The cotton, textiles and garment manufacturing, once flourished in Nigeria and this industry was bulwark of manufacturing in the country and provided jobs for as many as a million Nigerians.
There were well over 150 vibrant mills operating at close to full capacity and the sector was second only to government as an employer of labor. Now less than 20 textile companies are operational.
However it is now almost completely dominated by imports from Asia. Textile products are imported from India, while imports from China, Indonesia and Taiwan are much higher.Nigerians have become used to imported goods to the detriment of locally-manufactured ones.
The Nigerian government now has called on its people to buy products made in Nigeria than relying on imports. The argument is that Nigeria has the raw material, the cotton and the labor to rebuild a profitable garment industry.
The output of the textiles, apparel and footwear segment in the first quarter of 2015 represented around 2.2 per cent of constant price GDP and 21.7 per cent of manufacturing.
There are various challenges facing the industry, including smuggling and the problem of power shortage. About 35 per cent of manufacturing costs are energy related.