- Senate Calls for Five Years Ban on Textile Imports
The National Assembly on Tuesday called for a five-year ban on the importation of textile materials in order to grow the local textile industry.
Senator Kabir Barkiya, representing APC-Katsina Central, moved the motioned on “Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose textile industry” during a plenary session.
The lawmakers appealed to the Federal Government to provide the necessary infrastructure for the growth of local textile businesses.
They highlighted the lack of stable power supply as one of the key challenges hurting the growth of local textile industry and appealed for a working solution to the unstable power supply in the country.
Barkiya said despite the textile industry playing a significant role in the manufacturing sector in the 1970s when the country has over 140 textile companies, the government has done little in terms of loans and access to credit facilities to help in industry regain its lost glory.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to provide soft loans through the Bank of Industry to local textile manufacturing companies.
“The textile industry recorded an annual growth of 67 per cent and as of 1991, employed above 25 per cent of the workers in the manufacturing sector. The textile industry was then the highest employer of labour apart from the civil service.”
He also mentioned the decline in the industry in the last two decades following the closure of Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile and Aba Textile, adding its contributed to the high unemployment rate in the country.
Speaking on the state of textile industry, Senator Robert Boroffice, APC-Ondo North, said the failure of local textile industry led to the massive importation of textile materials.
“The closure of our borders is an eye opener. China closed its borders for 40 years for its industrialisation and development. I believe that the closure of our borders should be extended to allow us to put our house in order.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, explained that the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement has opened the nation’s borders to import products from African nations, therefore, “We have to be prepared for the repercussions.
“We cannot stop trading easily with other people. We have to up our game; we need to be competitive,” Lawan said.