Following the act to diversify Nigeria’s economy by encouraging local production, The Senate, yesterday, directed the Executive to ban importation of foreign textile materials, TheSun reports.
Noting that it was worried that all textile manufacturing industries in the country were comatose and importation of foreign fabrics on the rise.
ABACITYBLOG recalled that textile marketers in Aba depends solely on importation of fabrics from China and Italy respectively, if such directive takes hold, the effects will be massive as many Nigerians troop in to Aba to buy fabrics.
However, during the motion moved by Barkiya Abdullahi Kabir to ban textile importation, the upper legislative chamber urged the Executive to revamp Kaduna, Kano, Aba, United Nigeria textiles, among others to promote local textile production.
Leading the debate, Kabir argued that between 1960 and 1970, textile industry played a significant role in the manufacturing sector of the country’s economy with well over 140 functional companies.
According to him, the industries recorded an annual growth of 67 per cent as at 1991 and had also created employment above 25 per cent.
He said the discovery of oil affected the textile industry as a result of decline in cotton production which was major source of raw material.
“Revamping the textile industry will provide huge employment opportunities and reduce some of the social vices we have in the country today,” he stated.
Kabir added that if the textile industries were resuscitated, it would boost the nation’s economy and raise the revenue bar.
However, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, argued that the death of textile industries had nothing to do with closure of borders.
He said the main challenge that brought textile decline was lack of adequate power supply which he said happened since 1982.
“I support the motion but I stand to disagree that border closure can encourage textile production, it is not border closure but the issue of power.
“Around 1982, textiles industries collapsed because there was lack of power supply to run production of textile industries.
“Unless power is improved and I want the federal government to do the fundamentals, the APC national chairman, a former textile worker should encourage the federal government to revamp the industries,” Abaribe said.
Consequently, the Senate urged the Executive to encourage local textile manaufacting companies by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Also, the Senate has directed that the Federal Government to urgently provide necessary infrastructural facilities to boost textile manufacturing in the country.