Textile workers on Wednesday expressed sadness over the death of publisher and industrialist, Malam Ismaila Isa Funtua, describing him as a committed driver of the growth and development of the textile industry.
Speaking under the aegis of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), the President and Acting General Secretary of the union, Comrade John Adaji, and Mr Baba Ali in a joint statement lamented the demise of ‘a great friend and employer of labour’.
The statement further said, “National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) is saddened with the death of elder statesman, Nigeria’s foremost industrialist and public administrator, Malam Ismaila Isa. He died in Abuja on Monday after a brief illness at the age of 78.
“Malam Ismaila Isa Funtua was truly a patriotic Nigerian. He stood for enterprise and industrialisation in Nigeria. He was an unrepentant advocate for industrial development and creation of mass decent employment. His commitment, dedication, foresight, zeal and steadfastness towards the growth and development of Nigeria Textile Industry are unrivalled.
“We wish to place on record his commendable singular achievements as the Executive Director of Funtua Textiles Limited, Unitex Nigeria Limited Kaduna, Nichemtex Nigeria Limited Ikorodu, Lagos and Zamfara Textiles Limited, Gusau. We will forever remember him for his commitment to industrialisation and a formidable key player in the Nigeria Textile Industry.
“Our Union has lost an iconic friend who has been a great source of inspiration in both profound advice and guidance. He was a star Guest of Honour/Chairman at the opening ceremony of the 27th Annual National Education Conference with the theme: Buhari Administration: Revival of Textile Industry and Creation of Mass Decent Jobs in 2015 in Kaduna.
“His address centred on the need for the resuscitation of the textile industry and creation of mass decent employment in Nigeria consistent with the campaign promise of President Muhammadu Buhari. We also recollect his historic visit to our National Secretariat Kaduna on 27th November 2019 during which he encouraged us “to keep the flag moving as usual.
“The best way to mourn late Malam Ismaila Isa is for all the stakeholders in the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) value chain to sustain the effort for the resuscitation of the industry and protection of jobs. Malam Ismaila Isa stood for (textile) industrialisation and was one of the great pillars behind the Federal government’s CTG policy.
“The National Executive Council of the Union and our members commiserate with the family of the deceased in particular, President Muhammadu Buhari, the board, management and staff of United Nigeria Textile (UNT) Group of Companies, Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), the government and people of Katsina state and the entire nation on the irreparable loss.”