The Zamfara Textile industry on Sunday urged the Federal Government to ban import of foreign fabrics to revive the nation’s ailing textile mills.
Sani Muhammad, the Administrative Secretary of the mill, made the call while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau.
He said the importation of textile materials led to the collapse of the nation’s textile sector.
Mr. Muhammad lamented that Zamfara Textile Industry, established in 1965, had laid off over 2, 500 workers in 2004.
“It is unfortunate that the industry is not able to come back fully,” the manager said.
He described the plan by the government to improve power supply as a `welcome development’, adding that if the importation of textile goods were not stopped, surviving local mills would be operating at a loss.
He said cotton farmers, who produced raw materials for the mills had moved to other crops with the collapse of the sector.
He, therefore, urged the government to provide improved cotton seeds and modern textile machines for Nigerian fabrics to favourably compete with foreign ones.
The Chairman, Ginners Association of Nigeria in the state, Sani Dahiru, blamed poor cotton production on the neglect of the agricultural sector and collapse of the textile industries.
He said of the 15 ginneries operating in the state, only two offered skeletal services.
Mr. Dahiru urged the government to provide trained agricultural extension workers to assist cotton famers meet the needs of the surviving mills.
When contacted, the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the state, Musa Raji, said despite government’s efforts to encourage cotton farmers, there was no much progress.
He said that the ministry, which has supplied improved seeds and fertilizer to the farmers, was always ready to offer professional advice to them.
Similarly, the state Commissioner for Information, Umar Jibo, said the state government would provide ready markets to the cotton farmers and other stakeholders.