- Cotton Ginners Oppose Foreign Investment in Textile Industry
The Cotton Ginners Association of Nigeria has opposed proposed foreign investment in the Nigerian textile and garment industry.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the President of the association, Mr Salman Abdullahi, said the proposed investment would kill the nation’s local textile and garment industry because of the provision that the investors be allowed to bring in cotton to feed the plants.
Abdullahi said, “It has come to our knowledge that there are some international organisations with the proposal to invest in Nigeria in the textile and garment industry with a proviso that they have to be allowed to bring into the country cotton from their home countries to feed the proposed industries.
“We hereby reject this proposal in its entirety because of the danger it poses to cotton production in Nigeria and the devastating impact it would have on over two million Nigerian cotton farmers and their dependants. This proposal, if approved, will bring cotton production in Nigeria to total extinction and all efforts that had been in put in place over the years on cotton production jeopardised.”
He said that the plan would also mean the end of over 52 existing cotton ginneries and the huge investment lost apart from the loss of many textile plants trying to come back to operation.
Abdullahi also said, “We are indeed at a loss by the assertion that there is no cotton in Nigeria. We are fully aware that cotton can be grown in 26 out of the 36 states of the federation. Cotton has been in existence in the country for close to a century. It is a major cash crop that contributed to the Gross Domestic Product of the nation and the development of not only the northern Nigeria but the entire country before the advent of oil.
“What we need now is how to join hands as stakeholders including would-be investors to aggressively work hard to reposition cotton production to revive it and not to kill it. We believe that well-meaning investors should rather help to develop and grow the production of cotton and not to bring it to extinction.”