The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has been directed by President Muhammad Buhari to establish agro-allied industry in each state of the federation.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, confirmed the development when a delegation from the Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria led by its chairman, Haruna Pambeguwa, visited her office.
Katagum said the decision to establish agro-allied industry in each senatorial district in the country is part of government’s efforts to achieve food security and stimulate economic activities to eradicate hunger in the country.
The minister said the Federal Government would give necessary support towards the development of the cotton, textile and garment sectors of the economy.
The textile industries, in the last few years have been facing various challenges, which had resulted in the closure of over 150 textile firms in Nigeria, with a loss of over two million jobs. Farmers and processors in the sector have had to deal with low quality seeds, rising operating cost and weak sales due to high energy cost of running factories, smuggling of textile goods, and poor access to finance.
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, smuggling of textile goods alone is estimated to have cost the nation an import bill of over $4 billion.
The trade minister said “government is very much interested in growing the economy, looking at other areas like cotton, textile, garment, grains, tomatoes, we need to add value. “Mr. President has directed that in every senatorial district, we should establish an agro-allied industry and we know some industries exist, but, you can assist us in identifying the agro-allied industries that will be suited for you.”
On the border closure, she said the government has learnt a lot of lessons from the exercise, one of which is that Nigeria can produce what it needs.