By Ene Ene
In their efforts to make sure textile industries in the country are operational, textile manufacturers in Nigeria are seeking for special intervention grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria to help revive the moribund industries.
This was contained in a statement by the pioneer president
Of the Carpet Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh in Calabar during the weekend, said that the entire indigenous textile manufacturing companies like, Jackson David, Aswani and many others have gone aground because of their chief executive roles and fight for democracy under NADECO
The statement maintained that the
Consequences was that the country lost billions of naira with over 60, 000 of their workers who lost their jobs and the auxiliary companies, suppliers, distributors, transporters and others who were adversely affected.
Chief Udoh, who is the Chairman Jackson Devo’s FZE, said, “for any economy to grow, the government as a matter of necessity and urgency should bring back the industries which are the backbone of any economy”.
He said that Nigeria is trying to encourage the revival of its private sector, especially the present interest shown by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration towards the revival of the manufacturing sector.
He maintained that any country that does not pay great attention to the development of its private sector, which includes the small scale industries, cannot create the required and much desired employment for its citizens.
Production is the manufacturing of a product to meet the needs of consumers,. Any country relying on importation of most products the citizens consume cannot enjoy a stable economy because of certain economic deficiencies and market forces. Nigeria continues to be a dumping ground for foreign goods as there is no encouragement from government for manufacturers to step up their game.
He said for more than 30 years, Jackson Devos has been one of the most respected manufacturing companies in Nigeria, and that their product, Crown Carpet, was the leading brand across the country and is still in the market, he stated.
“Crown Carpet sold beyond the shores of Nigeria, it was much sought-after in Ghana and other West African countries”.
He stated that things became sore following the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC’s) alleged induced invasion which led to massive destruction of our machines. The worst attack came during the military regime led by Gen Sani Abacha between 1993 and 1998. As the chairman of the company, I became a scapegoat, with some of my brothers here in Cross River State due to irreconcilable political differences.
“My decision to support, campaign for and sponsor the agitation for enthronement of democracy in the country made those appointed into position in that military regime to label me a chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition” (NADECO).
According to him,”Our company was roundly attacked, and I was lucky to escape unharmed. However, the business was destroyed, the loan facility we obtained for the expansion of our factory was used as a weapon to fight us. It was a bad time to do business in Nigeria”he lamented.
The former NADECO chieftain also stressed that, bad policies and rapidly increasing exchange rates made it impossible to import some vital raw materials needed for their production.
“The acquisition of loan facility was to ensure that the company’s expansion program runs smoothly . Unfortunately, the unstable government fiscal policies affected the expansion plan adversely”.
“About 30 indigenous carpet manufacturing companies in the country have packed up and according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), there are only two of such companies still functioning”,
He commended President Tinubu and the government for considering and providing financial support to manufacturers in the country. It is a good beginning. He suggested that the government should consider providing special intervention grants to manufacturers through the Apex bank, with proper monitoring mechanism to ensure that only companies with requisite structure and infrastructure benefit from such support.