Dr. Hamma Kwajafa, the Director-General of Nigerian Textile Garment and Tailoring Employers, stated that the drive for foreign investments in the country cannot be achieved if important infrastructure such as electricity, is not established. Kwajafa addressed this at the 35th Annual Nation’s National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria in Kaduna during his keynote speech. He mentioned that the economy of South Africa is better in terms of functionality and productivity compared to the situation in Nigeria, which is caused by electricity.
Kwajafa made it known that South Africa is a nation with a population of 60 million people. He added that the country can produce 50,000 MW of electricity compared to the population in Nigeria which is estimated to be more than 200 million. Despite this, the situation is not improving as the population still struggles with 7,000 MW of electricity in the country. Kwajafa clearly stated that the situation in Nigeria would not promote a prosperous economy.
Production of polyester can be done in Nigeria, but for lack of refineries.
According to him, infrastructure has been one of the greatest challenges in Nigeria despite the country’s title as the giant of Africa. He reemphasized South Africa as a prosperous nation with 50,000 MW of power supply to serve its population of 60 million citizens. However, the situation in Nigeria is the opposite due to the usage of 7,000 MW of power supply for 200 million people in the country. He implied that the industry is severely affected by the poor electricity supply.
He also pointed out that dealers of textile materials import their textile resources and materials from China, where they buy polyester fabrics to use in Nigeria. He mentioned that these importers request backward integration from Nigeria. They request that cotton be bought by the country. Although he stated that the production of polyester can be done locally, but the issues of refineries in the country, which are not functioning, stopped the country from manufacturing the raw material. He reiterated that the refineries are known to be exporting jobs.
Four refineries are not functioning in the country.
Furthermore, he raised a question on the issue of refineries, “How can we have four refineries and none is working?” He progressed his statement, unveiling issues of private ownership of refinery in Nigeria. He stated that Dangote, who is an individual, established his personal refinery but four refineries are not functioning in the country. Furthermore, he affirmed that the cause of the situation is corruption which is found in the fuel hike in the country. With determination, he urged the NLC to embark on a strike to request for the repair of the refineries.
Additionally, Kwajafa said that NLC must implement force to ensure that there is provision of adequate infrastructure, and to guarantee its functionality. He explained that a prosperous economy and creation of new jobs cannot be guaranteed if there is no infrastructure. Furthermore, lack of exportation has led to the hike and inflation of the price of dollar. Also, Nigeria is ranked the highest importer of Champagne globally. Imported goods are more appreciated in Nigeria through consumption, but production in the country is neglected, causing it to build foreign economy over the Nigerian economy.
FG to explore crucial measures to protect the textile sector.
John Adaji, President of the Textile Workers’ Union, during his keynote, addressed the theme “The Future of Work in the Nigerian Textile and Garment Industry” which was based on the Education Conference. He implored the Federal Government to explore crucial measures to protect and enhance the textile sector in the country through the securing of the borders by the Nigerian Customs Service. He also proposed an increase in importation duties on finished textile products. This means creating stable energy, availability of forex to import raw materials and granting of tax waivers to local industries.