The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, mandated the Bank of Industries (BoI) to assist the garment, shoes and other apparel manufacturers in procurement of modern machines and soft loans to produce wears in the country.
The House also mandated its Committee on Defence and Industries to ensure that uniforms and other wears of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Customs, Immigration, Police, Civil Defence, Prisons and Fire Service were produced in the country.
The House further mandated health institutions to produce and purchase their wears in the country.
These resolutions followed a motion moved by Rep. Prestige Ossy (APGA-Abia), under matters of Public Importance, which were unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.
According to Ossy, the adverse effect of executing multi-billion Naira project such as the procurement of military and paramilitary uniforms and sundry clothing items using foreign currency has negative effect on the Nigerian currency.
He said that “the rate of over-dependence on foreign markets for the procurement of uniforms and other wears of military and paramilitary services as contained in the 2015/2016 Appropriation Bill is alarming.”
He added that the total amount of money spent by the military and paramilitary in purchase of wears in 2015 amounted to N4.3 billion, while in 2016, it amounted to N1.6 billion.
The lawmaker observed that the practice of importing military and paramilitary uniforms was in sharp contrast with what was obtained in other countries of the world.
He said some countries produced and manufactured uniforms and sundry wears for their military and paramilitary personnel.
“We are aware that there are good clothes, shoes and sundry wears manufacturers in Nigeria that can produce quality uniforms and sundry wears for officers and men of Nigeria military and paramilitary.”
According to Ossy, direct support in form of grants and loans should be given to indigenous cloth manufacturing industries in order for them to
“Government should provide grants to local manufacturers through BoI and other financial institutions at a single digit interest rate,” he stressed.
He added that if these uniforms were produced in the country, it would improve the productivity of local cloth manufacturing factories, which may enable them to produce such uniforms to neighbouring countries.