Mr Hamma Kwajaffa, President, Nigerian Textile Manufacturers’ Association (NTMA), on Wednesday in Lagos said that the textile industry needed stringent policies and not just funds to be revived.
Kwajaffa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria must stop importing textile materials it could produce locally.
According to him, the high rate of importation of textile materials would not allow the revival of the country’s ailing textile sector.
He disclosed that only 11 out of the 40 textile manufacturers, who applied for the last N100 billion textile fund, launched few years ago, were given the loan.
He stressed that in spite of the bailout, some of the manufacturers are still fighting to survive.
“The textile industry needs more than funds to survive.
“The issue of high importation of fabrics and textile materials that could be locally produced have continued to eat deep into the industry.
“As it stands, the nation imports up to 80 per cent of the textile materials we use.
“There is a lot to be done in respect to policies and its implementation, recently, there was an approval for the manufacturing of GMO cotton products and we really support it,”he said.
NAN reports that the Nigeria National Bio-safety Management Agency in June issued two permits for the commercial release and placing on market of genetically modified cotton.
The Federal government also announced that the sum of N50 billion would soon be made available to entrepreneurs in the textile sector through the Bank of Industry.
Kwajaffa also highlighted the opportunity cost of cotton farming in the country.
“Cotton farming in Nigeria over the years has suffered because the opportunity cost of planting cotton has remained high.
“Cotton does not compete favourably against other lower risk crops and this has led to a dwindling of farmers involved in cultivating the crop over time,” he said.
The NTMA president challenged relevant regulatory agencies to support the government in fighting the smuggling of illegal textile materials, to encourage local production. (NAN)