Ask Nigeria Header Logo

Revitalize Nigeria’s textile industry — NLC

Photo of author

By Usman Oladimeji

Collaboration and working as a team is crucial to rejuvenate the sector.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged all stakeholders to come together and focus on revitalizing Nigeria’s struggling textile sector. Joe Ajaero, the President of the NLC, addressed this at the 13th National Delegates Conference of National Union of Textiles Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja. He expressed worries about the mishandling of funds meant to rejuvenate the industry. Ajaero highlighted previous government programs like the ₦100 billion and the more recent ₦50 billion Textile Revival Implementation Committee (TRIC) as examples of such mismanagement.

Despite the investments made, there are still persisting challenges in the industry, raising concerns about the proper allocation of funds. Many are questioning why the sector is still facing difficulties despite the infusion of money. The importance of the industry cannot be underestimated, as it has a significant impact on job creation and the overall economy of a nation. Ajaero highlighted the fact that the industry previously used to provide jobs for millions of Nigerians through over 200 fully functioning textile manufacturing industries in the country. These companies proudly utilized Nigerian cotton to create a variety of products that were both sold domestically and exported to neighboring nations.

Influx of finished textile products collapsed local market.

Ajaero emphasized how detrimental neoliberal policies have been to the industry. The concept of neoliberalism led to increased competition through imports, thereby, damaging our economy. The influx of finished textile products into the country contributed to the collapse of our local market, according to the NLC president. He bemoaned the decline of a once-thriving industry that had the potential to drive national industrial growth. Numerous companies ceased operations, leading to the closure of countless factories and the mass layoff of workers across Nigeria. The country continues to face the aftermath of this devastating development.

Given these difficulties, Ajaero stated that it is crucial to come together and work as a team to rejuvenate the industry. He commended NUTGTWN for their previous work in defending workers’ rights and encouraged them to keep pushing for a stable future in the field. Pointing out the conference theme “Building Union Power for sustainable industrialisation and the future of work,” Ajaero said unity and collaboration among unions can drive impactful change. He charged union members to select leaders who advocate for worker benefits and are dedicated to enhancing the labor movement.

Challenges in the market stem from inadequate infrastructure.

Nigeria boasts a vibrant textile industry, celebrating traditional fabrics like Ankara and Aso oke as symbols of cultural heritage. Yet, the sector grapples with obstacles such as foreign competition, poor infrastructure, and policy limitations. The challenges in this market stem from inadequate infrastructure, unreliable electricity, and limited access to affordable funding for producers. Even with obstacles in their way, some companies have found success through streamlining their production methods, utilizing modern technology, and building robust distribution channels.

Even with the federal government’s efforts to boost local production, the industry in Nigeria continues to struggle, leading to a significant increase in textile imports over the past two years. According to NBS data, imports of textiles and textile articles have doubled, reaching a record high of ₦365.5 billion in 2022, up from ₦182.5 billion in 2020, marking the highest import levels in over a decade. Out of the 24 textile industries in the country, only a handful are operating efficiently and effectively.

Related Article: Indigenous textiles projected on global stage

Over the years, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on behalf of the federal government, has implemented numerous schemes to assist the industry. These initiatives have included financial aid, training programs, and regulations on foreign exchange for textile materials in the official market. Additionally, measures have been taken to limit the importation of products. In an effort to attract more foreign investments, the central bank took the drastic measure of freezing importers’ accounts. This is intended to incentivize importers to set up factories within the country instead of continuing to import goods. Unfortunately, the country’s exorbitant production costs are deterring potential investors, as local producers struggle to compete on a global scale.

Related Link

Wikipedia: Website

The content on is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.

Fact Checking Tool -