Nigerian leather industry can generate over $1bn-Minister
From Peter Inalegwu, Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr, Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the Nigerian leather industry can generate over $1billion by 2025.
The Minister who stated this while declaring open the Annual Convention of the Society of Leather and Science Technologist in Abuja, said the leather industry in Nigeria is the second major earner of foreign exchange after oil.
Onu, who was represented by the Director-General of SHEDA, Prof. Sunday Thomas said it contributes about 25 per cent of the total agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry generates about $600million to $800million through exports annually, he added.
According to him, there is a huge potential for growth of the industry if proper measures are put in place. “The leather industry has massive potential for providing more employment, growth and to grow for exports,” he further said.
The Minister said stakeholders should aim to double the productivity of the leather industry in the next 10 years by launching a developmental plan for the leather sector.
He said leather industry is very critical to national growth and development as it can boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Onu called on manufacturers in Nigeria to leverage on China and Nigeria’s economic relation to industrialize the economy based on leather industry.
The Minister disclosed that Nigeria is tanning and exporting between 40million to 50million skins annually, saying: “According to the Minister of Science and Technology, Nigerian leather industry could be worth about $900million in export in the coming years and it can employ about a million people on direct and indirect FTE.”
He noted that the leather value chain market is huge with immense potential of unlocking potentials across the industry and reducing unemployment rate with projected foreign exchange earnings of over $1billion by the year 2025.
He stated that Nigeria has the largest resource of goatskin and kidskin in Africa representing 46 per cent and 18 per cent of the total in West Africa and Africa, respectively.