Bank of Industry, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa has said that for the nation’s textile producers to remain competitive, they must leverage on the emerging technology in the sector. Olaoluwa, who spoke during the Annual National Education Conference in Kaduna, noted that the adoption of new technology would not only help textile producers in cutting the cost of production, it would also make their products competitive in the global market. The forum, which has as its theme: “Buhari Administration: Revival of Textile Industry and Creation of Decent Jobs”, was organised by the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria(NUTGTWN) and Nigeria Textile, Garment and Tailoring Employers’ Association. The conference brought together various stakeholders to deliberate on the state of the textile sector with a view to addressing some of the constraints that have held it down from realizing its potential in employment generation and capital flow. National Mirror investigation, has however, revealed that while over 121,100 jobs have been lost as a result of inactivity in the sector, only 39 out of the 143 textile mills across the country currently in operation.
However, beyond the issue of finance and smuggling, the BOI boss stated that it was imperative for the operators in the sector to be innovative, adding that textile business had gone digital. He stated, “The textile union education conference is very timely in the sense that, as you are aware, the President, Mohammadu Buhari has been quite emphatic on the need for Nigeria to revive the textile sector. “Some of the issues that have come out today has to do with how to deal with the issue of smuggling. It is an issue government needs to deal with firmly, especially with the Nigeria Customs Service. What also came out clear is the need for the textile industry to also be up and doing in term of embracing new technology. “Textile industry globally has gone digital and for us to be competitive, we need to invest in new technology and ensure that textile industry is able to do cost effective short-run. New technology we enable textile producers to come up with product sample very quickly, come out with new designs just by operating the computer. “There is a lot of computer aided designs that have gone into textile printing today. That is the challenge to the industry.”