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Apparel, leather & footwear industry struggling to survive
Jun '10
The apparel and leather goods or footwear industry of Nigeria, have been struggling to stay alive through its pathetic conditions, thanks to the adverse impact of world economic downturn and various internal issues, such as, dearth in funds and insufficient public utility.

In addition, smugglers smuggling in fake goods from Asia, has further added to this sector's woes. This current situation has also pushed many footwear and apparel enterprises towards closure, rendering over 10,000 labourers jobless. For those remaining, the future still looks bleak, as the situation continues to pose a threat for the entire sector.

For the apparel or footwear industry to survive and lead the economy, the President of Nigerian Associations of Chamber, Commerce, Industry, Mining and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Simon Chukuemeka Okolo said that, the industries require improve skills, more funds and improved and enhanced treatment.

Further more, Okolo opined that, government's support was an important factor to help develop the sub-sectors, as the yearly utilization of apparels and footwear by government agencies is sufficient to ensure 70 percent capacity utilization of the sector.

Had uniforms, apparels and footwear, which are utilised by the government agencies, were produced by Nigerian textile firms, than importing goods from other countries, sufficient contribution could have been made for developing the sector.

In order to support the Nigerian apparel and shoe goods, Okolo informed that, one needs to more over the imagery of donning made-in-Nigeria apparels and leather goods to a more effective policy of forcing all government agencies to don domestically produced uniforms.

Agencies that need to follow this are Nigeria Police, Army, Customs, Air Force, health workers, and the like. It is vital to help the apparel and leather industry of the country, as it creates foreign exchange for the government and provides jobs for many.

The reason behind the domestically produced garments failing to satisfy the Nigerians is the poor state of production of these goods. Hence, as an option, Nigerians import many goods as second-hand apparels, but even those fail to satisfy the internal market.

Other factor acting against the textiles and leather goods industry in Nigeria is the dumping of low-quality textile materials from South-East Asia and other countries. But the matter has now turned critical as the production cost in Nigeria has increased owing to lack of infrastructure.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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