Nigeria’s textile imports hit N365bn despite efforts to revive local industry

Bisola David
Bisola David
Nigeria's textile imports hit N365bn despite efforts to revive local industry

Nigeria’s imports of textiles have more than doubled in just two years, reaching a 15-year high despite efforts to revitalize the industry.

The National Bureau of Statistics data revealed that from N182.5 billion in 2020 to N365.5 billion in 2022, the importation of textiles and textile-related products increased by 100.3% which was the highest level in at least 15 years.

According to statistics gathered from the NBS, the last time the textile, apparel, and footwear subsector experienced positive growth was in 2018.

Since then, the federal government has implemented a number of intervention programs through the Central Bank of Nigeria, including financial assistance, training, and foreign exchange restrictions for all types of textile materials at the official exchange market, as well as the importation of textile products.

“The director-general of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, Hamma Kwajaffa said, “People are still importing considerably more than before, therefore the CBN hasn’t done what they wanted to do three years ago. How do we get ready to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area deal in light of this rise in imports? ”

Kwajaffa claims that there are at least 24 textile industries in the nation, but that only three of them are now operating effectively because some ministries patronize them while, in reality, they would have long since shut down.

An economy’s contribution from the manufacturing sector, which includes the textile industry, is significant. Numerous skilled and unskilled jobs are expected to be created, as well as income from exports, foreign direct investment, and a decrease in poverty.

Nigeria is one of the main producers of cotton in West Africa. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that cotton production increased from 920,000 metric tonnes in 2019 to 1.6 million metric tonnes in 2020.

“Around 80–90% of the Nigerian textile market is made up of imported goods. Imports thus control a substantial portion of the market. Because of the porous borders, which still allow for a lot of smuggling and restrictions which do not ensure local manufacturing,” according to the CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Muda Yusuf.

According to Kwajaffa, “Even if the goods are produced locally, the high inflationary environment will make them less accessible in a nation with such a high rate of poverty.

“We need to address raw materials and the cost of power in a very significant manner, not this very little effort here and there that does not have a critical mass,” he declared.

Building the capacities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises will also boost the industry, according to a recent analysis by the Oxford Business Group.

This can be accomplished, it said, “through training programs in priority areas (including supply, quality control, and marketing of textiles), preparation of investment profiles to attract foreign direct investment in the textile sector, and provision of information for micro-enterprises and SMEs in the region and buyers outside of Africa.”

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