According to him, this development came to the fore as a result of urgent and required attention that the nations’ textile industry deserves in the hands of the federal government.
Aremu made this observation during the study visit of Group one, Senior Executive Course (SEC) 38 Participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru to Textile Labour House, National Secretariat of the Union in Kaduna yesterday.
He decried the influx of smuggled goods in major textile markets in Kantin Kwari, Kano, Balogun and Oshodi, Lagos.
This, he noted undermines the local industry, steal our jobs, deprives government of revenue and drains the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
However, he called on the federal government to emulate other developing countries that are investing heavily in their textile industry due to its high employment potential. He added that Ethiopia has among the most competitive power tariff at 4 US Cents/Kwh, which is a fifth of the power cost in Nigeria, he added.
According to him: “Nigeria currently spends over $ 4 billion annually importing textiles and readymade clothing when it has the potential to produce for the local market and even export to the ECOWAS market of over 175 million people, as well as to the developed world such as the United States under AGOA and EU GSP scheme which Kenya, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar and a number of African countries are already exploiting.
Recently, India, which is the second largest textile producer in the world after China, announced a $ 1 bn incentive package for the textile and apparel industry to create 10 million jobs in 3 years.”
Aremu further noted that textiles used to be Nigeria’s foremost industry, being the second largest employer after government and utilising indigenous raw materials such as cotton.
The prevailing unprecedented harsh environment has dealt a serious blow to the already fragile industry.