29 January 2009

Nigeria: 2,500 Jobs Lost to Closure of Three Textile Companies

Kaduna — About 2,500 textile workers have lost their jobs following the closure of three textile factories bringing to the total number of thirty-eight, with the closure of International Textile Industry in Isolo and its processing house in Ikorodu, First Spinners Limited and Reliance Textile Industry.

General Secretary of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu,stated this in Kaduna while addressing newsmen. Aremu, who blamed the federal government on the grounds of lack of deep commitment, said, "Sheer lack of political commitment to industrialisation is one of the problems. Smuggling, high operating cost arising from prohibitive cost of raw materials, and energy cost further contributes to the problems besetting the textiles and other industries in the country".

The scribe, who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), further stated that the textiles industries can still be revived by the Federal Government if the will is there,to adequately commensurate with dilemma at hand, calling on the government and other stakeholders to initiate "Pro-active sustainable and effective measures that will address the problems and position Nigeria towards her quest to be among the 20 top economies of the world.

He argued that in 2009, the best criteria to assess government performance should be the number of industries set up at federal and state levels as well as the quality and quantity of jobs created, but that with 2020 around the corner, Nigeria is yet to show any seriousness toward attaining the vision."With the existing industrial collapse, idle investment and mass unemployment and de-skilling, Nigeria is certainly not part of the race for the club of 20 leading economies in 11 years time, not to talk of being one of the 20 leading economies."

On the revival of the dying and crippled textile sector and the dire need to preserve employable jobs ,he said that the revival would help in protecting the remaining 20,000 direct jobs as well as millions of indirect jobs linked to it, "United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) estimates that a 20 per cent increase in the textile output means 100 thousand additional jobs in cotton farming and the textile industry, $50 million foreign exchange savings, $30 million exports and N200 million revenue.

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