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Nigerian government under fire for lifting textile import ban

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2016-03-03   Browse:1132
The National Union of Textiles Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture ( NACCIMA) have rejected the lifting of import ban on textile products by the government, saying it was illegal and did not follow due process, the Nigerian media has reported.
 
Earlier this week, the government through the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko had announced at the official launch of the implementation of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff (CET) that Nigerians can now import textile materials into the country if right duties are paid.
 
But the General Secretary of NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu said in Lagos that the ban on import of textiles into the country was imposed by the Olusegun Obasanjo's government in 2010, after due consultation with all stakeholders.
 
He said the ban was imposed to help the Nigerian textile manufacturers gain comparative advantage over foreign firms and the decision to reverse the ban will kill the textile industry that is reeling under the impact of cheap Chinese imports and smuggling.
 
Aremu, who is also the factional deputy president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the ban on import was necessary if the textile industry should get back to its former glory and help in the industrialisation of Nigeria.
 
He called upon President Buhari to reverse the decision to lift the ban.
 
Emmanuel Cobham, the Director-General of NACCIMA also condemned the revocation of the ban on import of textiles products.
 
He said the decision would expose the Nigerian textile industry to serious danger.
 
Cobham said lifting the embargo on importation of textile products would be counterproductive to government’s efforts to revive the moribund textiles sector of the economy.
 
“We are mortgaging our economy; the economy will not grow under such circumstances. We now depend on China and India for things that can be locally produced,” Cobham said.

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