The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, said that government is implementing plans to tackle some of the industrial constraints in the nation’s textile sector.
Abubakar disclosed this after a weekend tour of textile factories in Kano and at a forum organised by the Bank of Industry.
She said that government has identified several issues including gas supply, smuggling and counterfeiting as constraints which would be addressed to revive the textile industry in the country.
Abubakar said that government will also promote patronage of made in Nigeria products by agencies of government .
” Some of the issues we are trying to address are the issues of smuggling and counterfeiting and gas supply to the North.
“We are also trying to address the issue of patronage. On the issue of patronage, I am sure that by next year we will see more results because they also told us that special interests have come forward to them,” Abubakar said.
She urged the operators to articulate their thoughts on how to move the industry forward and ensure that the critical role of the sector in the nation’s economy is sustained.
The Minister, said that some of the things textiles manufacturers were asking for during the visit were not in line with government thinking at the moment.
According to her, there was need for stakeholders to find a common ground that would ensure that stakeholders are accountable and responsible to achieve the needed growth in the industry.
Abubakar noted that the Export Expansion Grants (EEG) previously offered as incentives by government was grossly abused by stakeholders.
According to her, government was looking at bringing EEG back in an entirely different way for better and effective implementation.
“You know the EEG was so much abused. The EEG is going to come back but it is going to come back in a different way.
“And I don’t know what is going to happen to what is outstanding. We are trying to look at different ways to make it easy for those who have really done what they were supposed to do.
“A lot of verifications, audit is still ongoing for us to see what we can do because we generally believe in EEG.
“But the implementation of it has not been done well. There is no government that can do anything without incentives, so EEG is coming back,” she added.
The forum was organised by the Bank of Industry (BoI), titled “the role of financial institutions in driving the industrial development of a nation: A – Z of accessing BoI’s credit facility.
Apart from this, the development finance institution has been at the vanguard of reviving the once moribund sector, having approved loans to over 70 projects in the cotton textile and garment value chain.
The Minister visited five textile manufacturing plants including African Textile Manufacturing Limited, Nigerian Spinners and Dyerrs Limited, Tofa Textile Limited, Tertex Nigeria Limited, and Adhama Textile and Garment Industries Limited.
The Minister was accompanied by the President of MAN, Frank Jacobs and the General Secretary, Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu.