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Textile industry: Labour calls for special task force against smuggling.

The National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has called on the Federal Government to institute a Special Task Force against smuggling.

The General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, who gave some of the challenges of the textile industry when the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, paid a visit to the secretariat of NUTGTWN in Kaduna also said the industry has recorded 700 job losses due to retrenchment in some of the remaining factories.

Comrade Aremu said: 'There is high influx of counterfeit and smuggled goods due to weak enforcement of import prohibition policy. The Federal Government should do what is being done on rice importation to textile. We need a Special Task Force against smuggling just as on rice.'

He added: 'Inspite of the efforts by the Federal Government, the textile industry is yet to revive. Only recently, the industry recorded about 700 direct job losses due to retrenchment in some of the remaining factories.'

The NUTGTWN commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his effort and commitment to revive the textile industry, adding that the President made the revival of textile industry and manufacturing sector his cardinal campaign programme.

'Through the activist facilitation of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah and the Minister of State, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, President Buhari administration has initiated a number of measures aimed at industry revival.' He said.

He also commended the Minister of State for her activism and commitment to the revival of the textile industry, describing her as a true Comrade Minister who is also on the road to inspire productivity and industry not in the office.

However, Comrade Aremu reminded the minister that there cannot be no development without industry, saying, 'the

point cannot be overstated. There cannot be development without industry. Only industry can provide sustainable jobs and living wages and necessary revenues for government to provide the needed infrastructure for development.

'For a diverse country like Nigeria, Industry is also a unifier. There was once a Nigeria in which we have textile industry in all the geo-political zones of the country. This is why our union is a Pan-Nigerian.

'For Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, especially SDG 9 dealing with industry and innovation, Africa Continent must innovate and industrialize.

'Africa must copy China's industrialization drive which has within 20 years moved over 500 million people out of poverty through sustainable employment and wage-led manufacturing and industrialization. Africa must make what it consumes, otherwise it will be consumed by the rest of the world.'

He also said: 'We commend the Executive Orders issued by the Federal Executive in line with the promise of President Buhari on the ease of doing business. Of special importance to textile industry is the order mandating Government agencies to spend more of their budgets on locally produced goods. This singular order would help in the recovery of the textile and garment industry if complied with.

'We acknowledge and commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for launching the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). However, it is surprising the National Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) policy was not built into the ERGP.

'The government should ensure the implementation of Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) policy as adopted by the Federal Government since 2014. The major highlight in that policy is that we must ensure that there is uninterrupted electricity supply to textile industry, as well as other manufacturing industry.'
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Feb 6, 2018
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