The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said on Monday that it has received a presidential directive to revive the cotton, textile and garment (CTG) sector.
This was made known by the Minster for state for the Ministry, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, at a meeting with members of the National Committee for the Implementation of the Cotton, Textile and Garment Policy in her office in Abuja.
She stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about the revival of the cotton, textile and garment sector in view of its huge potential for job creation across its value chain.
The Minster said that the ministry has the Presidential mandate to identify challenges that keep on occurring in the sector and to chart the way forward.
She described the CTG sector as the highest employer of labour next to government in the past, with over 175 mills at its peak in the 1980s is now a shadow with barely 30 companies operating presently.
“This meeting is called to review the activities thus far and to chart the way forward. In this regard, we should identify the short, medium and long term programmes.
“As we deliberate, I urge you all to put the interest of Nigeria uppermost in our discussion, and the government is determined to do everything to revive this all important sector.” She said.
The committee was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2015 following the launch of the policy, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in Dec., 2014.
The chairman of the committee, Mrs Omotanwa Awobokun, said the meeting was convened to brief the minister on the work plan and strategy for implementation of the policy.
Awobokun said the policy was a component of the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) designed to address the challenges in the entire value chain from cotton production to fashion designing.
She identified the challenges to include high cost of funding, unstable power supply, obsolete equipment, plants and machinery, cotton contamination, smuggling, counterfeiting and lack of quality assurance infrastructure.
The chairman added that the members of the cross-sectoral committee were drawn from relevant public and private organisations whose mandates touched on the identified areas of challenges.
The Federal Ministries of Finance and Agriculture and Rural Development; the Bank of Industry, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, the National Cotton Association of Nigeria and other members were represented at the meeting.