Partnerships will drive growth in Nigeria’s textile industry – Kern
Chandramouli Kern, consulate general of India, Lagos has urged players in Nigeria’s textile industry to explore joint ventures and partnership with technological companies who have the expertise to measure up to expectations.
Kern disclosed this at the Africa Textile Manufacturing and Trade Policy Summit and exhibition 2022 organised by Leoht Africa and held in Lagos
“Going through the history of India, you will see that there were joint ventures with technological companies from the West or other developed countries,” Kern said. “There is no need to do things from scratch by Nigeria, they can build on the expertise of India and they can leap also they can try to enhance the value chain rather than to start from scratch”
“It is common knowledge that without manufacturing a country cannot grow,” Kern continued, saying “Indian companies present will explore the possibility to be able to partner and invest in Nigerian businesses in this exhibition and they can send business proposals. We will be ready to help with technology, training and expertise needed to build a vibrant textile industry in Nigeria.”
“Apart from that, the African free trade area is in the final stages and I see a very profitable position for Nigeria because you have the strength, the resources and with the partnership with Indian big companies, you can supply for Africa.”
Kern added that the consulate is fully functional in Lagos and ready to help industry players who have prospective business proposals with access to partners in India.
“I will encourage all of you to write your business proposal to us. If you have decided that you want to collaborate with India, we will try to help with a match booking application,” he noted.
In addition to that, Bunmi Aliyu, Leot Africa and organiser of the Source Textile and Apparel conference noted that the event is focused on making Nigerian apparel, accessories, textiles, footwear and leather relevant more than ever before to businesses who seek to source and cooperate internationally.’
“It will help businesses and industries to reinvigorate their global sourcing activities and to build sustainable alliances with production partners,” she added. “The exhibition had industry participation from different countries and thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers and retails from across the continent and internationally,” Aliyu said.
“For a country like Nigeria whose people are fashion-conscious, the Textile industry is bedeviled by challenges which have kept manufacturing at a minimal level,” Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State said in his address.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, represented by Lola Akande, Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, added that the trajectory of the textile industry in Nigeria is one that leaves not much to be desired.
“It is sad that an industry that was once very viable, creating employment and wealth has dwindled and lost its pride of place in the national economy,” she said.
“However, it is heartwarming and assuring that the ‘Nigeria Industrial Revolution’ plan launched by the Nigerian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to build the manufacturing GDP in some industries of which Textile is one, is recording some gains especially in the area of increased capacity utilization which have resulted in more jobs being created. Part of the gains is also the ease by which foreign brands can now source for locally-made fabrics such as Adire, Aso-oke, and Oja.”
“It is my firm belief that this summit will open up greater opportunities for this sector as the outcome of the roundtable discussions hosted by representatives of the Federal Government, ECOWAS officials and other relevant stakeholders would proffer good and workable solutions to the challenges in the sector.”
Buttressing the governor’s position,Folake Oyemade, president of Apparel Manufacturers Association of Nigeria said, “We have some of the biggest players in the both textile and apparel sector in Nigeria within our Association and I happen to know that a lot of us are looking for collaborations in terms of partnership for manufacturing within Nigeria, which is what we need in this country right now.”
“We do not want to continue to run an import-based economy, we want to become a hub of manufacturers first of all to feed the local market and then also export to meet the demands of other African continents,” Oyemade added.