The National Union of Textile Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN) on Sunday called on the Federal Government to be consistent with its policies on locally manufactured goods.
Mr Oladele Hunsu, the newly elected President of the Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that allowing indiscriminate importation of foreign made textile materials would hinder local production.
``Opening the borders for imported goods in one hand and giving out loans to enable manufacturers revive their struggling companies are contradictory.
``Any manufacturer that succeeds in obtaining a loan to revive a factory will be competing with imported textiles. It makes it difficult to sustain the business,’’ Hunsu said.
He said that some local manufacturers could be tempted to start importing textile materials if they were cheaper than home-made ones.
The union president said that indiscriminate opening of the borders was impacting negatively on job opportunities in the textile industry.
``Many motor cycle operators in various states of the country are workers from textile companies who lost their jobs after the factories were closed.
``I appeal to the government to review the importation policy because about 700 thousand graduates who leave universities yearly are not sure of securing jobs,’’ he said.
Hunsu said that government should repair the roads and restore electricity to enable manufacturers who collected loans from the Bank of Industry to work.
He said that the union was collaborating with state governments to ensure that dead factories were rehabilitated.
``Without the industries, there will not be workers and without the workers there will not be any industry. The UNTL in Kaduna which has not fully commenced operation has already employed about 3,000 workers.
``The union will continue to impress it on the government to ensure that the textile industry does not die.
``It used to be the largest employer of labour, after the government, before it started declining 10 years ago,’’ he said.
Hunsu gave assurances that the union would not rest on its oars to ensure that more companies were revived. (NAN)