A UNIDO statement from the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos on Friday said the sector if revived would remain a major foreign exchange earner for the country.
“The Nigerian textile industry represented a strategic non oil industry and
the second largest industry in many parts of Sub Saharan Africa,” the Statement said.
It maintained that reviving the sector would create more jobs for farmers because of its high utilisation of local raw materials.
“The textile industry is unique because it has a high percentage of locally produced raw materials such as cotton and polyester,” the UNIDO said.
UNIDO expressed regret that fake textiles had flooded the country while many textile workers had lost their source of income due to the closure of many plants in the industry.
It attributed the development to the deteriorating power supply, unstable government policy and the menace of smuggled textiles into the country.
But in spite of several government recovery efforts, the number of plants in
the industry shrank from 175 to 25 between 1996 and 2009.
The workforce also declined from 137,000 to 24,000 within the same period.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration floated a N70 billion fund for the revival of the industry.