By Mustapha Hodi
A seasoned industrialist, Alhaji Sa’idu Dattijo Adhama has called for the establishment of Cotton/textiles/garment, groundnut, and leather Development Commissions in northern Nigeria.
Adhama, in an interview with a correspondent in Kano, said establishing the aforementioned commissions would help a lot in providing job opportunities to teeming youth in the northern part of the country.
According to him, it is high time for northerners to wake up from slumber and squarely face the economic problems bedeviling the region, just as their southern counterparts have gone far in uniting themselves to clamor for the establishment of Palm Oil Development Commission.
He said”We are now appealing to all concerned, all stakeholders, especially in cotton-producing states, to make sure they pressure, lobby and clamor for the establishment of cotton/textiles/garment development commission, groundnut development commission and leather development commission.
“Already people in the South have gone far in complete unity. They united themselves for one common goal, which is for the establishment of palm oil development commission. This agenda is about to be actualized.
” Establishing these commissions would go a long way in making us independent and boost our economy. It will provide millions of job opportunities for our teeming youth. Take the leather industry, for instance, we produce shoes, bags, belts, etc, but we mostly expletive them. That means we are expecting job opportunities,” he said
Adhama, who own a 4p-year old textile industry called Adhama Textile in Kano, noted that northerners must strive to see that all raw materials produced in the region have the policy to add value, adding that; “before thinking of exporting, let us think of adding value for usage in Nigeria in order to save our foreign exchange.”
He, therefore, advised political leaders to commence pursuing the agenda by setting up committees to lead the region in the agitation for the establishment of the proposed commissions.
Adhama, whose industry’s production capacity stood at 1,300 workforces at 90% capacity and 85% efficiency, said his factory is capable of producing 5 million readymade garments, like T-shirt per annum.
He, however, lamented that because of the dumping nature of all textile markets in the country, the operators do not have market share, adding that, that is why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is trying vigorously to revive the sector in a bid to make sure that all textile markets are functioning.
Adhama also highlighted some of the numerous challenges bedeviling textile industries in Nigeria, citing an epileptic power supply, especially in the northern part of the country as the major obstacle in the sector.
“No steady power supply, especially in the North. For over 16 years, northern Nigeria had never had an uninterrupted power supply of 6 hours. This translated to so many problems- that means Nigeria spent 12 years without electricity supply, ” Adhama said
Secondly, Adhama cited the dumping of made-in Nigeria products as another challenge facing Nigeria’s industries.
He noted that there is no sufficient fuel, which he referred to black oil to operate the generators, coupled with a lack of skilled manpower. “We need to train and retrain our youth in the sector. That would create employment opportunities for them, ” he said