In its bid to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation process, the federal government has inaugurated the National Steering Committee to implement Leather Products Policy in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu urged Nigerians to take advantage of the low cost of labour and invest in the leather industry.
Onu said all efforts would be deployed to ensure effective implementation of the policy, adding that past efforts at industrialisation failed because the nation failed to do first thing first.
He added that the widely acclaimed Moroccan Leather products were actually sourced from Nigeria, saying the leather industry is very critical to national growth and development because it will boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase our foreign exchange earnings. He added that the policy will solve most of the problems hindering the growth of the leather sector and will enable Nigeria to produce shoes, belts and other leather products similar to what is obtained in other developed countries of the world.
Onu added that the committee is expected to set up working plan and budget for the effective implementation exercise of the policy within two months.
Earlier, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr Bitru Nabasu charged the committee to ensure the actualisation of this strategic implementation plan to enable Nigeria realise the gains in the leather sector.
The chairman of the committee and the director general of Nigerian Institute of Leather, Science and Technology (NILEST), Dr Eucharia Oparah, said that the leather industry has a lot of potentials but has not been given the boost, adding that this step is the beginning of the revitalisation of the leather sector.
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