Nigeria must invest and patronize locally-made textile products to tap $4b yearly economic potentials – Akinkuebi


By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure

Seeks Patronage Of Locally-made Products
The Managing Director, Ore Industrial Park, Dr. Femi Akinkuebi, has reiterated the need for government and Nigerians to take pride in investing and patronising locally-made products, as a way of boosting the nation’s economy.

Akinkuebi noted that the textile industry holds great economic potential. According to him, the nation is richly endowed with raw materials and skillset to globally promote made-in-Nigeria goods for viable economic gains.

He lamented that the textile industry is a departure from the ideal, due to a huge appetite for importation, poor patronage, policy implementation and a broken value chain.

He noted that if only 10 per cent of the yearly import bill of $4b textile fabrics was re-invested into the textile industry, the country would be a net exporter, as well as expand its revenue from such programmes as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the United States.

The MD explained that industry data showed that in 2019, 18.6 per cent of all imported cotton worldwide ended up in China, revealing that China was the largest exporter of textiles and clothing products in the world.

He added that Chinese imports currently account for 60 per cent of the print fabric market in Africa, with India supplying an additional 21 per cent.

He explained that West Africa is a large market for prints and buys around 65 per cent of all foreign imports, with Nigeria’s demand accounting for about 38 per cent of total imports in the region.

“From materials, knitting line/production of textiles auxiliary materials, like button, thread, stay down to clothing max production line, this industry has the capacity to employ over 500,000 workforces,” Akinkuebi said.

He enjoined the government to leverage the economic opportunities provided by the sector to economically advance the nation, urging Nigerians to take pride in patronising and investing in locally made goods.

Akinkuebi appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led government’s effort in creating the Ore Industrial Park.

Guardian Nigeria newspaper