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Garment industry capable of generating 600,000 jobs

By Franklin Alli
The Managing Director of    Lai Clothiers, Chief Lai Olumegbon, has estimated that the garment industry is capable of employing over 600,000 Nigerians who would in turn generate employment if the industry was properly harnessed.

Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Chief (Mrs) Eniola Fadayomi, presenting the prospectus of the 2009 Lagos International Trade Fair while the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asiwaju Solomon Onafowokan, looks on.
Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Chief (Mrs) Eniola Fadayomi, presenting the prospectus of the 2009 Lagos International Trade Fair while the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asiwaju Solomon Onafowokan, looks on.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to revive the industry by initiating a policy that would encourage private-public partnership (PPP) in the sector.

“Garment training institute can only work through PPP. The idea of government doing it alone will not bring out the required result,’’ he said.

He said that the garment industry should be the heart of President Musa Yardua’s Seven-Point Agenda because the sector was capable of generating employment for the teeming youths.

He pointed out that the partnership would reduce project cost, bureaucracy and the location of an institute in an out-of-the-way area.

He explained that the dearth of skilled garment manufacturers in the country was partly responsible for the influx of second-hand and substandard wears into the country. He said that his dream to establish a standard training institution in the country had not been possible because of lack of road map for the sector by the government.

He said that the sector was capable of competing and exporting garment to other parts of the world should the government create a road map for the sector.

Besides, he said that the ban of some garment materials and accessories, and the bureaucracy in getting waiver to import the needed materials that could not be sourced locally was a bane to the growth of the sector.

He said that garment manufacturers are finding it difficult to export their wears through AGOA because of the poor modalities and the standard of what to export.

“I was trained in the UK for seven years and I returned to the country to establish many garment factories. Because of my passion for the sector, I have left a four-storey building in Yaba unused for the establishment of a training institute for some years now. Effort to get successive governments to buy into the idea has failed

“It’s my dream that Nigeria garment industry if put in its proper pride of place in Africa and the world generally, will generate employment for the youths. We have the resources and capital to do it, if there is government backing,’’ he said.


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