Lagos – The Federal Government on Monday expressed its commitment to revive cotton, textile and garments industries through holistic approach to solve challenges in industrial sector.
Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Expressed this commitment during a facility tour of three textile companies in Ikorodu.
The companies are Spintex Ltd., Lucky Fibre Ltd and Nichemtex Ltd at Ikorodu, Lagos.
She said that government would employ a systemic approach that would cut across all sectors of the economy to make the solution sustainable.
According to her, the ministry would formulate favourable policies and engage the Nigerian Customs Service over indiscriminate dumping of foreign textiles and garments in the country.
“We want the sector to operate above average and government alone cannot do it, all stakeholders along the value chain have a role to play.
“The government’s responsibility is to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
“To bring back the glory of the textile industry, the manufacturers needs to uphold trust and integrity in their production.”
She advised the manufacturers to improve on their designs by making them more appealing to the younger generation, adding that this would help them to be competitive.
Abubakar said that all the ministers were concerned about the challenges of foreign exchange and were deliberating on finding a lasting solution to it for the development of the economy.
“Plans to diversify the economy is not an easy thing, manufacturers need to exercise more patience in the area of foreign exchange.”
She commended the Bank of Industry (BoI) for assisting the textile industries with the necessary finance for their operations.
“The tour has shown that the companies are operating below capacity, but the finance from BoI has helped to sustain them in business,“she said.
Mr Ping-Man Chun, Chief Executive Officer, Nichemtex Ltd, urged the government to assist in combating smuggling and counterfeiting of products.
“Ninety per cent of textile materials in the market were smuggled into the country. They also imitate the original version of our products.
“Government needs to protect intellectual property because we invest heavily in designs which are stolen through counterfeiting,“he said.
Mrs Kemi Ajibade, Human Resources Manager, Lucky Fibre Ltd, urged the government to prioritise access to foreign exchange for textile manufacturers to source raw materials for their production.
She also urged the government to address electricity challenges in the country, which she said, had affected their production.
Mrs Grace Adereti, the President, National Union of Textile Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN), urged the government to create an enabling environment for export of textile materials in the country. (NAN)