Summit unveils ways to boost textile industry
The Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) has advised the Federal Government to be strategic in its relationship with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It said trade liberalisation policies by the WTO had not revamped the country’s textile sector.
At its monthly research seminar themed: ‘Competitiveness of the Nigeria Textile Industry’, in Ibadan, Oyo State, NISER said the textile industry should be protected and given incentives to satisfy local demands and compete globally.
NISER attributed decline in the number of firms in the modern textile sector partly to inconsistent policies of various governments including the WTO agreement.
It also stated that ineffective monetary policies and exchange rate volatility often affected negatively the importation of raw materials used in the production of textile products.
A senior research fellow from the NISER group, Mr. Bashir Adelowo Wahab, recalled that there were about 128 modern textile firms in Nigeria in the 1980s. These decreased to less than 45 in 2008, with only 33 active in 2015.
Also, the Nigerian Textile Manufacturing Association (MTMA) has canvassed immediate ban on exportation of cotton from the country. MTMA’s Acting Director General, Mr. Hamman Kwajaffa, maintained that such restriction was required, since locally produced cotton was not enough for manufacturers of textile materials in the country.
Kwajaffa spoke during a public hearing on a bill for an act to establish the National Cotton, Textile and Garment Development Council. He described move to establish the council as a step in the right direction.
The founder, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, and other stakeholders in the garments industry also welcomed the idea, arguing it would boost the production of cotton in the country.
Secretary General, the National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Issa Aremu, said it was unfortunate that Nigeria, once a major producer of textile materials in Africa, had been relegated to the background due to policy somersault by successive administrations.