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It’s painful widely acclaimed Moroccan leather products sourced from here—Minister

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has revealed that the federal Government is pained since it observed that the widely acclaimed Moroccan leather products were actually sourced from Nigeria.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the National Steering Committee to implement Leather Products Policy in the country, he assured that all efforts would be made to ensure effective implementation of the policy, adding that past efforts at industrialisation had failed because the first things were not done first.
Though he was silent on those first things that were not done, industry analysts say even the inauguration of the committee is still part of placing the cart before the horse.
According to them, the major factors frustrating growth of leather industry is lack of steady power, influx of finished products at very cheap prices poor government assistance for leather processing entities.
These factors combined to force leather processors to only produce halfway and export to recover their limited investments.
According to industry experts, in Morocco, there are clear government support policies for the leather industry ranging from grants and single interest loans to players and Morocco had over the year build credible relationship with manufacturers of leather process machines.
However, following the inauguration of the new steering committee, the Minister is upbeat that all that is needed to be done for the effective implementation of the new policy will be given serious attention.
Dr Onu said that the leather industry was very critical to national growth and development because it would boost Gross Domestic Product and increase Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
Continuing, he averred that “the policy would solve most of the problems hindering the growth of the leather sector and enable Nigeria to produce shoes, belts and other leather products similar to what obtains in developed countries of the world”.
Business Hilights gathered that the committee is expected to set up a working plan and budget for the effective implementation exercise of the policy within two months.
The new Committee is also expected to coordinate and monitor the optimal implementation of the policy in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders and also conduct validation and sensitisation workshops for stakeholders in six geographical zones in order to review the draft implementation framework.
Chairman of the committee and the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Leather, Science and Technology, Dr Eucharia Oparah, said that the leather industry had a lot of potential that had not been harnessed.
Checks in major Nigerian markets showed that Moroccan leather products have taken over alongside materials coming from India, China and Pakistan even though they sourced the raw leather from Nigeria.