Despite the federal government’s concerted efforts to revitalise the nation’s over 250 moribund textile mills only 30 are currently operational, The Nation can authoritatively report.
Confirming this development, the Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Muda Yusuf, noted that import ban, forex exclusion list, and intervention funds alone cannot fix this once vibrant sector.
Yusuf said, “It is important to underscore the importance of a strategic approach to industrialisation and this applies as well to the textile industry. The starting point is to strengthen the capacity of domestic industries, enhance their competitiveness, and reduce their import dependence as espoused in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
“More importantly the power issue needs to be addressed. It is almost impossible to achieve rapid industrialisation without resolving the issue power and the deficit in key infrastructures. Textile production is energy intensive. This is a high energy cost environment, and it is very difficult for any energy intensive sector to be competitive or efficient.”
He said that some of them have even gone into receivership adding that they could not repay their loans.
“The lesson is that we should deal with the fundamental issues of production competitiveness in our economy.
The textile industry needs to be saved from the excruciating burden of high operating and production cost. Meanwhile, and in the spirit of the executive order of the President, all uniforms of military and paramilitary institutions should be made from Nigeria produced textiles. This is a low hanging fruit that could be explored while the issue of high production cost is being addressed,”