By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Minister of State for Industry and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, has said the Federal Government is committed to the revival of textiles industries in Nigeria.
Hajiya Aisha made the declaration, while in Kaduna on a visit to the Textiles Workers Union during an inspection tour of factories.
Led by the Textiles Workers Union Secretary-General and member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National Executive Council (NEC), Comrade Issa Aremu retorted that labour and textiles workers would not allow ineffective leadership in the country any longer.
Comrade Aremu also said, “all stakeholders in the industry and labour have resolved that in 2019, only those who are committed to moving this country forward, industrially, would get the votes of workers.
The workers, during the factory tour pointed out that, three years of President Buhari’s government, the textiles industries in the major cities in the country remained closed despite his pledge in 2015, during campaign that the factories would come back to life.
Aremu, who made the remarks, while fielding questions from newsmen after hosting the Minister, said that “We must believe in our government; not only about what they said, but about what we want them to do. Even the fact that they have moved around the factories and President said he is committed to the revival of textiles, it is because we are putting pressure,” he added.
According to him, “There is no future for Nigeria without industrialization. And why should the industry collapse? We commend them for the commitment to the revival of textiles, but they must work based on what they talk to make this a reality.
“Why will State emergency Agencies go and buy tarpaulins, blankets, in the open market that is full of smuggled goods. And at times they even go to China to buy, while the ones produced by local industries are abandoned. And the Federal Government should also direct the Army, Customs, Police and other paramilitary institutions to buy made-in-Nigeria goods,” Aremu stated.
Comrade Aremu stressed that “All stakeholders in the industry and labour have resolved that in 2019, only those who are committed to moving this country forward industrially would get the votes of workers.” Only those, who are committed to the revival of industry, employment of workers and adequate pay for them, will get their votes. “If they don’t do so, we won’t vote for them.”
Besides, the President of the Textiles Workers Union, Comrade John Adaji, while reinforcing the position of Aremu, remarked thus: “Let me not fail to acknowledge the efforts of the Minister to move Nigerian industries out of the woods.” He however said, “But, as per result, if you ask me, I’ll say the work is in progress, but below expectation.
“This is because my expectation is such that after three years of this administration, at least by now I should be counting additional membership in the industries. And that can be a result of reviving the closed textiles factories or establishing new ones. But, up till just December last year, we are still losing membership. So, there are lots
of talks, a lot of policies but less result.”
The Minister, in her remarks solicited for the support and understanding of the textiles workers, saying that the government is working to ensure its campaign promised to revive Nigerian industries.
Hajiya Abubakar explained that “I would not say that government is sleeping. The time we took to go round, we have visited five textiles factories, and you can see the efforts of the Vice President in an attempt to ensure that the industries are resuscitated, when he was the acting president. I think government is doing a lot,” she said.
She added that “In moving forward, we have to reinforce the effort we started and increase our skills and provide the enabling environment, and solve the issue of power and also ensure access to the Nigerian market.”