Textile: Nigeria Loses $325m to Smuggling Annually



Nigeria loses a staggering of $325 million every year due to evasion customs duty and Value Added Tax by smugglers of textile material the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has disclosed.



Chairman NTMA, Mr. Abiodun Ogunkoya gave the hint at a news conference in Lagos stressing that smugglers deny government of huge revenue as well as pose a challenge to the industry.According to Ogunkoya, around 85 per cent of the $1.4 billion worth of textile materials that flood the nation annually are smuggled.



''About 85 per cent of the textiles being sold in the Nigeria markets, especially printed textiles are smuggled into the country including fake and counterfeited materials. Wax print fabrics produced in China bear counterfeit trade marks of Nigeria manufacturers and fake SON Logo printed on the labels,’’ he said. He said in order to deal with the problem of smuggling of textiles in the country, the Federal government must design an effective system to protect the local industry.



He however hailed the Federal government on the release of the N100 billion revival funds for the textile industry.He said N20 billion out of the fund had been released to the Bank of Industry (BoI) as at the end of January this year. The Chairman,who explained that the whole N100 billion earmarked for the textile sector would be released to  BoI before the end of this year, also stressed that the fund would empower textile manufacturers in terms of retooling and providing for working capital.



He however said the sector is still faced with infrastructural problems like poor power supply and bad roads, which will compromise the fund if necessary attention is not taken to address it. According to him, it takes 20cents/kwh to provide power in Nigeria which is far higher than India,Pakistan,China and Turkey.



In his submission at the press conference, Director General of Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association,Chief Jaiyeola Olarenwaju,said the escalating cost of petroleum products in the country has unsettled most textile manufacturers



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