Workers urge Buhari to step-up efforts against fabrics’ importation

Photo; fabricandart

Photo; fabricandart

LABOUR has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute the Presidential Task Force responsible for the destruction of seized imported textiles in the country, just as it commended the efforts of the officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on war against smuggling.

Officials of The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) said on Wednesday, that the renewed activism of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the fight against smuggling was part of the efforts against illegal importation of banned textiles into Nigeria.

“We are impressed by the recent discovery of 75 illegal warehouses in Kano where contraband textile materials worth about N319.9 billion were stored. We commend the customs for the reported seizure of the smuggled textile materials. We hope that this development is not another passing fad in line with the mood of the country for change but an enduring commitment of Nigeria Customs Service to do its job to protect local producers”, NUTGTWN stated in its release.

The statement by the Union’s Secretary General, Issa Aremu, stressed that, “the major threat to the realization of the great potential of Nigeria in textile production is high influx of counterfeit and smuggled goods. Over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s huge market size is dominated by smuggled and counterfeit goods, killing local companies in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Guzau, Aba and Port Harcourt, and millions of direct and indirect associated local jobs”.

He also pointed out that “smuggling denies the government the much needed revenue in unpaid custom duties”, saying that “according to the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Diko Abdullahi the duty value of the goods in one out of the uncovered 75 warehouses in Kano is N4.2 billion.”

“We are reassured by the Comptroller General of Customs’ resolve to prosecute the smugglers including the reported four Chinese nationals linked with the seized contraband textile materials”.
However, Aremu argued that “all the above efforts will end in vain unless the seized contraband textile materials are burnt in public like seized drugs otherwise they would find ways to the market thereby defeating the fight against contraband products.

“We once again call on President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute Presidential Task Force on destruction of seized textile materials once chaired by the current governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir Ahmed El Rufai. The task force should include all critical stakeholders including labour. This is necessary in order to protect and strengthen our domestic textile industries and save Nigerians’ job.

“If we combine the fight against smuggling with uninterrupted supply of electricity, long term cheap fund through the bank of Industry (BOI) and government patronage of locally produced textiles (school uniforms, police and customs uniforms), there is no doubt that textile industry in Nigeria will grow to its fullest

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