The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, yesterday urged the Federal Government to be more strategic in its relationship with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr. Bashir Wahab, from NISER Economic Policy Research Department, made the call when he delivered a lecture on competitiveness of the Nigerian Textile Industry at the institute.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN report that Wahab said “the government, being more strategic, would ensure that the textile industry was protected and given incentives that would enable it to satisfy local demands and compete globally.”
He emphasised that critical infrastructure such as electricity, water and transport, should be accorded increased attention to improve capacity utilisation of firms.
Wahab said the Cotton, Textile, Garment (CTG) Intervention Fund should be increased, extended to reach traditional textile firms through Small, Medium, Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Bank of Industry.
He also urged firms to begin to look inwards in terms of fabricating local technology through investment in Research and Development (R&D).
According to him, intensifying linkages between modern and traditional textile firms in Nigeria in terms of sourcing for raw materials, will promote the value chain in the sector.
Earlier, the NISER Director-General, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, said the textile industry had a great impact on the economy, especially in terms of revenue generation and employment.
Gbadebo-Smith, represented by the Director, Economy Research, Policy, NISER, Prof. Adesonji Adesanya, noted that the industry was the biggest in Nigeria and accounted for 25 per cent of employment in the 80s.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the industry, however, lost its glory recently due to a lot of factors, including inadequate power supply and urged for its restoration.
Also, the Chairman of the event, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, stressed that the revitalisation should not be left alone for the private sector but should also involve the government, industry and other stakeholders.