The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said The Nigerian leather industry generates revenue for the country valued between $600 to $800 million annually.
The Minister disclosed this at the National Leather and Leather products policy implementation plan validation workshop in Abuja on Monday.
Onu who was represented by the Minister of state for Science and Technology, Barr. Abdullahi Mohammed further said, there is urgent need to implement the National Leather and Leather Product Policy, in order to boost leather production as a source of revenue for the country.
In his words “Leather has a global market size of about $20 billion traded annually and with lots of opportunities abound.”
He charged relevant stakeholders in the leather and leather products industry, to ensure all hands are on deck, to ensure the success of the Leather policy and in the long-run ensure Nigeria benefits from the enormous potential.
According to Onu, that leather Industry, is strategic in the development of Nigeria’s economy, due to substantial export earnings and value and the enormous employment opportunities it provides.
He further said, that Leather has the potential of successfully increasing Nigeria’s foreign earnings. Adding that, “to achieve this feat, there is need for value addition in Nigeria’s leather value chain in order to upgrade its position in the regional and global trade of leather communities.”
The FMST boss tasked leather industry stakeholders to initiate visionary and creative strategies, which would fast-track Nigeria’s move from a resource based to a knowledge based and innovation driven economy. In his words, “This will help Nigeria fast-track the process that will enable it become self-reliant in indigenous technology capacity”.
Earlier, the Acting Director General of Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Dr. Eucharia Oparah, said the workshop provided opportunity for major key players to interact, cross fertilize ideas and exchange information that will contribute to the growth of leather sector in the country.,
In furtherance, the senate committee chairman on Science and Technology, Lady. Uche Ekwunife said the workshop is very necessary in order to take the leather industries in the country to a greater height.
She further commended the Ministry and Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), for piloting the actualization of the policy and its implementation plan for the development of leather policy in Nigeria.