ABUJA – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved policy measures aimed at repositioning the nation’s cotton, textile, garment (CTG), and fashion sectors of the economy.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, said this when he briefed State House correspondent after the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Aganga, the policy, which is part of the National Industry Revolution Plan (NIRP) covers the entire fashion value chain from cotton to designing.
He said that there was no better time to intensify implementation of the NIRP than now in view of the huge pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves due to falling oil prices.
“Globally, the CTG sector is a market of about 2.5 trillion dollars, accounting for about 3.6 per cent of the world’s economy.
“In terms of export, it accounts for about 800 billion (dollars); direct employment, close to 60 million and of course indirect (employment) close to 300 million.
“In Nigeria, the cotton and textile sector in the 60s and 80s was actually the second largest employer of labour after government, and was a critical sector of the economy.
“But of course as you know, we have seen a decline over the last two, three decades due to a number of factors:
“High cost of funding, high cost of energy, obsolete equipment and plants and machinery, quality and quantity of cotton, a lot of contamination, smuggling, counterfeiting and dumping.
“These are all the issues that this new policy is here to address.