The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, says his administration will partner with a foreign firm in the local cotton production in the state.
According to the governor, the firm has turned around cotton production in Togo, thereby making the West African country the second largest producer of cotton in Africa.
Abiodun, who made this known in his office, when he received members of the Tailors Association of Nigeria (TAN), added that the company would partner with the state government in the Special Agro Processing Zone.
The governor disclosed that discussions on cotton production are ongoing, declaring that his administration would do all it can to support the industry.
“We are currently partnering with someone who has turned around the production of cotton in one of the West African countries. Within twelve months, he has turned Togo to the second largest producer of cotton on the continent. This company is partnering with us in Ogun State in our Special Agro Processing Zone and we have ongoing discussions on cotton production,” he said.
He described tailors as an integral part of the small, medium-scale enterprises whose value is huge, adding that the tailoring industry in the country remains untapped.
“You are a value addition to what we are doing in terms of promoting small and medium-scale enterprises. You are also a value chain in job creation.
“This is an industry that is performing sub-optimally, the potentials of this industry remain untapped, particularly from the view of garment manufacturing which we know is the mainstay of some economies in the world where all they do is just garment production and that itself accounts for a large chunk of their GDP.
“This we can confidently achieve in Nigeria because we have a labour force, if all we focus on is garment manufacturing of the right quality and standard for export and domestic use,” the governor added.
Abiodun, while noting that the state grows and also has high-quality cotton, said that his administration had released over 1,0000 hectares of land to cotton farmers in the state, the highest by any administration in the state.
The national president of the association, Wasiu Jaiyeola Taiwo, while corroborating the governor that the tailoring industry is yet to be fully tapped in the country, said a little push on the government’s side for the industry would amount to massive foreign exchange.
Taiwo said that the country is losing so much as the value chain is huge, adding that it is only through partnership that many successes can be recorded.
He, however, disclosed that the association’s name had been changed from the Nigerian Union of Tailors (NUT) to the Tailors Association of Nigeria (TAN), submitting that the change would further assist the association in breaking barriers.