Textile manufacturers seek revival of commodity boards
Despite various intervention programmes initiated by the Federal Government to revive the textile industry, operators in the sector have sought the revival of commodity boards to improve access to raw materials needed by textile manufacturers.
Indeed, the operators want the Federal Government to establish a cotton corporation in the country in order to boost production of the commodity and revitalise the textile industry.
Commodity Board, at the best of times, promoted the production of quality produce to meet with the quality standards of manufacturers and encouraged raw material availability for industries by creating a storage facility for excess agricultural produce.
The President of Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA),Mrs Grace Adereti, in a chat with The Guardian, said the creation of the corporation would ease textile manufacturers’ access to raw materials for production.
“When we contacted the farmers, they said that they are not ready to supply to us at the price negotiated by the ginners. We discovered that the farmers base their price on what they will generate from exporting the cotton.
“If we accede to the price, our output will become uncompetitive considering the infrastructural deficit in the country, which affects the cost of production.
“We are in a fix. Some factories have suspended production because they do not have cotton for production. In the past, there was a market board and government had control over the price of cotton.
“We want the government to intervene in this matter and save manufacturers. We have the machinery and the workforce and we are ready to produce, but we are hindered by the present situation,” she said.
The Director-General of the association, Hamma Kwajaffa, also alleged that rivalry among government agencies contributed to the challenges hindering the growth of the textile industry.
“The former Minister of Agriculture initiated the creation of the cotton corporation, but he had a rivalry with the Minister of Trade that said establishing the corporation falls within his domain.
“That was how the whole matter was stalled at the Federal Executive Council. The absence of regulation makes everyone to fix prices that they want across the value chain. We will prefer that local usage of cotton is given preference before export,” Kwajaffa said.
He said the corporation would create shared prosperity while stimulating the growth of the agricultural and industrial sectors of the economy.