By AbdulRaheem Aodu
The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has partnered with El-Jahb Mubarak Nigeria Limited to organise a training workshop for prospective investors in the area of production of textiles for local and international markets.
The Director-General, RMRDC, Dr.
Hussaini Ibrahim told participants at the entrepreneurship training on garment production yesterday in Kaduna that the textile and garment industry is one of the oldest industries known globally.
He said textile industry was the largest employer of labour in the manufacturing sector and accounted for 25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria.
The RMRDC boss lamented that the share of the manufacturing value-added and employment generation potential of the sector decreased significantly from creating 250, 000 jobs in 1997, to less than 25, 000 in 2006 within the period, adding that presently employment in the sub-sector is at an all-time low with less than 20, 000 employees.
He noted that more textile industries are closing down daily due to varying factors including obsolete machinery, high interest rate, inadequate infrastructure, lack of improvement in the local sourcing of raw materials and power.
“Today, out of 250 mills that were operating in 1970’s, less than 25 are currently in production.
The decline in the industry is particularly lamented as cotton turnover dwindled from N8.
2 billion to N300 million between 1980 and 2012 and the ginning capacity of existing ginneries also reduced from 78% to 33%.
Dr Ibrahim, who attributed non-availability of quality cotton seeds to the decrease in cotton production in the country, said that a number of farmers rely on procurement of cotton seeds from ginneries which leads to poor resistance of the crop to plant diseases and low yield.
He observed that the training is imperative in order to increase job opportunities and export potentials within the sector.
“This is important as modernization has necessitated the need for expanding textiles and garment production globally.
The MD, El-Jahab Mubarak, Alhaji Ja’afar Abdulkadir said, “It is a known fact that the garment industry throughout the world is the single largest manufacturing sector that can provide very high employment with little investment.
History has proved that the garment industry as been a very vital support for economic growth in many developed and developing countries around the world and with little investment in this Industry, the direct and indirect impact it creates cannot be estimated.
“We have been contributing our quota towards the successes of the Armed Forces and other Security Agencies, which we strongly believe is in line with the policies of the present administration on “In – Ward Sourcing and Self – Sufficiency” to make the Country Self- Reliant.
We have being in the forefront of the current campaign of “Patronizing Made-In-Nigeria Products” because we use 90% local content in all our finished products, so we are “Proudly Nigerian.