Life Patron of Nigerian Textiles Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Senator Walid Jibrin has said that the partial closure of the nation’s land borders by the Federal government can ensure revival of some moribund textiles industries in Nigeria and keep the surviving ones afloat.
Senator Jibrin who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) urged the Federal government to keep the borders closed because it helps in frustrating smuggling of foreign textiles products into the country.
In a chat with journalists shortly after the Annual General Meeting of NTMA in Kaduna, where he was unanimously elected as the Life Patron, Jibrin who is the Sarkin Fulani of Nasarawa said he has put in over 45 years in textiles Industry.
He said, “During my acceptance speech I thanked all Members for the confidence they have on me to elect me to this highest position in the Textiles Industry regretting that the Industry that was proud of employing over 300,000 workers with 175 Textiles Industries in existence in the 80s has in its employment now less than 30,000 employees with surviving Industries of only 30.
“While congratulating the Federal Government for turning attention to the textiles Industry especially in the areas of trying to curve smuggling by introducing policies aimed towards reviving the Industry, the Textiles Industry welcomes the closure of Nigerian Borders which has tremendously reduced the rate of smuggling of Textiles Fabrics to Nigeria.
He said, “We want the border closure to remain because smuggling of foreign textiles fabrics into our country is not good for the revival of the industry in Nigeria.
“The Textile Industry is also in dare need of adequate electricity to aid its production as against the use of 70%
generator as against 30% PHCN usage.
“The Industry also appreciate the Government through the CBN for giving support to Cotton Production and Textile Industry to produce made in Nigeria uniforms for the Armed Forces, Immigration, Customs, and Prison.
“The Bank of Industries 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.
Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja said the issue of partial closure of Nigeria’s land border to goods from neighbouring countries will be determined by report of tripartite committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic.
President Buhari, who received President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa, said Nigeria’s decision to partially close the borders was purely to safeguard national security.