Fashion enthusiast calls on President Buhari to monitor textile industry funds
By Jonah Dim-Oba
As the federal government approves N19.2 billion to revive the Cotton, Textile and Garment, CTG sub-sector, Fashion enthusiast, Dr Merit Gordon Obua has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively monitor the funds to ensure it is properly used to revamp the textile industry.
The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had disclosed this in Abuja, recently, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with some critical interest groups in the Cotton, Textile and Garment, CTG.
According to Merit-Obua, this move by the F.G is heart warming but must not be allowed to suffer misappropriation by some corrupt individuals who lack the vision of the immerse benefit abound in the textile industry to our economy.
She stated that it was sad that the once bubbling Nigeria’s textile industry collapsed with mass retrenchment of workers thereby increasing the rate of hunger among capable hardworking young people.
‘‘Every administration releases money, but like the previous administration the mistake they made was not following up how the money was used.
‘‘Mr. President has to personally follow-up the execution of and use of this money to ensure that the purpose for which it was approved is achieved. Our textile industry must be rebuilt to enable it compete with its international counterparts. We also recognize that it will provide jobs to our teaming unemployed graduates’’ she said
While reacting to border closure on fabrics, she recounted an experience in 2014, where she could not find a single fabric that was made in Nigeria.
She however called on state governments to support the move by the F.G by providing land and power in locations where these textile manufacturers can operate.
‘‘I must commend PMB for this laudable move in the textile industry, with this directive I strongly believe that this time, it will have an effect in that area. Because, when the Chinese came and took over our textile industry that was during Mr. President’s regime as head of state. At the time, Nigeria was one of the highest exporters of fabric, we were competing with china.
‘‘I recall in 2013, when I was made the patron of African Fashion Reception, in charge of Africa, in 2014, we were planning on hosting a major event in Nigeria, to showcase our garments. After one of such fashion shows and press conference, I was asked to bring a fabric that is designed and named ‘made in Nigeria’ I went to the market myself and couldn’t believe that there was no single fabric made in Nigeria, all the fabrics were made and imported from china into Nigeria.
‘‘Then I invited the president of Nigeria tailoring association and I also met with a former staff of Nigeria textile workers union, that was when I got to understand that Nigeria was actually producing fabric, then the Chinese came in form of partnership to take over the production of textile in Nigeria, they went back to their country and produced and brought it back into the country.
‘‘So, that is the past we are convinced that with the present F.G directives Nigeria textile today will change so to it can boast our economy’’ she said.