Nyanza textile industries, locally known as Nytil, Uganda's largest integrated textile industry has urged the government to enforce the textile policy so as to save the local industry from undue competition arising from imported clothes, particularly the second-hand clothes. Statistics indicate that about 80 percent of textile products consumed in the country are imported, with majority being mivumba - second hand clothes.
Despite the national textile policy advocating for promotion and supporting the local textile factories, it appears little has been done by government to enforce the ideals declared in the well-articulated policy.
Nytil general manager, Mr Vinay Kumar, said that if the textile policy is enforced, they will increase their employment. All they are asking for is a level playing field because they are here for a long term. They should be protected from cheap imported clothes which impacts on their production.
They have invested already approximately $5 million (about Shs16.7b) in their work. Approximately $2 million (about Shs6.6b) of this will be used in purchasing modern facilities before the close of the year. Actually some of this is already being shipped in.
It also emerged that the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy is more of a lip service. Currently, some uniforms for armed forces in the country are being imported from Asia yet Nytil has the capacity to make those uniforms here. A whole line meant for that is being rendered redundant.
Uganda Manufacturers Association manager policy and advocacy, Mr Lawrence Oketcho said that engagement with government departments, agencies and ministries is under way, with a main agenda being enforcement of the aforementioned policies.
For local industries to compete fairly, they must be protected from undue competition or else they will be crippled and that is bad news for the economy.
Nytil set up in 1954 with modernized plant has been a part of everyday life of millions of Ugandans as their Fabrics, Uniforms, BedSheets, T-shirts touch not just the skin but the hearts of many. It employs nearly 1500 workers majority of whom are young women.
There is a lot of work happening at Nytil which produces fabrics such as school and other uniforms, bed sheets, T-shirts, among others. About 18,000 T-shirts are processed per day, alongside a whole variety of other products. The current management has injected about a trillion Shillings to revive the plant.
Their mission is to maximize their production capacity by bringing latest technology, minimizing production waste and maintaining eco friendly atmosphere. Nytil targets a $50 million (Shs167b) turnover this year.
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