From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Director General of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Hamma Ali Kwajaffar has called on the federal government to revive textile industries to address issues of unemployment and insecurity in the country.
The textile man also frowned at the inability of the federal government to implement executive orders on local content which would have increased local production and subsequently reduce demand for foreign exchange.
Kwajaffar stated this while presenting a paper titled ‘Challenges facing textile manufacturing and the way forward” at the maiden Kaduna Textile, Garment and Fashion Fair (KATGAFF) with the theme; Effective measures to revitalise the textile value chain”, organised by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).
According to him, due to little or non-implementation of the executive orders on local content, Nigeria is ranked the second importer of champagne in the world.
To him, “Government must ensure textile comes back because it will help to reduce the burden of unemployment which is partly responsible for insecurity in the land especially here in the North.
“For example, when textiles were working in Kaduna, we have lesser crime rate because there was legitimate something for everyone to do once they get to the textiles.
“As a matter of fact, when textile workers close for the day’s work in Kakuri back then, people will know as workers cross the roads in large numbers.
“So, we need to be an industrial country and to do that, we must have a minimum of 30,000 megawatts to supply 22 hours of electricity because of the nature of some of the equipment used in the manufacturing sector as well as to check avoidable wastage in the production chain.
“We also need stable forex in commercial banks. We wondered how politicians were able to get the forex they shared to delegates during the last primary elections but those in the production sector could not.
“The primary and post-primary school uniform policy the federal ministry of industry, Trade and Investment promised is still not achieved. We are aware most people still go outside Nigeria to acquire these uniforms, which can be produced locally thereby saving the country scarce foreign exchange.
“NTMA request that the policy is launched and sourcing of school uniforms be done locally with responsible ministry enforcing it. If implemented, the multiplier effect will be great”, he said.