Mr Issa Aremu, Vice President of IndustriALL Global Union, has said that the textile industries alone can generate over 2.5 million jobs in Nigeria if rejuvenated.
To President Muhammadu Buhari, Aremu said the current government could create 100 million jobs over the next 10 years with the resuscitation of the textile industries.
Aremu made the call on Saturday in Lokoja at a one-day interactive session on the 5-year policy Trust of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) – (2019-2024). The session was organized by the CBN, in collaboration with Organised Labour and other stakeholders.
He said that through the CBN intervention in cotton production, the narratives have changed from cotton shortages to cotton abundance and the country should no longer import cotton from Benin Republic.
Aremu, who is also the General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NVTGTWN), said, “Now, the challenge is that many ginneries have come back and are ginning the cotton seeds. They will then move to milling, weaving, spinning and the final product.
“You won’t believe it, uniforms for the Nigeria Customs Services, Police and the Army are produced in Bangladesh and India.
“Consider the security implications among other things. You know what, the few textile industries remaining have the capacity to produce them (the uniforms).
“We can even use it to kick-start new factories and you can imagine if we all agree that uniforms of primary and secondary school children should be produced locally, many of the garment factories will come back and this will get youths gainfully employed,” he said.
Aremu suggested that other sectors like construction and pharmaceuticals, should be rejuvenates for optimal performance.
For instance, he said “We like to drive exotic cars in Nigeria, but we do not have factories where these cars can be manufactured. When properly rejuvenated, the factories for Volkswagen, Peugeot, Fiat, trucks in Kano, Styer in Bauchi can create decent jobs in these areas.”