The federal government has restated its commitment to addressing the myriads of challenges besetting the nation’s textile industry.
The Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment, Hajia Aishat Abubakar gave made the pledge during a facility tour to Lucky Fibres limited, makers of Noble Rug and Carpet in Lagos.
Receiving the minister, Senior Human Resources Manager, Lucky Fibres Limited, Mrs. Kemi Ajibade expressed concern about the slow pace of development in the sector as a result of unfavourable government policies and infrastructure deficit.
According to Ajibade, activities in the company have been at low ebb as a result of epileptic power, limited raw materials occasioned by foreign exchange restrictions , hence, under utilisation of equipment.
She equally pointed that illegal activities of smugglers is taking its toll on the firm’s turn over, adding, “an average Nigerian cannot identify quality products, but will prefer to go for what is cheap in the market even if it does not serve for a long time.”
“We urge government to assist us in addressing the activities of smuggling. If you visit Alaba Market, you will see different kinds of substandard carpets and rugs being displayed for sales”, she pleaded.
Ajibade also solicited urgent interventions of government in the industry by patronising the firm.
According to her, “the textile sector has the capacity to absorb more workers than any other sector in the economy. We need government’s patronage to boost our capacity. As at today, the company has 2500 direct and indirect staff in its payroll, if we are able to operate in full capacity, we will be able to engage more hands and reduce unemployment in the country.”
The minister expressed satisfaction with the high grade sophisticated equipment and quality produce of the company.
While commending the company for promoting the federal government “made in Nigeria ” initiative, she urged players in the sector to be at patient with the government, pointing out that, the administration is considering a holistic approach to tackle the highlighted challenges bedeviling the country.