By John Shiklam
Life Patron of the Textiles Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NTMA), Senator Walid Jibrin, has said the closure of Nigerian borders has tremendously reduced the rate of smuggling of textile fabrics into the country.
Jibrin, in a statement after his unanimous election as the Life Patron of the NTMA at its annual general meeting in Kaduna, said smuggling and lack of regular electricity supply were the major challenges facing the textile industry.
Jibrin, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated that the industry is in dare need of adequate electricity supply to aid its production, noting that 70 per cent electricity used by the companies were from generators.
He said: “Smuggling and lack of regular electricity are the most challenging problems facing the textile industry.
“If the issue of smuggling of textile materials is curtailed to the barest minimum and there is regular power supply, the textile industries would be revived.
“It is also important to collaborate with the Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (MAN) for alternative source of electricity supply in order to address the problem of power supply.”
He said the federal government was losing a lot of revenue as a result of the activities of smugglers.
“The industry also appreciate the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for giving support to cotton production and textile industries to produce made-in-Nigeria uniforms for the Armed Forces, Immigration, Customs, and Prison.
“The Bank of Industries (BoI) has done very well in giving loans to the industry. Once the industry is revived, there is guarantee for adequate employment in Nigeria,” he said.
Jibrin commended NTMA for electing him as its life patron after serving as the grand patron of the association for 45 years.