The Senate on Tuesday, appealed to the federal government to ban the importation of textile materials into the country for five years, to allow local production grow.
This followed the debate on a motion sponsored by senator Kabir Barkiya during plenary on: “Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose textile industry.”
The senate also appealed to the government to provide the necessary infrastructure, especially power supply to local textile manufacturing companies to revamp the industry.
It also called on the government to encourage local textile manufacturing companies, by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry.
While debating the motion, Barkiya noted that the textile industry played a significant role in the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy, with a record of over 140 companies in the 1960s and 1970s.
“The textile industry recorded an annual growth of 67 percent and as of 1991, employed above 25 percent of the workers in the manufacturing sector. The textile industry was then the highest employer of labour apart from the civil service” Barkiya said.
He noted that the industry had witnessed a massive decline in the last two decades, with many textile companies such as Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile, Aba Textile, among others, have shut down and thrown their workers into the job market.
The lawmaker further said that government policies, such as increase in taxation, high cost of production, trade liberalisation resulting in massive importation of textile materials, had negatively affected the production of local textile materials.
Barkiya said the resuscitation of the industry would provide additional revenue and assist government in diversifying the economy.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, in his remark, stated that the country should prepare for the consequences of closing her doors against foreign textile materials, after signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“We cannot stop trading easily with other people. We have to up our game; we need to be competitive,” Lawan said.