June 16, 2009

Textile workers raise the alarm over job losses

Textile workers on Mon day in Lagos urged the Federal Government to intervene in the dwindling fortunes of the sector. The workers under aegis of the National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN), expressed worry about imminent job losses in textile industries across the country.Mr Issa Aremu, the union’s General Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the ailing industries needed urgent government intervention to save them from total collapse.



The Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) had raised the alarm that about 10,000 workers might lose their jobs following incessant increase in the price of diesel. It said the few textile industries in the country were faced with the threat of shutdown because of the huge cost of generating alternative power.Aremu urged the government to release the N100 billion intervention fund approved for the sector since 2007.“The Federal Government should bail out the sector just like the U.S. government did recently to retain jobs,” he said.

The NUTGWN secretary appealed to the government not to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil to ensure stable prices of petroleum products. “The government must make the few textile industries to be competitive, reduce smuggling of textiles, price of diesel and tax,’’’’

Aremu added.On government’s plan to source raw materials locally for the sector, he lauded the idea but cautioned that it should not be out of the reach of the local industries. NAN recalls that the nation’s textile industry was the second largest employer of labour in the 80s after the government, with no fewer than 175 companies. Some 20 textile companies now exist across the country, according to NUTGWN.