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Nigerian textiles companies facing closure

Textile mills in Nigeria are shutting down. Reasons include poor maintenance, mismanagement, smuggling, little or no access to funds, low supply of electricity and high cost of inputs, competing textile imports from Asian countries and dumping of substandard fabrics in the country.

In the 1980s the country had over 200 factories producing fabrics for local and international markets. Between 1985 and 1991, the textile sector was responsible for 25 per cent of the entire manufacturing sector in Nigeria. Textile factories in the country are now producing below 30 per cent capacity. There are less than 30 functional cotton, textile and garment mills in the country. Capacity utilisation in the remains abysmally low.

Huge amount of money have been committed to revival of the industry in recent years but without any appreciable results. In spite of the importance of the textile industry to the economic recovery of the country, especially on account of its revenue and job creation abilities, little has been done to maximise its potential. In the face of stiff Asian competition, manufacturers are asking for protection. Traders, on the other hand, want a quick propping up of the local currency to make imports affordable. Until such interventions happen, more traders and manufacturers will be at the mercy of Asian suppliers.