The Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has appealed to the Federal Government to provide the enabling environment for the revival of the textile industry and the manufacturing sector.
Mr Folorunsho Daniyan, President of the association, made the appeal during the NTMA/Textile Workers Union news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Daniyan noted that the textile industry was still confronted with challenges in spite of the efforts to revive the industry.
He said that the challenges confronting the textile industry include high-cost of production, uncompetitiveness; smuggling and counterfeiting of Made-in-Nigeria textiles, among others.
“The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has not effectively combated smuggling such that cheap smuggled textile products largely from China and other Asian countries continue to dominate the local market with little or no access to locally produced textiles.
“We, therefore, call on the NCS to be more patriotic and adopt new creative measures that must include consistent raid of warehouses of smugglers in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna, Onitsha and other cities of the federation.
“We also demand the establishment of a presidential task force made up of relevant stakeholders including the textile manufacturers and union with the power to confiscate goods smuggled into the country.
“Recall that a similar task force existed during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo,” he said.
Daniyan said that the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) might elude Nigeria if illegal imports of textile fabrics and other locally produced goods continue to flood Nigerian markets unchecked.
He acknowledged some measures by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Industry (BOI) to revive the industry.
Daniyan called for an urgent meeting with stakeholders to objectively review some of the measures and ascertain the level of success as well as the challenges.
The president said that lack of patronage was bane of the industry in spite of the Executive Order 003 on the patronage of locally produced goods.
He called on relevant agencies of government to comply with the Executive Order by patronising locally produced textiles to avert further factory closures and the attendant loss of jobs.
“A fully revived textile industry is capable of creating millions of jobs, addressing the security challenges in the country, and improving internally generated revenue.
“It can also reduce billions of dollars in import bills incurred annually on textile and apparel, safeguarding and earn foreign exchange for the country,” he said.
Daniyan appealed to state governments to complement the Federal Government’s efforts through creation of industrial policies that would revive closed factories in their localities.
He said that the policies should include the provision of infrastructure, granting of genuine tax incentives, and patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.
Also, Mr John Adaji, President, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), said that effective implementation of the Executive Order 003 of 2017 would facilitate rapid recovery of the textile industry.
According to the Executive Order, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement of goods and services.
Adaji said that the textile sector is a huge investment opportunity for the country if properly harnessed, thus called for the political will to resolve challenges confronting the industry.