December 7, 2023

Smuggling Of Textiles & Clothing Kill Nigerian Textile Sector

Smuggling of textiles and garments through Nigeria’s land borders, has led to the closure of over 150 textile companies in the last few decades.

The closure of the Nigeria and Niger road border has left several trucks stranded on the border, which are carrying smuggled and cheap textiles

This was revealed by the Director-General of Nigerian Textile Employers Association, Hamma Kwajaffa.

“In 1980, Nigeria had about 180 textile mills in operation; but there are less than 24 functional mills today,” he told the Punch.

He added that the textiles which were earlier brought through the ports are now being shipped through land borders and most of them are cheap textiles and garments.

Over the years, the industry has blamed government neglect and excessive imports for the collapse of the local textile industry.

Kwajaffa said the Nigerian textile industry mainly produced cotton textiles, which is more expensive than the polyester products being smuggled into the country.

“If they go through the ports, they will have to clear customs and will be checked for quality and pay duty, before allowing them into the country, but they are coming in through the land borders,” he added.

“We are forced to use cotton because of backward integration for our cotton farmers. But they use polyester, which is cheaper than cotton, forcing the closure of our textile mills,” he noted

National Bureau of Statistics data indicated that imports of textile and garments climbed 100.3 percent to Naira 365.5 billion in 2022 as against Naira 182.5 billion in 2020.

The government, on its part, had introduced interventions to revive the once bright sector, even though these interventions have had little impact

One of those interventions was the Naira 50 billion special mechanism fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria to revive the ailing textiles industry.

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