Lagos – The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said that the textile industry could become a major export earner, if given adequate attention.
The NEPC Director, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, spoke in Lagos at a one-day Stakeholders’ Forum of Garments, Textiles and Apparels Producers in partnership with Sytlehouse Files Ltd.
Awolowo was represented by Mrs. Ngozi Obidike, the Zonal Head of the council.
He said that if the government and stakeholders give the Nigerian garments and textiles industry the necessary attention, the sector would become a major export drive.
“One of such interventions that we have made is by establishing a Human Capital Development Centre to enhance the capacity of the players in the garment industry.
“According to statistics, the global textile and apparel market is expected to reach $850 billion by 2015, which is a market boost.
“It is therefore imperative for the sector in Nigeria to brace up in order to take its share in the global market.
“The Federal Government has recently launched the Nigeria Cotton Textile and Garment Policy to boost the sector,” he said.
The lead speaker at the event, Mrs. Omoyemi Akerele, Chief Executive Officer, Stylehouse Files, said that the textile and garment value chain needed to be revived.
She said that the textile and garment industry had the potential to be a major export sector.
Akerele, however, said that there should be major focus on agriculture to address the production of cotton, the issues of quality, growing, harvesting and processing channels.
“There is also a gap to be filled in the retail aspect of this business; the channels through which finished textile products could reach the final consumers.
“In spite of the challenges of funds and infrastructure facing the textile and garment producers, Nigerian designs are gaining popularity in the global scene.
“Another challenge we have today is how to balance the supply and demand needs.
“For instance, in my organisation, we have approached no fewer than seven foreign designers to partner with our own designers in exports, but there is a challenge of short supply.
“The short supply can obviously be traced to the major challenges in the value chain and infrastructure, which the government needs to work on, as oil prices are dwindling,” she said.
Akerele said the goals of the industry should be to re-define the quality of made-in-Nigeria products, non-stop capacity building and expertise, access to finance, infrastructure and manufacturing.
A participant, Mrs. Teni Majekodunmi, Chief Executive Officer, Eclectic Chique, an export firm, said there were reliable players in the fashion value chain who could boost the export of indigenous fashion products.
She said that service providers in the area of logistics, developers and branding companies needed to be captured and recognised by the NEPC for the benefit of exporters.
Those in attendance at the forum include fashion designers, tailors, exporters and consultants in the industry, who brainstormed on the way forward for the sector.