The federal government says that it will strive to resurrect the country’s remaining 160 textile companies.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, stated that currently, only seven textile firms are operating at less than full capacity, compared to the days when the country claimed over 170 companies, each employing between 3,000 and 15,000 people.
He revealed this during a courtesy visit to his office by members of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN). President NACOTAN, Anibe Achimugu said the association wanted to seek better collaboration with the ministry and bring to its notice emerging challenges confronting the cotton industry and solicit for support.
He said Nigeria needs a revamped cotton industry to deal with the present huge youth unemployment, restiveness, banditry, drug abuse and migration issues.
He added, “NACOTAN has done a lot to improve our competitiveness at the sub-regional, continental and global levels. We have been able to create value for over two hundred thousand cotton farmers through seeds and input distribution supported with extension service support.
“The importance of cotton cultivation is such that a single tonne of cotton provides year-round employment for five people on average. The farmers have acquired banking culture, increased their yields (from about 0.4 to 0.75 ton per hectare) and better farm business practices.”
Mr. Mohammed Abubakar stated “The resuscitation will boost large scale cotton farming in Nigeria and revive the textile industries that have become moribund for decades. In the 80s, Nigeria had about 170 textile companies, with each employing nothing less than 3,000 to 15,000 and above”