Soldiers and Navy officers will now wear Nigeria made uniforms and here’s why

The Army and Navy will now sew their uniforms at home and patronize local fabric manufacturers and here’s why.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai during a function (Punch)
President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai during a function (Punch)

As part of efforts to revive the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) sector in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has issued Executive Order 003 which mandates all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to source their textile needs locally.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, told Service Chiefs and heads of paramilitary agencies this week that “we have the mandate of Mr. President to ensure that all uniformed services and theatre wears in hospitals and medical facilities be sourced locally from the Nigerian CTG sector.”

Enforcing the order

To ensure the enforcement of the presidential order, “the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has been notified to enforce compliance among MDAs”, the CBN Governor said.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele says the textile industry can revive Nigeria's ailing economy (Guardian)

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele says the textile industry can revive Nigeria’s ailing economy (Guardian)

Emefiele added that the CBN will “work out payment terms that fit budget releases for uniforms for various organisations.

“Our model in achieving this presidential directive is to facilitate long term contracts (five years or more) with our textile and garment factories to produce uniforms for our armed forces and uniform services using local fabrics and textile materials. 

“We are not naive of the fact that the nature of your jobs will warrant special quality and security around the production of your wares. My team will work with your nominees toward ensuring requisite quality and security associated with your uniforms. 

“Your nominees will also join our team to inspect the various textiles and garment factories to ensure their readiness to be engaged on long term contracts to forestall breaches,” he added.

Reviving the Nigerian economy through textile

Emefiele said the local textile industry “has the capacity to transform Nigeria’s rural economy and revive the textile and garment industries by creating over two million jobs, improve internal revenue across the three tiers of government, and reduce $4 billion import bill incurred annually on textile and apparel.”

Emefiele and Buhari have settled on the textile industry as key to unlocking the nation's economy (Presidency)

Emefiele and Buhari have settled on the textile industry as key to unlocking the nation’s economy (Presidency)

He said the CTG sector “has the potential to safeguard and earn foreign exchange and ultimately accelerate industrial development by making Nigeria a global player in the textile and apparel sectors.

“We analyzed the huge potentials that exist in the sector, identified the challenges militating against the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s growth and development and presented quick wins for reviving the sector. Crucial to this resolve is the call for patriotism and the need to support local manufacturers of textile through patronage by MDAs as entrenched in Executive Order 003″.

According to Emefiele, “Mr. President has directed full compliance with this Order as it will help in addressing the pressure on our foreign reserves through demands for forex for the importation of textile and clothing materials.

“Based on the CBN’s interactions with stakeholders, it was revealed that MDAs have not made any significant order for uniforms or clothing materials from Nigerian textile manufacturers and garment companies”.

Army Chief Tukur Buratai and his men would now wear uniforms made from locally manufactured fabrics (The Nation)

Army Chief Tukur Buratai and his men would now wear uniforms made from locally manufactured fabrics (The Nation)

Nigeria’s textile industry, like everything else, collapsed in the 1980s as crude oil took center stage as driver of the nation’s economy and number one foreign exchange earner.

Local fashion designers have been playing their parts in reviving what has been a moribund local fabric sector, but their efforts have amounted to drops in the ocean at best. 

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