Dr. Hamma Kwajafa, the Director-General of Nigerian Textile Garment and Tailoring Employers, emphasized that Nigeria’s pursuit of foreign investments is contingent on establishing critical infrastructure, particularly power.
Speaking at the 35th Annual Nation’s National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria in Kaduna, Kwajafa pointed out that South Africa’s economic success is attributed to its electricity capacity, boasting 50,000MW for a population of 60 million, whereas Nigeria, with over 200 million people, struggles with a mere 7,000MW. He asserted that such an energy deficit impedes the country’s potential for economic prosperity.
Expressing concern about the textile industry, Kwajafa lamented that dealers now turn to China for polyester fabrics due to challenges in Nigeria’s backward integration approach. He criticized the non-functionality of Nigeria’s refineries, advocating for actions like strikes to compel their operation. Kwajafa underscored the need for adequate infrastructure, especially reliable power, as a prerequisite for job creation and economic growth, highlighting the impact of the Naira’s depreciation against the Dollar due to limited exports.
The Education Conference’s keynote speaker, John Adaji, President of the Textile Workers’ Union, urged the Federal Government to intervene decisively in saving the textile sector. His recommendations included tightening borders through the Nigeria Customs Service, increasing import duties on finished textile products, granting tax waivers to local industries, ensuring energy infrastructure, and facilitating access to forex for raw material imports. Adaji emphasized the urgency of these measures to secure the future of work in the Nigerian Textile and Garment Industry.