of workers laid off, and some yet to be fully paid.
He called on the government to take practical steps to revive the industry that created thousands of jobs for Nigerians during its glorious days.
He declared that as the 2019 general elections approaches, textile workers, and indeed organised labour, would only vote for candidates that are committed to sustainable industrial development.
On his part, the President of NUTGTWN, John Adaji, called for the immediate implementation of the Federal Government’s Executive Order on made in Nigeria goods.
He also said all the uniforms for government agencies, schools, markets and hotels among others should be procured locally, to boost the economy and resist dumping.
He bemoaned the challenges posed by unrestrained smuggling and importation of cheap and sub-standard goods facing the sector, noting that the factors control about 90 per cent of the market.
On the theme of the union’s 40 anniversary and 30th national education conference, Adaji stressed the need to reflect on the union’s achievements and challenges over the past 40 years, using the lessons learnt to chart the path for the revival of the textile industry and the union’s continuous transformation.