By G9ija

Two officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has decried the deplorable state of the nation’s textile sector which they attribute to rising cases of smuggling, lack of patronage, and inconsistent government policies as the cause of the problem.

President of the Union, John Adaji, during a press briefing in Kaduna State on Thursday, called for the implementation of Executive order 003 which he believes will facilitate the recovery of the Textile industry.

While commending the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the direct intervention to address the cotton scarcity challenge, the textile union also urged CBN to make access to forex affordable for industry players as part of measures to ensure the holistic implementation of the CTG policy.

“The problem of the sector requires a comprehensive approach. The sector is still faced with serious problems that unless effective steps are taken by the government to address them, the gains achieved within the context of the CTG policy will be lost. Some of these issues include stopping the smuggling, counterfeiting, and dumping of textile materials in the country.”

The NUTGTWN boss said cotton is an essential input for textile production and the industry remained a critical plank for addressing the current unemployment challenges in the country.

According to the union, Nigeria’s CTG sector alone can create over five million jobs, improve internally generated revenues, reduce over $4 billion import bill incurred annually on textile and apparel and conserve foreign exchange for the country.

The workers also noted that the Textile sector is a huge investment opportunity for the country if properly harnessed through the effective implementation of the Executive order which encourages patronage of local content.

The union vowed it will not rest until it ensures that all the relevant agencies of government comply with the executive order by patronising locally produced textiles.

The union also calls on the northern Governors to settle the over N600 million owed to the disengaged workers of the Kaduna Textile Limited, warning that any attempt by the governors to sell off the company without first settling all outstanding debts owed to the workers, will be resisted through all available legal means.