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NLC urges FG to expedite action towards resuscitating textile industry



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards resuscitating the country’s textile industry.

NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero, made the call at the 13th National Delegates Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ajaero explained that the call was imperative considering the sector’s potential for creating huge direct and indirect jobs through its value chain.

Describing the sector as pivotal to the nation’s economic growth and development, the NLC boss stressed the need for relevant authorities to join hands and mobilise the needed resources to resuscitate the sector.

“It is not merely a sector of economic activity but a cornerstone upon which the foundation for sustainable industrialisation is built.

“The textiles industry has historically been a major employer of labour, thereby contributing significantly to job creation and economic growth of our nation.

“This, in the long run, will foster inclusive growth and prosperity,” he said.

He acknowledged efforts by previous administrations to revive the sector, adding however, that the efforts did not yield the desired results.

The NLC president recalled that the government had at different times, allocated billions of naira under the Textile Revival Implementation Committee to revamp the cotton, textile and garment sub-sector of the economy.

“One wonders what has happened to all these funds. Were the funds ever accessed or were they mismanaged or misapplied?

“Nigerians would want to know what happened and why the sector is still struggling despite the purported injection of these funds,” he said.

Ajaero said that the theme, “Building Union Power for Sustainable industrialisation and the Future of Work”, was carefully chosen to offer hope to the struggling trade unions in the country.

He added that the theme also epitomises the resilience and vision of the trade union movement in navigating current challenges.

He stressed that understanding what the theme entails would help trade unions to checkmate the forces that have kept not just the textile industry down, but the entire nation’s economy.

He, therefore, commended the union for its unwavering commitment and tireless efforts in advancing the interests of its members and the broader labour movement.

In his remarks, Sen. Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North-APC), called on labour leaders to interrogate the implementation of government industrial policies to ensure value for money.

This, according to him, will help to ensure that policies of government are not only formulated but implemented for Nigerians to reap the benefits.

“You must ask what went wrong in the textile industry; that is the way we can find sustainable solutions.

“Every government need pressure points, as such, labour leaders must be united and hold government to account with a loud and coherent voice,” Oshiomhole said.

On his part, NUTGTWN President, Mr John Adaji, said that the key to real transformation and economic recovery lies in manufacturing.

“The textile industry alone, if fully operational, has the capacity to create millions of decent jobs, thereby, bridging the huge unemployment gap in the country.

“Today, the cotton, textile and garment sub-sector of the economy, which used to be the second largest employer of labour after the public sector, is on a steady decline due textile companies closure, leading to massive job losses.

Adaji attributed part of the problems to unrestrained smuggling and importation of textile products.

Joan Nwagwu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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