The Federal Executive Council has approved the Nigerian leather policy, aimed at boosting the business opportunities that abound in the leather sector.
Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed to State House Correspondents the meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, that government has resolved to strengthen its policy around hides and skin, with a view to attracting more revenues and job opportunities.
Onu said the leather industry generated $921million for the government in 2013, a development that can be replicated if well harnessed.
He noted that Nigeria’s leather industry is rated second in Africa and eight position in export globally, adding that such potentials would create leverage for harnessing the livestock sector efficiently.
The minister said, “we resolved to harness the national leather and bye products policy that will enable government attract more investment into the sector.
“We would do this in a manner that will allow us make more gains instead of exporting raw leather or semi-finished products. We want to prepare our nation so that we can process our leather and use the leather in production of finished leather products.
“We have come to realize that it has application in almost every sector of our economic life, including footwear, apparels and automobile industry. There is hardly any machine that you will open without finding leather component. This is the only way we can create more jobs and a lot of wealth. We would be in a position to fight poverty.
“In any country, they always start with textiles and then leather. Here we have comparative advantage because our Labour cost is low. As far as light leather is concerned, we are number two in Africa and number 8 in terms of exporting leather in the world.