In the bid to boost Nigeria’s industrialization process, the Federal Government has inaugurated the National Steering Committee to implement Leather Products Policy in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu advised Nigerians to take advantage of the low cost of labour and invest in the leather industry.
Dr Onu said all efforts would be deployed to ensure effective implementation of the policy, adding that past efforts at industrialization failed because “we didn’t do first thing first “.
He added that the widely acclaimed Moroccan Leather products were actually sourced from Nigeria
Dr Onu said that the leather industry is very critical to national growth and development because it will boost our Gross Development Product (GDP) and increase our foreign exchange earnings
Dr. Onu said that the policy will solve most of the problems hindering the growth of the Leather sector and will enable Nigeria to produce shoes, belts and other leather products similar to what is obtained in other developed countries of the world.
The Committee is expected to set up working plan and budget for the effective implementation exercise of the policy within two months.
It is also expected to coordinate and monitor the optimal implementation of the policy in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders and also conduct validation and sensitization workshops for stakeholders in six geographical zones in order to review the draft implementation framework.
The Committee may also review the policy in the future after adequate consultation to reflect emerging needs and bridge existing gaps in the policy and also provide related feedback and submit report to the ministry from time to time.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Bitru Bako Nabasu charged the committee to ensure the actualization of this strategic implementation plan to enable Nigeria realize the gains in the leather sector.
The chairman of the of the Committee and the Director-General of Nigerians institute of Leather, Science and Technology NILEST, Dr. Eucharia Oparah said that the Leather industry has a lot of potentials but has not been given the boost, adding that this step is the beginning of the revitalization of the leather sector.
Head: Press and Public Relations Unit
12th march, 2019