- Aliko Dangote has advocated for strong jail terms for dealers in foreign textile materials
- He also wants the federal government to make a lesson out of those arrested by ensuring there is no option of fine
- Imported fabrics and clothing materials dominate Nigeria's domestic textile market
Business Magnet Aliko Dangote has thrown its weight behind the revival of the Nigerian textile industry.
Speaking at the 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) he called for the jailing of Nigerians who import foreign textile materials into the country.
According to Africa's richest man, it is important that the National Assembly pass a law that would penalise the sale of banned textiles by imprisoning culprits without an option of a fine.
Textiles import continue to increase
In 2019, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) placed access to foreign exchange for all forms of textile materials on the FOREX restriction list to revive the industry.
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However, this has not stopped Nigerians from importing, and in fact, it has increased.
BusinessDay reported that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recorded in its trade report that textiles and textile articles by 257.9 per cent in the first three months of 2021 to N171.8 billion from N48 billion in 2020.
Dangote proffer solution
Dangote, in his lecture title “Agenda Setting for Industrialising Nigeria in the Next Decade” said:
"For the textile industry, I believe the government should draft legislation in the National Assembly that states that anyone selling prohibited foreign textiles must face prison time without the option of a fine. So it'll just be going to jail, even if it's only for two years.
"The real issue in the textile industry is not a lack of less expensive power. The textile will not last if you give them cheaper power but allow the smuggling to continue.
"What is happening is that foreign companies are dumping their products in Nigeria.
"That is why I dislike importing. When you import, you are importing poverty while exporting prosperity and job opportunities."
ThisDay reports that Dangote also said the government should apply the same force it mustered to enforce the ban on rice importation in the bid to end the smuggling of textiles into Nigeria.
“few decades ago textiles used to be the largest employer of labour after the federal government of Nigeria.”
"Today people would be sent to jail in India for selling foreign textiles anywhere. Also, if something is banned in the United States of America for example, there is no way it could be displayed for sale in a shop.
“But what is stopping the implementation of Nigeria’s government policies is the absence of the political will to make sure that we implement those policies no matter who is going to be upset by us.
"If we have a prosperous environment the insecurity will drop.”
Rabiu become Nigeria's, second-richest man
Meanwhile, in another report, Nigeria now has a new number two in the list of Nigeria's richest billionaires, and he is Abdulsamad Rabiu
Rabiu unseated telecoms magnate Mike Adenuga to second place after his investments increased his account balance by N87bn in hours
Aliko Dangote remains undisputed as Nigeria's richest man and is the only Nigerian named among the world's top 400 billionaires.