India urges Nigeria to become producing nation
Stakeholders seek economic diversity to boost foreign reserve
Consul General of India, Lagos, Chandramouli Kern, has urged Nigeria to leverage on existing structures and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to become a producing nation.
“You can make profit and even have a good business sector. But as a country, you cannot grow. There is no need to reinvent the chain. You can put value to the supply chain and cater to Nigeria and Africa. I see a very potent place for Nigeria in the AfCFTA because she has the experience and resources. With partnership with Indian big companies, you can supply to Africa,” Kern said.
The Consul General disclosed this at the African Textile and Apparel Manufacturing and Trade Policy Summit 2022, tagged, ‘Empowering Change: West Africa, the Next Frontier for Apparel Sourcing and Investment’, held in Lagos, yesterday.
President, Apparels and Accessories Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (AAMAN), Folake Oyemade, said although West Africa has a lot of potential to become the preferred apparel sourcing and investment destination of the world, it is limited.
She listed absence of ideal partnership between relevant government agencies, financial institutions and stakeholders as one of the challenges bedeviling the sector.
“We firmly believe that with concerted efforts from government bodies, relevant organisations, and taking advantage of AfCFTA, the West African apparel sector can revolutionise into a production hub,” Oyemade added.
Managing Director, Leoht Africa, Bunmi Aliyu, said the summit was designed to help African fashion businesses expand to the point of export and consequent generation of foreign exchange.
She said the sector needs a lot of support from the government to curb its challenges and make business viable.
According to Aliyu, who is also the event convener, platforms, like AfCFTA, would help reduce cost of production for a lot of businesses. She, however, said the nation should go beyond theories and implement policies, so that people can take advantage of the initiative.
Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande, who represented Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the “timely” summit would boost the states’ efforts towards empowering medium and small-scale enterprises.