Nigeria’s Leather Products Exports hit $800m

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The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Zaria, Prof. Muhammad Yakubu, says Nigeria’s total exports of  leather products has hit 800 million dollars.

Yakubu made the disclosure in Abuja.

He said that from 2018 to 2019, the exports of Nigerian leather  products were about 800 million dollars but later declined to 650 million dollars in 2020 due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.

“The national leather policy proposes that by the year 2025, revenue from the leather products exports  will be around $1 billion,’’ Yakubu said.

According to him,  based on the figure, Nigeria had already crossed half of 650 million  dollars to 800 million dollars this year.

The D-G said that the total trade of the leather products was presently between 300 and 400 billion dollars globally.

He said that out of this figure, Nigeria  could account for 15 to 20 percent to hit 20 billion dollars by 2025.

Yakubu said: “every week, more than 20,000 pairs of shoes and different  high quality leather materials  were exported to African, Asian and European countries from South- East, South- West and Northern parts of Nigeria.

“You can imagine how much we are talking about in a month or a  year.’’

Yakubu, however, said the high cost of imported processing materials was responsible for the spike in the prices of  most Nigerian leather products compared to the foreign ones.

“For instance, now you can get a leather of 1 square meter costing about $5.

”But, by the time you add up production costs, the  cost of processing may rise to about $30.

”So, you may end up buying imported leather rather than buying leather processing materials,’’ the D-G said.

Yakubu said that in view of these problems associated with the high cost of processing materials for leather industries, the  institute had used its researchers to find lasting solutions.

“Leather industries can now get materials locally  to produce leather at a lower cost, sell it abroad with high quality and quantity,’’ he stated.

Yakubu further said that Nigeria could  attain high level production of leather  in the world if science and technology were accorded special attention, especially in the area of manufacturing.

“Our local industries must be revived and Small and Medium Industries must be assisted with capital and training just like what  obtains in Asian countries,’’ he said.

The D-G appealed to the governments at all levels to introduce special local technology and industrialization programmes.

“The world is fast moving on technology, we are in a paradigm shift where only people with skills have upper hand in the economy,’’ Yakubu said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAN/Hauwa Abu

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