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FG’s N51bn to revive textile industry not enough—Igboanugo

Experts have started reacting to the recent discovery that the Federal Government has set aside the sum of N51bn in this year’s budget to promote the development of the garment and textile industry in the country.

The allocation is part of measures aimed at boosting the sector in a manner that will create jobs, support the diversification efforts of the Federal Government and increase the patronage of made-in-Nigeria apparels.

According to Dr. Ken Igboanugo, a finance analyst, “N50bn will not be enough to fix the rot and backwardness so far experienced in the nation’s textile industry for more than 20 years”.

“To me, the industry is not just in need of fund but technical restructuring on modern ways of fabrics milling because as am talking to now, many of the machineries in all those folded textile factories are outdated in terms of technology.

Statistics from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment revealed that between 1980 and 2016, about 145 companies operating in the textile sector had shut down owing to the harsh economic climate.

Igbanugo added that some of the challenges facing the sector are smuggling, inadequate power supply, lack of standardisation and poor yield from cotton seeds.

It would be recalled that the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, said the Federal Government was mindful of the importance of the sector in creating jobs and reducing poverty.

She added as part of efforts to promote the development of the sector, the Federal Government had decided to dedicate three out of the six special economic zones to be created this year to the textile and garment sector.

According to her, “The ministry has over N51bn allotted in the 2017 budget just to promote our garment industry, because we know it is an area where we have to get it right. And so, out of the six special economic zones, three will be for textiles”.

She however explained that the government was working hard to support the industry through massive investment in infrastructure, noting that this would assist in bringing down the price of cotton.

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