Nigeria’s glory days of textiles came to a painful end 14 years ago when most factories were shut down due to factors beyond their control. The ripple effect of the downturn of events at these factories was a tsunami of sorts leaving thousands of suppliers, food vendors and traders with nothing to fall back on.
Most children of the former textile workers are roaming the streets, getting involved in anti-social and criminal activities. Many ex-workers have been driven from their homes by their landlords, while others got divorced by their wives.
The textile industry in Nigeria faces problems of power, multiple taxation and other teething challenges. Administrative buildings have become dens of rats as well as snakes especially in the rainy season. The textile industry is reduced to producing nothing but customised fabrics for politicians, royalty and the well to do for wedding ceremonies.
Chinese textile traders among other outside textile industrialists contribute almost 99 per cent of the textile products sold in Nigeria. Areas that in the heydays of textile companies had thousands of factory workers are now ghost towns. The government’s intervention fund has not revived the textile industry due to policy somersaults and poor infrastructure. There is massive corruption in the disbursement of the fund.