National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of (NUTGTW) have tasked the federal government to speed up the resuscitation of comatose industries in the sector which is capable of employing over three million Nigerians.
The General Secretary of NUTGTW, Comrade Issa Aremu, said the move will further validate the commitment which the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has shown in the institution of good governance for the people.
Aremu commended President MuhammaduBuhari for his commitments to diversify the Nigerian economy, fix local refineries, provide N500 billion conditional cash for the vulnerable, while tasking him on industrialisation to create jobs and boost the economy.
He said: “We agree with President MuhammaduBuhari that a strong currency is predicated on a strong economy. Industrialisation therefore remains the key to economic recovery for Nigeria, lessening of dependency on imports, thus saving scarce foreign exchange. It also serves as a source of employment for greater number of the population and invariably reduces income poverty.
“The Federal Government must accord urgent attention to the revival of labour intensive industries such as textile and garment. The industry can employ three million direct jobs. 26 out of the 36 states grow cotton of both long and short staple lengths. Sadly, Nigeria has become a dumping ground for mostly smuggled fabrics and even second-hand banned unhealthy cloths.
“We must overcome infrastructural inadequacy, electricity supply, smuggling, low patronage, counterfeiting and faking, raw materials among others. President Buhari must convene stakeholders meeting on textile with a view of implementing the Nigeria industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Cotton, Textile and Garment policy.
“The solution to the problems in the downstream sector is not importation of petrol but building domestic local refinery. Labour supports President Buhari on the need to save foreign exchange by fast tracking repair of the refineries and producing most of our fuel requirements at home. Nigeria must take advantage of the multiple benefits of crude oil by fixing existing local refineries, exploring local refining capacity and building petrochemical and gas plants and create sustainable mass decent jobs.
“We commend President MuhammaduBuhari for the successful launching of N500 billion as direct social transfers or conditional cash transfer program for the poorest and most vulnerable, social intervention programmes in five key areas that include providing job creation opportunities for 500, 000 teachers and one 100, 000 artisans across the nation.
“Labour salutes the socially sensitive policy that would feed 5.5 million children with nutritious meals through school feeding programme to improve learning outcomes, as well as enrolment and completion rates.
“Labour condemns the recent spate of attacks on oil and power installations by some militants in the Niger Delta and called on the militants to return to the path of dialogue to resolve all conflicts. All Nigerians and indeed all Africans are worse off with serial economic sabotage. Indeed assaults on oil and gas assets push Nigeria into deeper underdevelopment.”