Nigeria’s Textile Industry on the Brink: Calls for Government Intervention

The textile industry faces a critical challenge: 90% of textile products worth $4 billion are imported annually. Government efforts to revive the sector intensify amid this alarming revelation

In a startling revelation, the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has sounded the alarm over the precarious state of Nigeria’s textile sector.

At the heart of their concerns lies a stark statistic: a staggering 90 per cent of textile products, valued at over $4 billion annually, are imported into the country.

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This revelation comes amidst efforts by the federal government to devise strategies aimed at breathing new life into this vital but moribund industry.

Addressing delegates at the 13th National Delegates Conference in Abuja, John Adaji, the Immediate past President of NUTGTWN, underscored the urgent need for government intervention.

He called upon the authorities to enact policies aimed at revitalizing the industry, citing its potential to create up to 2 million jobs and significantly reduce Nigeria’s hefty import bill on textiles and apparel.

Adaji laid bare the underlying issues plaguing the domestic textile sector, chief among them being the exorbitant cost of production. He attributed this to poor infrastructure and prohibitively high energy costs, factors that continue to undermine the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

Furthermore, despite the government’s Executive Order 003 mandating increased procurement of locally produced goods by government agencies, the textile industry grapples with low patronage, exacerbating its woes.

Drawing parallels with South Africa’s textile sector, which faced a similar downturn due to lack of local patronage and influx of imported goods, Adaji highlighted the transformative impact of conscious government intervention.

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Through initiatives such as the “Buy South Africa” Campaign, the South African government successfully revived its textile and clothing sector, creating numerous job opportunities in the process.

Echoing Adaji’s concerns, Amb. Nura Rimi, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to resuscitating the textile industry.

Rimi underscored the sector’s potential to once again become a significant revenue generator for the nation.

The dire state of Nigeria’s textile industry paints a sobering picture of the challenges facing the country’s manufacturing sector. Beyond the immediate economic implications, the decline of this industry threatens the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians employed within its supply chain.

The ramifications extend further, as the nation grapples with the adverse effects of over-dependence on imported goods and the erosion of its industrial base.

Amidst these challenges, there remains a glimmer of hope. The collective call to action from industry stakeholders, coupled with the government’s expressed commitment to intervention, presents an opportunity for meaningful change.

However, this will require decisive policy measures, targeted investments in infrastructure, and concerted efforts to promote local production and consumption.

As Nigeria stands at a crossroads, the fate of its textile industry hangs in the balance. The decisions made in the corridors of power in the coming months will not only shape the future of this vital sector but also determine the trajectory of the nation’s economic growth and industrial development.

Now, more than ever is the time for action to secure a brighter future for Nigeria’s textile industry and the millions whose livelihoods depend on its revival.

 

This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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