Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The federal government has partnered with the Katsina State Government to establish am Integrated Textile and Garment Park in Funtua Local Government Area of the state.
The project, aimed at revitalizing the textile industry and boost production of cottons in Nigeria, is expected to be executed within 24 months.
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Marriam Yalwaji Katagum, disclosed this when she led other management staff of the ministry on an advocacy visit to the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu at Government House, Saturday.
The minister pointed out that the project would be Public Private Partnership (PPP) driven, adding that the federal government is committed to creating an enabling environment to attract more investment opportunities into the country.
She said the Funtua Integrated Textile and Garment Park is one of the six priority projects under the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan of the federal government.
“For this reason, the state government has made available quite the largest land and we had seen the facilities that are available on the land — power line, rail lines and the network of roads. We have also developed our work plan,” she said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, said the industrial park when established, would aggregate cotton from over 800,000 farmers from northern Nigeria.
He lamented that the country spent over $6 billion on imported textiles and garments “with almost no share in the highly lucrative export within global textile and garment markets”.
To end the importation of textile and garments into the country, he said the federal government has inaugurated six special economic zones with Lekki, Eyimba and Funtua as pilot sites to promote local production.
He said: “These special economic zones have been identified as the key tools for accelerating and implementing the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan in order to create jobs of great skills, promote exports and investment as well as to diversify economy to boost sustainable and exclusive growth.
“The government is therefore desirous of a strong public-private partnership arrangement in order to effectively execute the Funtua project. Our focus is to develop a world class park within a period of 18 to 24 months”.
Responding, the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Yakubu, said the state government has approved 180 hectares of land for the take-off of the project, promising to accord the federal government the needed support to execute the project.
Meanwhile, as of the time of filing this report, Katagum flanked by Yakubu and the Director General of the Katsina State Investment Promotion Agency were in Funtua Local Government for visibility study of the proposed land for the project.