The Nigerian Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, at the Textile and Garment Manufacturing Conference organized by Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) 2016 in Lagos unveiled plans to create a production hub and offer tax incentives for the revival of the cotton, textile and garment industry for sustainable economic development.
Abubakar said that the government remains passionate about promoting growth in the industry and across its value chain.
According to the federal government, several initiatives towards stimulating growth in the industry include tax incentives, harmonized tax structure, infrastructural development and financing, as well as creation of a production hub for cotton industry and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
The minister said that the government would continue to create an enabling environment to promote the ease of doing business and active participation of the private sector to boost production.
According to her, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Bank of Industry (BoI) have been repositioned to implement National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) goals to boost SMEsâ€™ development in the country.
She said that the Nurtured MSMEs can contribute to GDP, job creation and wealth for the citizens. She urged all stakeholders to contribute to economic growth by giving their best so that they can have a Nigeria that they can all be proud of.
Head, Large Enterprises, Bank of Industry, Joseph Babatunde, said that the BoI believes in the potential of the African textile industry hence it floated the N1 billion fashion industry fund. He urged fashion entrepreneurs to exploit the opportunity of the finance to promote the growth of the industry.
Babatunde said that they need effective utilization of the fund so that they can make the industry better. Sam and Sara, United Textile Ltd. (UNTL) are some of the projects that the bank has supported and they are performing well in the industry.
He also urged the Federal Government to evolve more strategies that would expand and promote the textile industry.
Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, Abiodun Akinkunmi, said that textile and garment industry has a strategic role to play in economic development. Africa is behind in terms of industrialization because it has become over supplied with garments from China and used clothes from Europe and U.S. sold at give away prices.
The low prices rather than boost the African market kill their cultural heritage. Their love for foreign clothes is destroying the economy. He urged local manufacturers to improve the standards and quality of their products in order to discourage the dumping of foreign textiles and garments in the country.
Akinkunmi also urged manufacturers to encourage the use of local materials like adire, aso oke, animal skin, ankara as major designs that must not go into extinct in order to boost the countryâ€™s GDP.
The Federal Government in order to boost the revenue of the non-oil sector need to exploit opportunities inherent in the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).
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