Textile import gulps N1.29trn yearly

The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NTMA) has revealed that Nigerians spend N1.29 trillion annually importing textiles and ready-made clothing. The Director General of NTMA, Hamma Kwajaffa, said in a mailed statement that local textile markets are overwhelmed by influx of smuggled goods.
“Influx of smuggled goods continue to flood major textile markets in Kantin Kwari, Kano and Balogun and Oshodi, Lagos. It not only undermines the local industry, steal our jobs, and deprive government of revenue it is a drain on Nigeria’s precarious foreign exchange reserves,” Kwajaffa said.
He said Nigeria has the potential to produce for the local market and also export to the ECOWAS market of 175 million people, as well as to the developed world.
MTMA lamented, expressed worry that while other developing countries are helping their textile industry in many ways due to its high employment potential, the situation in Nigeria is worrisome.
The association cited examples with Ethiopia, which has a competitive power tariff at 4 US Cents/Kwh, and China, which announced a $1 billion incentive package for the textile and apparel industry to create 10 million jobs in three years.
The association said “the prevailing unprecedented harsh environment” has dealt a serious blow to the industry and unless urgent steps are taken by the government to address key issues raised by the industry, the ray of hope that had arisen from the recent government initiatives may get extinguished.
The association listed the industry’s challenges to include the price of gas supplied to the local industry, which is currently pegged to the American dollar and has not been reviewed after the drop in global oil and gas prices;  scarcity of black oil, which has crippled the operations of the textile mills in the north; the need to review the tenure of the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) loan facility by the Bank of Industry (BOI) and inadequate supply of certified seeds to ensure adequate supply of cotton to local textile industry.
The Association also decried the impact of foreign exchange, low patronage and smuggling on the industry.

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