Following the ban placed on rice and poultry imports, the Nigerian Senate wants importation of textiles to be banned for at least five years. The Senate is hoping that with this move, there will be local production of textiles.

Senator Kabir Barkiya, a lawmaker representing Katsina Central Senatorial District moved the motion during plenary session. According to the Punch, the session was themed “Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose textile industry.”

The Details: The senators were of the opinion that local textile manufacturers lacked the right resources to take control of their industry. According to them, the textile industry also lacks power supply and credit facilities.

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The Katsina State Senator took the National Assembly down memory lane to the times when the textile industry could boast of 140 companies and had several employees in the sector.

He said: “The textile industry recorded an annual growth of 67 per cent and as of 1991, employed above 25% of the workers in the manufacturing sector. The textile industry was then the highest employer of labour apart from the civil service.”

The Senator noted that the industry had declined following the closure of Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile and Aba Textile industries.

Another lawmaker representing the Ondo North, Senator Robert Boroffice waded into the matter, noting that importation of textile materials negatively impacted the industry.

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The closure of our borders is an eye-opener. China closed its borders for 40 years for its industrialisation and development. I believe that the closure of our borders should be extended to allow us to put our house in order.”

However, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan refused to agree with the lawmakers, citing the importance of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. He did well to warn lawmakers that Nigeria cannot just stop trading with other nations. He stressed the need for the country to embrace competition rather than cut trade ties due to the repercussions involved.

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