El-Rufai Promises To Revive Textile Factories in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor-elect, Nasir El-Rufai, has given an assurance that the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) government is determined to revive all the collapsed textile factories in the state and other parts of the country as soon as it takes over power on May 29, 2015.
El-Rufai made the promise during his familiarization tour of some textile factories in Kaduna State.
During the tour, he lamented over what he described as the sorry state of infrastructure at the textile industries in Kaduna State, which he said had led to loss of jobs and revenue for the government.
As part of effort to turn around the textile sector, the former FCT Minister said that the APC government led by General Muhammadu Buhari would ensure the full implementation of the ban on smuggled textile materials into the country as well as giving the textile factories a lifeline to pick up again.
The leadership of the textile workers union said that the major problems facing the textile industry in particular and the manufacturing sector in general are infrastructural inadequacy, electricity supply, smuggling, counterfeiting and faking raw materials, as well as lack of local patronage, among others.
They said that all these problems call for strong interventions by the incoming government.
The United Nigerian Textiles Company Limited had over 7,000 workers in its payroll before 2007 when it was shut down and later re-opened in 2010. Sadly, despite having quality machines and manpower, the company has been producing at very low capacity with few staff due to low patronage.
While expressing optimism in the ability of the Buhari government to revive the textile sector, the workers also expressed willingness to partner with the incoming administration to reinvent the sector which has propelled newly industrialized countries in recent times such as China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia among others.
According to a report released by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), 26 out of the 36 states in the country grow cotton of both long and short stable lengths.
Nigeria has the potential of producing 1.2 billion meters of cloth per annum at 6 meters per capital. In the West African sub region, Nigeria is a natural textile destination point in the world. The industry has the potential to create 3 million direct jobs.
In the 70s and up to early 80s, Nigeria was the largest producer of different range of textile, garment and carpet products surpassed in production only by Egypt and South Africa.