The Secretary Funtua Textiles Ltd (FTL), Alhaji Aliyu Bello-Ingawa, has called on Federal government to encourage cotton farming as a major crop among all categories of farmers in Nigeria.
Speaking in Funtua, Bello-Ingawa said that in view of cotton’s economic potentialities, government should mobilise farmers to embrace the farming.
He commended the present administration’s commitment to agriculture, addint that the efforts had yielded positive impacts on rice, maize and other grains production across the country.
He said the Federal Government support to textiles through the Bank of Industry (BOI) had facilitated increased growth in the sector and appealed for more value chain support in cotton production.
According to him, his company was part of the beneficiaries of the support.
Bello-Ingawa called for synergy between government and stakeholders to tackle cotton adulteration, facilitate the reintroduction of cotton grading system, out grower support schemes and other policies to improve the standard of the business.
He explained government’s inability to deter perpetrators of cotton adulteration had caused increased degradation of cotton quality in Nigeria.
The company secretary identified multiple taxation, indiscriminate importation of foreign goods, poor electricity supply and high cost of production as major impediments to textile industries in the country.
He added that FTL was among the few surviving industries in Nigeria and only textile in Katsina State with 700 workers on its pay roll.
Bello explained that FTL existed for the past 35 years and maintained its operation of four departments of ginnery, spinning, weaving, dyeing or finishing facilities, running three shifts daily.
He advised government to control smuggling and place high levies on importation of textile goods to encourage the Nigerian textile firms to compete with imported goods.
The Company Secretary said textile industries provided job opportunities for millions of Nigerians in the past and indirect jobs to numerous farmers, marketers and transporters.
He urged government to introduce measures to promote indigenous textiles.
He added that FTL assisted its business partners by providing seedlings and other support to cotton farmers.
Bello-Ingawa said the company provided employment to more than 1,600 workers in the its facilities during full cotton harvest season and about 4,000 auxiliary workers engaged in seasonal work.