They say from 175 textile industrial firms,Nigeria now has less than 20 firms
The Nigerian Textile Manufactures Association, NTMA, and Textile Workers, have called the Federal Government to help revive the dying textile industrial sector, which they believe only urgent intervention can keep alive.
The President of NTMA, Mr Folorunsho Daniyan, made the call in Lagos at a news briefing on the state of textile industry in the nation.
The theme of the event was; Nigeria’s textile industry and lack of competitiveness edge globally.
Mr Daniyan, who noted with displeasure that their membership has shrunk from 175 textile industrial firm in 1885 to less than 20 currently, expressed regret that the textile industry that could provide over 137,000 jobs in 1996 to 24,000 jobs in 2008, can only provide less than 20,000 jobs presently for Nigerians.
According to him, this is sad for an industrial sector that was once adjudged the highest employer of labour in the nation, around 1980, when it had manpower of 500,000 workers.
Mr Daniyan, enumerated the major factors responsible for the declining export capacity to include; loss of preferential market access in the European Union and United States, inconsistent implementation of Export Expansion Growth, EEG, policy, particularly a perennial backlog off EEG claims and inconsistencies in the implementation of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme.
He pointed out that the recent Nigerian Bureau of Statistics’ trade report for 2021 showed clearly that textile material was the most imported material into the country despite the ban of foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The President of Nigerian Textile Manufactures Association pointed out that imported textile accounts for over 95% of the market share in Nigeria.
Mr Daniyan, noted that the state of the industry particularly in the Northern part, made it worst by the heightened insecurity that is pushing away customers of the few existing industries and also discouraging new investment in the area.
He urged the governments to do more to provide the enabling environment for the revival of the textile industry in Nigeria and manufacturing activities in general.
Mr Daniyan also called on the Nigeria Customs Service to effectively combat smuggling to avoid cheap smuggled textiles products largely from China and other Asian countries to continue to dominate the local market.
The Director General of Nigerian Textile Manufactures Association, Mr Hamma Kwajaffa, suggested that a day or two should be assigned for civil servants and private workers to wear ankara or made in Nigeria fabric to work to encourage the patronage of locally made fabric.
The President of Textile Union, Mr John Adaji, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aid. He said the textile workers met the president on 3rd July, 2019 and he promised to give attention to the issues raised.
The Who is who in the textile industry attended the event.