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Nigerian president to bring back cotton industry to country

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will strive to revive the “good old days” when the cotton and textile industry in the country employed hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.

Receiving the CEO of Vlisco Group, David Suddens, and his delegation at the Presidential Villa on Friday in Abuja, Buhari welcomed the proposed investment of $200 million by the company in the country.

According to a statement by the special advisor to the president on media, Femi Adesina, on Friday, 9 November 2018, Buhari expressed optimism that the investment would, in turn, create about 700,000 jobs for the people.

“I am very much aware of your company’s effort, especially your investments in the textile industry, and it is one area that we are trying to develop because it will create employment and boost agriculture,” Buhari said.

“To get cotton to grow again in the country is like going back to the good old days when the textile industry used to employ hundreds of thousands of people. I am very excited about the prospects of reviving the industry because it will keep farmers busy, create employment which brings more security, help the economy, transfer of technology and, of course, we have a large market to absorb the products,” he added.

He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to forging a stronger economic partnership with the Netherlands and assured the Dutch investor that the Nigerian authorities would continue to do the utmost to keep smugglers at bay at the borders.

In his remarks, Suddens informed President Buhari that the 172-year-old company plans to use cotton grown in Nigeria for production.

“I want a new strategy that brings Vlisco manufacturing to Nigeria. I want to change the supply chain from Asia to Nigeria. For the total supply chain for cotton, textile and garment industry from weaving, spinning, printing to retail, we want to use Nigerian cotton and we have already started to encourage the creative industries in the country to find a voice and give them a platform across the world. I am convinced that it is time for the textile industry to move from Asia to Africa,” Suddens said.

– APA

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