The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to revamp dormant tanneries in the country to generate more revenue into the economy.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Information, Kemi Ogunmakinwa and made available to Channel Network Afrique, CNA.
Accounting to the statement, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mariam Katagum who disclosed this in Abuja at a meeting with the National Steering Committee on the implementation of the National Leather and Leather Products Policy, led by its Chairman, Professor Mohammed Kabir Yakubu said the government decided to start the machinery needed to revive the non-operational tannery industry.
“Currently, just 18 out of 40 tanneries that were operational in 2000 are still in operation with a total installed capacity for processing 250,000 skins per day up to wet blue level.
“So far the Ministry’s direct interventions to the Leather sub-sector had been limited to capital allowance on plant machinery, issuance of certificates under the backward integration programme, provision of common facilities to MSMEs operators to facilitate and strengthen expansion,” she said.
She said the Ministry used its agencies—the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), and the Bank of Industry ( BOI) to expand this sector of the economy.
The Minister, lauded the NSC’s execution to date and said that the Committee had created strategies and action plans for implementing policy-approved measures and oriented leather industry stakeholders to the policy’s goal.
On his part, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather, and Science Technology who doubled as the Chairman, National Steering Committee on the Strategic Implementation Plan of Leather and Leather Products Policy in Nigeria, Prof. Mohammed Kabir Yakubu, in his presentation said the leather sector plays a strategic role in the country’s economic growth due to its high export earnings, job creation potential, and higher returns.
He noted that despite the leather industry’s significance to the national economy, it has faced difficulties that have resulted in a decline in its contribution to national GDP and a protracted lack of sector-specific policies.
Prof. Yakubu pointed out that the players in the leather sector in Nigeria have been able to work together more effectively due to the Leather Policy and its Implementation Plan.
He further requested additional assistance from the Ministry for the policy’s implementation of full actualization of the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan, with the active involvement of agencies like BOI, SON, SMEDAN, ITF, NIPC, and NEPC.