Kano – The Leather Works Association in Kano State has called on Government and indigenous business men to establish more leather industries in the state to break the monopoly of foreigners in the sector.
The Secretary of the association, Alhaji Karami Garba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kano.
Garba said the call was necessary because most of the leather industries in the state were owned by foreigners.
‘’If the monopoly of foreigners in the leather business is to be broken, the Nigerian business community and the government as well, must intervene.
‘’As I am talking to you now only 25 per cent of the leather industries here are owned by Nigerians, while the remaining 75 are owned by foreigners,’’ he said.
According to the secretary, most of the leather materials produced by the industries were not meant for Nigerian consumers but for export to other countries such as Spain and Russia.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
‘’Nigerians buy only the ‘reject’ (the damaged leather pieces) because the exported leather is being bought in US dollars.
‘’Most of the foreign companies buying the leather usually place orders before it is exported to their countries,’’ he said.
Garba lamented that the situation had impacted negatively on the business, thereby making it unattractive and less lucrative.
‘’Because only the ‘reject’ are sold to us, that is why it is cheap. For the past three years the price of leather has been stable in Kano,’’ he said.
He said breaking the monopoly would also help to provide more job opportunities to the teeming unemployed persons in the state.
He also complained that lack of enough government support to dealers of hides and skin, shoemakers and makers of other leather products had also contributed to the low returns in the business.
According to him, the last time the state government gave loan facility to the association was during the immediate past administration of Gov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso.
‘’About a year ago, an International organisation, ‘JAMES’, disbursed N20 million as interest-free revolving loan to some shoemakers in the state.
‘’So, if the gesture continues, it will boost the business,’’ Garba said.
On challenges facing leather industries in the state, the secretary said inadequate power supply was the major cause for the collapse of most of the industries in the state, but that the raw materials were still available and obtained at cheap rates. (NAN).