Kano residents protest presence of Chinese textiles in their market
As Chinese envoy inaugurates bilingual college
THOUSANDS of local fabric dyers yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration against the importation of Chinese textile and engagement of the expatriates in retail sale of fabrics in Kano Market.
The protesters, under the aegis of Masu Rini Progressive Association, walked from the popular Kori Market, flaunting placards with inscriptions such as “We don’t want China products in Kano again;” Government should stop China from exploiting us;” “Chinese textile is killing our market,” terminated their demonstration at the Emir’s palace where they lodged their complaints before the Emir.
Chinese fabrics dominate Kano Market with large-scale trailer loads of imported textiles offloading into the local markets on a daily basis.
Although the price of Chinese textiles cost less compared with the locally manufactured ones, the foreign fabrics attract more patronage due to their refined texture, a businessman confirmed.
This event happened just as the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Gu Xian Jie, yesterday commissioned a bilingual college at Kwankwaso village, the country home of governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, assuring of China’s continual support to promoting socio-cultural and business partnership with the people and government of Kano.
Secretary of the dyers association Yakubu Lawal Ishaq told journalists at the Emir’s palace that the Chinese may soon render over 30, 000 dyers and traders jobless if given the enabling place for the imported textiles to flourish in Kano.
Yakubu alleged that the foreign fabrics had crashed the local market and rendered the textile business less competitive to the detriment of the local products.
He lamented: “Initially, the Chinese were mainly in the sale of white fabrics and chemicals for the manufacturing of textiles but suddenly they started selling low quality to us and later they started importing the same textile we produce here. They have also spoilt the price.
For instance if we sell for N3000 the Chinese people will sell their own for N2000. Although the dyers did not advocate for outright expulsion of the Chinese fabrics in the state, they called for the enforcement of the Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Act and International Trade Policy to regulate indiscriminate infiltration of Chinese fabrics into Kano market
. Emir of Kano, Mal. Muhammadu Sanusi II cautioned the protesters to refrain from any act capable of resulting to violence in the course of agitating over their plight.
While exonerating the Chinese of any blame for the importation, the emir condemned federal government’s negligence in the handling of illegal goods into the country. Sanusi, who pledged to intervene in the matter, urged the local dyers to be patient and to resist any attempt that would lead to untold attack on the Chinese in Kano.
The Chinese Ambassador said, “ the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, we congratulate you on the commencement of Chinese Bilingual College and best wishes to the school.
Let me assure you that our government will sustain the college”. Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso explained that the establishment of the college is part of his administration’s policies on human development, adding that the government was delighted over the collaboration with Chinese government for making the school project a reality.