The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in collaboration with El-Jahb Mubarak Nigeria Limited has organized a training workshop designed to train prospective investors in the area of production of garments for local and international markets.
Speaking at the entrepreneurship training on garment production for local and international markets in Kaduna, the Director General, RMRDC, Dr. Hussaini Ibrahim said the textile and garment industry is one of the oldest industries known globally where it was the largest employer of labour in the manufacturing sector and accounted for 25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria.
He said, the share of the manufacturing value-added and employment generation potential of the sector decreased significantly from creating 250, 000 jobs in 10997, to less than 25, 000 kin 2006; a decrease of over 80 per cent within the period lamenting that presently employment in the sub-sector is at an all-time low with less than 20, 000 employees.
While quoting results of a joint study carried out by the council and the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, he noted that more textile industries are closing down daily due to varying factors including obsolete machinery, high interest rate, inadequate infrastructure, lack of improvement in the local sourcing of raw materials and power.
He added, “Today, out of 250 mills that were operating in 1970’s, less than 25 are currently in production. The decline in the industry is particularly lamented as cotton turnover dwindled from N8.2billion to N300 million between 1980 and 2012 and the ginning capacity of existing ginneries also reduced from 78% to 33%.
He observed that the training is imperative in order to increased job opportunities and export potentials within the sector adding that, “This is important as modernization has necessitated the need for expanding textiles and garment production globally.
He attributed non-availability of quality cotton seeds to the decrease in cotton production in the country saying that a number of farmers rely on procurement of cotton seeds from ginneries which leads to poor resistance of the crop to plant diseases and low yield.
The MD, El-Jahab Mubarak, Alhaji Ja’afar S. Abdulkadir said, “It is a known fact that the Garment Industry throughout the world is the single largest manufacturing sector that can provide very high employment with little investment. History has proved that the Garment Industry has been a very vital support for economic growth in many developed and developing countries around the world and with little investment in this Industry, the direct and indirect impact it creates cannot be estimated.
“Our story in El-Jahab Mubarak Nig. Ltd, which as of today is the first indigenous Producer/Manufacturer of all types of specialised Uniforms, Accoutrements, Badges and Embroidery in Nigeria, is that of coming from a very long way, trekking the traditional path in our production business from generation to generation using old inherited traditional methods to the use of the most modern equipment and latest technology that you will be seeing inside our factory, side by side with the traditional equipment.”
He added, “We have been contributing our quota towards the successes of the Armed Forces and other Security Agencies, which we strongly believe is in line with the policies of the present administration on “In – Ward Sourcing and Self – Sufficiency” to make the Country Self- Reliant. We have being in the forefront of the current campaign of “Patronizing Made-In-Nigeria Products” because we use 90% local content in all our finished products, so we are “Proudly Nigerian.”