The Federal Government on Monday has said the Nigerian Leather Industry now generates revenue for the country valued between $600 to $800 million annually.
The FG through the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the National Leather and Leather products policy implementation plan validation workshop held in Abuja.
Dr Onu, whose message was delivered by the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barrister Abdullahi Mohammed further said there was the urgent need to implement the national leather and leather product policy in order to boost leather production as a source of revenue for the country.
He noted that the leather has a global market size of about $20 billion traded annually and with lots of opportunities abound.
The minister then charged relevant stakeholders in the leather and leather products industry to ensure that all hands were on deck to ensure the success of the programme and in the long-run ensure Nigeria benefits from the enormous potential.
According to him, the leather industry is strategic in the development of Nigeria’s economy due to substantial export earnings and value and the enormous employment opportunities it provides.
He affirmed that leather has the potential of successfully increasing Nigeria’s foreign earnings.
“To achieve this feat, there is a need for value addition in Nigeria’s leather value chain in order to upgrade its position in the regional and global trade of leather communities.” He insisted.
He then, tasked leather industry stakeholders to initiate visionary and creative strategies which would fast-track Nigeria’s move from a resource-based to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.
Earlier, the acting Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Dr (Mrs.) Eucharia Oparah said the workshop provided the opportunity for major key players to interact, cross-fertilize ideas and exchange information that would contribute to the growth of the leather sector in the country.