The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria to reduce the import of garment has started the process to increase garment production locally for both local and international markets.
The Council in collaboration with El-Jahab Mubarak Nigeria Limited, organized a two day training workshop in the Cotton, Textile and Garment Sector in Kaduna where over 150 members of the Nigerian Tailoring and Fashion Designers Association drawn from the Northern States as well as the National Youth Service Corps members participated in the training.
The Director-General of RMRDC, Dr. H. D. Ibrahim at the training workshop held in Kaduna said that the textile industry is now at an all-time low, with less than 20,000 employees. As per the recent study, more textile industries are closing down daily.
Out of more than 250 mills that was in operation in 1970â€™s, less than 25 are currently in production, adding that the decline in the industry is particularly lamentable as cotton turnover dwindled from N8.2 billion to N300 million between 1980 and 2012.
The situation is attributed to an aggregation of factors, ranging from obsolete machinery, high interest rate, and inadequate infrastructure, to lack of improvement in the local sourcing of raw materials.
To address some of these problems, the DG said that the Federal Government gave a N100 billion life-line to the sub-sector.
The revival scheme was based on the believe that the cotton, textile and garment industry stood out as a potential growth area of the economy that could propel the country towards achieving Vision 20:2020 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Engr. Barnabas Jatau, the representative of the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment commended that the Council for organizing the programme to empower the teeming youths for the tasks ahead, adding that Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Industry is a sector with high potentials for a quick-win in governmentâ€™s effort at economic diversification.
Representative of the Kaduna state government, Alh Musa Isah Jibril, challenged the participants to embrace entrepreneurship skills, which is a potential job creation for them.
Dr. G. G. Awolehin, Deputy Director, Planning Division (RMRDC), in his paper titled â€˜Strategies for Sustainable Raw Materials Supply for Textile Industries in Nigeria,â€™ listed some of the constraints of raw materials sourcing in the countryâ€™s textile industry to include higher priority to food crops than cotton, poor prices and market dynamics, lack of fertilizer, inadequate and untimely supply of inputs, seed contamination, inadequate knowledge of the production packages and non-availability of these technologies as well as pest and disease control among others.
He recommended the setting up of a Textile Council of Nigeria to coordinate affairs of the sector as the way forward, adding that the country could become a net exporter of textile raw materials to other countries if raw material potentials of Nigeria are fully exploited.
RMRDC council to revamp the cotton sector also recently conducted intensive training for cotton farmers across the country.
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