New Telegraph

Labour Laments Roles Of IMF, World Bank In Nigeria’s Textile Sector

The President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, has recalled the destructive roles played by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in the death of once vibrant Nigerian textile industry. The labour leader, while delivering a goodwill message at the 13th National Delegate Conference of the National Union of Textiles, Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja, recalled that one of the unions that had great impact on him as a journalist and spiked his interest in becoming part of the wonderful family of trade unionism was NUTGTWN.

He said It gave him a glimpse into the great potential the movement offered as a platform for workers and the masses to defeat forces of retrogression and bring positive change to the society. He, however, said: “Your union was heavily impacted by the policies of the twin altars – the IMF and World Bank. The neoliberal “marketist” philosophy opened our economy to all manners of unhealthy competition via imports. “Finished textile wears and materials poured into our country and this sounded the death knell for our local textile industry that were struggling with power and increasing cost of imported inputs and production machinery.

“A vibrant sector, which would have served as the basis for national industrialisation began to wane. Companies shut down their operations. We cannot count the number of textile factories that closed shop and laid off thousands of workers all around Nigeria. Our nation is still reeling from the shock. “Nonetheless, we have witnessed publicized efforts made by past governments to resuscitate the sector but it does appear that the louder the noise of doing something to revive the sector, the more it goes under.

“We have witnessed the N100 billion and the recent N50 billion Textile Revival Implementation Committee (TRIC) to revamp and revive the CTG Sub-sector. One wonders what has happened to all these funds voted for revamping the sector? Were the funds ever accessed or were they mismanaged or misapplied?” He said Nigerians would want to know what happened and why the sector is still struggling despite the purported injection of these funds, adding that there was no nation that jokes with its textile sector because of its value chain and the great potential for job creation both directly and indirectly.

According to him, “we still remember that the textile sector employed millions of Nigerians in the over 200 full fledged textile companies that dotted the landscape proudly utilising our cotton to produce various textile products that were consumed internally and exported to neighboring countries but IMF and World Bank came and they all went down the drain. “Comrades, we must all join hands to rescue our nation’s textile sector.

Your union we remember played critical roles in getting the government to raise the revival funds. “We applaud your past efforts and encourage you to do more while offering our assistance whenever you call upon us so that we can co-create a compelling engagement with national stakeholders to save the Textile industry. Another “Save the Textile Sector Initiative” has become an imperative.”

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