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UN agency raises concerns about collapse of textile industry
13
Mar '09
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has noted that the textile sector in Nigeria was rapidly going down, with very few textile companies still operating in the country. This inference has been drawn in a UNIDO Critical Situation Report on the Nigerian textile industry.

UNIDO has noted that if immediate steps are not taken to revive the sector and avoid its collapse, it would have disastrous consequences for the whole Nigerian economy and added by saying that the few mills that are currently operational are also running at very low capacity levels and could close down any time.

The report states that in 1985, there were about 175 textile companies in the country and by 2002, the numbers had fallen to 50, in 2006 to 32 and in 2008, they were reduced to just 25 mills across the whole country, which had led to large scale unemployment after all it was the second largest employer after the government.

At its peak, the sector provided employment to around 137,000 workers, which fell to 83,000 in 2000 and has further declined to just 24,000 in 2008. Among many reasons cited by the agency, the proliferation of cheap imported textiles and clothing spelled the doom of this once very vibrant sector in the country.

The delay in releasing the N70 billion textile revival fund as well as high cost of credit was making the mills that were still operational unviable and has urged the Federal Government to immediately take measures to stop further rot in the sector, which will ultimately affect the economy of the country, the report concluded by saying.


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