By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The role of the garments subsector in growth and development of the nation in general and the state in particular cannot be over emphasized. The garments subsector is important in economic and social terms as it creates jobs and wealth and contributes to earning of foreign exchange for many countries .
One of the key essence of the garment subsector is that it absorbs large numbers of unskilled labor, especially women in the state thus reducing unemployment and gender imbalance in the labor market. The subsector is also able to adjust to changing market conditions quickly.
In Nigeria, a country of more than a hundred and eighty million people, the market for garments is huge and growing. Garments are also potential key manufacturing export for many developing countries including Nigeria. The subsector thus plays a major role in the development and industrialisation processes of countries and their integration into the global economy.
This economic background justifies the policy decision of the Cross River State Government to set up the Cross River Garment Factory which is one of the industrialization projects under the Senator Benedict Ayade Administration.
The Cross River State Garment Factory Limited is a public private partnership investment which has been completed and commissioned and has begun production of garments employing more than 1000 Cross Riverians mostly women and widows.
The factory produces quality products to meet the growing demand for garments in Nigeria and beyond. Research show that more than 60 percent of garments demand in the country are met through importation.
Cross River Garment Factory is set to change this by contributing to the local production of garments in Nigeria. Cross River State is setting its foundation for industrialization under the Ayade Administration.
It is on record that the Cross River Garment Factory has been able to produce up to 1,500 garments in a day and is currently producing to meet demand by the Nigeria Peace Corps and other organisations that have placed orders.
Our amiable governor, Senator Professor Ben Ayade has also promised to increase the number of people employed to 3,000 to meet expected increase in demand in the coming year.
The development of local linkages by the garment factory such as business support systems is also expected to facilitate the transition into higher value addition and horizontal diversification into other sectors.
As part of the backward integration policy of the Professor Ben Ayade’s administration, Cross River State Government is in advanced stages of cultivating about 3,000 hectares cotton farm that will roll out more than 30 tonnes of cotton in its first harvest.
The cotton farm situated in Woda community, Yala Local Government Area of the state, is in partnership with Arewa Cottons. The establisment of the cotton farm is a way to ensure the Calabar Garment Factory Factory operates at optimum capacity as part of the backward integration policy of the industrialisation process.
A small holders scheme is proposed as a strategy for job creation and ensure citizens buy-in to reap maximum benefits from the economic opportunity and create sustainable wealth in the state.
A Chinese firm, Ruyi Science and Technology group, Wu Xingtao, are also proposing, as an investment, in partnership with the Cross River State Government, the establishment of a textile industrial park in the state with the capacity to produce up to 300 million meters of fabrics per annum.
These, together with a modern innovative online and offline marketing and distribution strategy, will complete the cotton value chain. The entire cotton value chain has the capacity to create wealth and up to 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate a lot of other vistas of opportunity for citizens and residents of Cross River State.
There is no doubt that Cross River State is becoming primus inter pares in the comity of states in Nigeria with such deep thinking, strategic planning and steady action.
What is required is the support and buy-in of all stakeholders and citizens to ensure the success of the vision and take Cross River State to its pride of place.
God bless Cross River State.
Emmanuel Etim is SSA to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State.
NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Emmanuel Etim, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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