VP Osinbajo solicits support for “made in Nigeria” goods

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says patronage of made in Nigeria products by citizens is important and can contribute to the revival of the cotton, textile and garment industries, which is a goal of the present administration.

The Vice President said this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja during a meeting with stakeholders of the textile industry and members of the Implementation Committee on the National Cotton, Textile and Garment Policy.

“Nigerians buying Nigerian products is very important and it goes beyond the symbolism of wearing Nigerian-made dresses. It is important for our economy and well-being,” he stated.

Professor Osinbajo noted that the challenge of smuggling of foreign textile materials into the country had to be tackled without delay.

New Policy

Earlier, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar who also was at the meeting, noted that the Ministry came up with the Cotton, Textile and Garment policy, CTG in order to provide a suit of interventions holistically across the value chain, including encouraging local patronage, controlling smuggling, production of improved seedlings, cost of energy, cost of funds, training and upgrading and modernization of infrastructure.

She added that past attempts to revive the industries failed because they had addressed only the issue of funding.

“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has a new policy in place, to revamp the industries through a number of interventions including battling smuggling in order to attain a 15% reduction by next year, facilitating access to funding for the sector, addressing the challenges of energy, lifting the ban on importation of finished products and using the duties and levies raised therefrom, to support the industries, among several other strategies,” she said.

Promise Fulfilled

Also speaking, the General Secretary of the National Union of Garment and Textile Workers of Nigeria, Mr Issa Aremu, who led the stakeholders to the meeting, praised the Muhammadu Buhari led administration of matching words with action.

Mr Aremu explained that “the administration had promised to revamp the industry during the electioneering campaigns last year and that is happening now.”

Members of the Implementation Committee comprised of both government officials and industry stakeholders had earlier highlighted a number of strategies for the revival of the cotton, textile and garments industries including the promotion of Nigeria-made dresses among others. Specifically the Committee is proposing a “Wear Naija Day,” where public officials and employees of corporate organisations would all wear locally made fabric.