Union calls on government to make policies that will revive the country’s textile industry | By Eki Toju

Business24

The National Union of Textile Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN), on Sunday, called on the Federal Government to be consistent with its policies on locally manufactured goods.

Oladele Hunsu, the newly elected President of the Union, said allowing indiscriminate importation of foreign-made textile materials would hinder local production.

“Opening the borders for imported goods, and giving out loans to enable manufacturers revive their struggling companies are contradictory,” he said.

“Any manufacturer that succeeds in obtaining a loan to revive a factory will be competing with imported textiles. It makes it difficult to sustain the business.”

He added that some local manufacturers could be tempted to start importing textile materials if they were cheaper than home-made ones.

The union president said the indiscriminate opening of the borders was negatively impacting job opportunities in the textile industry.

“Many motorcycle operators in various states of the country are workers from textile companies who lost their jobs after the factories were closed,” he said.

“I appeal to the government to review the importation policy because about 700 thousand graduates who leave universities yearly are not sure of securing jobs.”

Hunsu urged government to repair the roads and restore electricity, to enable manufacturers who collected loans from the Bank of Industry to operate.

He said that the union was collaborating with state governments to ensure that dead factories were rehabilitated.

“Without the industries, there will not be workers, and without the workers there will not be any industry,” he said.

“The UNTL in Kaduna, which has not fully commenced operation, has already employed about 3,000 workers. The union will continue to impress it on the government to ensure that the textile industry does not die. It used to be the largest employer of labour, after the government, before it started declining 10 years ago.”

Hunsu gave assurances that the union would not rest on its oars, but would ensure that more companies were revived.

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