Managing Director of the Ore Industrial Park, Dr. Femi Akinkuebi, has reiterated the need for the Nigerian Government and its people to take pride in massively investing in locally made products as a way of boosting the nation’s income.
The Managing Director made the disclosure while addressing newsmen on Thursday in Akure, the Ondo State Capital.
According to him, the Nation is richly endowed with the much needed raw materials as well as the skill set to globally promote made in Nigeria goods for viable economic gains.
Dr. Akinkuebi identified the textile industry as a huge sector which holds great economic potential.
He noted that Nigerian textile industry is a departure from the ideal, owing to challenges of huge appetite for importation, poor patronage, policy implementation and a broken value-chain.
He stressed that if only 10 per cent of the yearly import bill of $4 billion textile fabrics was re-invested into the textile industry, the country would be a net exporter and expand its revenue from programmes like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the United States.
While explaining that Industry data showed that in 2019, 18.6 per cent of all imported cotton worldwide ended up in China, he disclosed that the aforementioned country was the largest exporter of textiles and clothing products in the world. Chinese imports currently account for 60 per cent of the print fabric market in Africa, with India supplying an additional 21 per cent.
He further explained that West Africa itself is a large market for prints and buys around 65 per cent of all foreign imports. Nigerian demand accounts for around 38 per cent of total imports in the region.
In his words, “From materials knitting line/production of textiles auxiliary materials, like button, thread, stay down to clothing max production line, this industry has capacity to employ over 500,000 work force”, Akinkuebi said.
He enjoined the Nigerian government to leverage on the economic opportunities provided by this sector to economically advance the nation while also encouraging Nigerians to take pride in patronizing and investing in locally made goods.
Dr. Akinkuebi also appreciated the efforts of the Akeredolu led government in Ondo State for the creation of the Ore Industrial Park.
The Ore Industrial Park was built as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project and established on a massive 1000 hectares of eco-friendly, economic and industrially zoned land.
According to him, the facility which had commenced operations has the much needed incentives to aid the manufacturing of locally made goods in the country.
He hinted that the OIP is an integral industrial city offering quality service and an enabling business environment stimulated with ultra-modern facilities and infrastructure.
However, Akinkuebi, said the he park has its own installed 30MW Gas Power Plant with gas supply, planned recreational areas with other facilities, adding that six companies have already begun operations in the production of various locally made products.
“OIP is designed in cluster arrangements in which Textile and Garment is one of them, so we encourage stakeholders in that sector to key into it, e.g setting up knitting line, bottom production, tread, linen, and other materials.” he added