Nigeria’s textile industry and the future of African markets

Whenever we try to explain the nation’s business development, we are only painting a true picture of not only West African markets, but Africa as a whole. From the little experience I have in trade and commerce (more than 30 years), I think am in a position to mention a few things about the textile industry. Here, I’m referring to the demand, supply, whole sale and retailing. The recent federal government effort to revatilise the textile industry and promote Made-in-Nigeria goods is really a great challenge not only to stakeholders but to the entire business community.

It is clear to note that we need more than a few textile factories to cater for the huge demand we have on ground. But, tens of them can cater for national demand. And that should be added on top of those we have (with them operating at 100 percent capacity, 24 hours a day). Presently, in Nigeria, we don’t have textile factories that can supply textile materials for just the consumption of Kano and Lagos states, even if they can operate at 100 percent capacity.

Then, what about other states and the requirements from other African countries which will earn foreign revenue for the country? To this, therefore, the demand and supply ratio looks like 20-80. Then, how do we cater for our local consumers? Are we also ready to forfeit our market share to foreign investors? For more than 100 years, Kano has been recognized as a driving factor in the Trans-Sahara trade that covers the West and the Gulf countries through North African countries. The efforts of our founding fathers cannot be neglected.

How did China, Indonesia, Malaysia and India occupy their present trade and investment positions in the world? In a nutshell, the federal and state governments must come up with true and implementable policies that will complement the effort of investors in the textile industry. The project should consist of all monetary and logistic assistance towards achieving the desired objectives.

Here, I must commend the great efforts of the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who gave our company a piece of land (22.5 hectares) for the smooth take off of Mudatex Textile and Garments. We wish that more state governors will follow suit. On its part, the federal government, (through the CBN and other relevant agencies) must come up with a comprehensive programme (after due consultations with stakeholders) that will not only assist in establishing textiles but ensure their survival and promote Made-in-Nigeria goods that can compete with their counterparts from around the world. Before the take-off of the programme, what are our options? How does the market survive? What do we do to keep the faith of our local and international customers? I believe what is worth doing is worth doing well. We have no other country but Nigeria. We should therefore, play our part to make it great and among the comity of nations.

Mudassir Idris Abubakar,

Chairman/CEO, Mudassir & Brothers,


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