The Nigerian Government on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to revive the lost glory of the country’s Cotton, Textile and Garment industry for sustainable economic development.
Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment Mrs Aisha Abubakar, said this at the Textile and Garment Manufacturing Conference organised by Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) 2016 in Lagos.
Mrs Abubakar said that the government was passionate about promoting growth in the industry and across its value chain.
The minister said that the government would continue to create an enabling environment to promote the ease of doing business and active participation of the private sector to boost production.
According to her, SMEDAN and BOI have been repositioned to implement NEDEP goals to boost SME development in the country.
She stressed that government initiatives toward stimulating growth in the industry included tax incentives, harmonised tax, infrastructural development and financing.
Abubakar said that the government was looking at creating production hub for Cotton industry and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
She said: “Nurtured MSMEs can contribute to GDP, job creation and wealth for the citizens.
“We urge all stakeholders to contribute to economic growth by giving their best so that we can have a Nigeria that we can all be proud of.”
Mr Abiodun Akinkunmi, the Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State said that textile and garment industry had a strategic role to play in economic development.
He said, “Africa is behind in terms of industrialisation because it has become over supplied with garments from China and used clothes from Europe and U.S. sold at giveaway prices.’’
“The low prices rather than boost the African market kills our cultural heritage. Our love for foreign clothes is destroying our economy.”
He urged local manufacturers to improve the standards and quality of their products in order to discourage the dumping of foreign textiles and garments in the country.
Akinkunmi also urged manufacturers to encourage the use of local fabrics and materials like adire, aso oke, animal skin, ankara as major designs that must not go into extinct in order to boost the country’s GDP.
He urged the Government to exploit opportunities inherent in the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) to boost the revenue of the non-oil sector.
Prince Dapo Adelegan, the President, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) said that increased investment was key to developing the textile and garment industry.
Head, Large Enterprises, Bank of Industry Mr Joseph Babatunde, said that the BOI believed in the potential of the African textile industry hence it floated the N1 billion fashion industry fund.
He urged fashion entrepreneurs to exploit the opportunity of the finance to promote the growth of the industry.
“We need effective utilisation of the fund so that we can make the industry better.
“Sam and Sara, United Textile Ltd. (UNTL) are some of the projects that the bank has supported and they are performing well in the industry,” Babatunde said.
He urged Government to evolve more strategies that would expand and promote the textile industry