THE National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria(NUTGTWN), has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to consider tax waivers for the textile industry.
The union asked the government to review its policies and look into tax waivers for textile industries to encourage investment and fair competition in the industry.
The President of NUTGTWN, Comrade John Adaji,made this plea on Monday,November 21st, at the union’s Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Industrialisation and Employment in Nigeria in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, FES, held in Abuja.
Comrade Adaji reiterated that the textile industry remains the key driver of sustainable jobs and development for most national economies of developing nations like Nigeria and in the world.
He, however, submitted that, “There is still a huge gap between official policy pronouncements and implementation. Even with all these positive indications, there are still a number of challenges.
“The current state of affairs in the country and the continent in general necessitates the need for us to intensify our advocacy and campaign for sustainable industrialization and employment. We are concerned about the precarious situation of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria particularly as it affects the textile industry and its implication for our members’ welfare, jobs and employment in general.
“Employment in the textile industry continues to decline with attendant decline in union membership.”
Continuing, he said, “The point cannot be overstated. The future of Nigeria and Africa lies in adding value to its abundant raw materials and creation of sustainable jobs. Employment generation and employment retention as well as poverty eradication largely depend on the amount of value-addition through industrialisation and degree of diversification of the economy.
“Textile Industry remains the key driver of sustainable jobs and development for most national economies of developing nations like Nigeria.
“It is against the above background that we are embarking on this Policy Dialogue to sustain the pressure and advocacy for friendly business environment, stable macroeconomic policy, consistent, clear and focused industrial strategy that will provide support and incentives for manufacturing activities, ensure value addition and decent job creation in the country.
“The government needs to take urgent steps to review its policies and consider tax wavers for our industries to encourage investment and encourage fair competition.
“Smuggling is the major killer of the textile industry in Nigeria. The issue of smuggling must be decisively dealt with if we are to keep the remaining industries and employment in the sector. “
He then went on to commend Africa’s foremost industrialist and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for always supporting and throwing his weight behind the clamour for the revival of Nigeria’s ailing textile manufacturing industry.
“Alhaji Aliko Dangote recently urged the National Assembly to pass a law that would penalise sale of banned textiles materials by imprisoning culprits without any option of fine.
“We commend Alhaji Dangote not just for his patriotic investment in value added manufacturing but also for his firm stand on the need for tough measures to save the textile industry and create more decent jobs for teeming unemployed youths of the country,” he said.