News / Africa

Once Flourishing Textile Industry Flounders in Nigeria

Once Flourishing, Nigeria’s Textile Industry Floundersi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
March 05, 2014 7:52 PM
Nigeria's once-flourishing textile industry collapsed years ago and factories are decaying from lack of use. Some former workers say cheap clothes from China caused the collapse but others blame mismanagement and a lack of government support. Heather Murdock reports from Kaduna.
Heather Murdock
— Nigeria's once-flourishing textile industry collapsed years ago and abandoned factories are decaying from lack of use. Some former workers blame cheap clothes from China for the collapse but others blame mismanagement and a lack of government support.  

When former textile workers recently toured their old factory for the first time in a decade decayed machines and bits of cloth and debris littered what used to be one of the largest factories in Nigeria.

“Here in Kaduna there’s not any other jobs that these people are doing," said Wardem Simdik, chairman of the Coalition of Closed Unpaid Textile Workers in Kaduna. "The only job we are doing is okada job, those people who are riding motorcycles here and there. And some of them got [in] accident[s] and died.”

Most of the clothes for sale in Nigeria are imported from China. Industry leaders say their low cost helped drive the textile factories out of business. But they stress that corruption, mismanagement and lack of resources are equally to blame for the industry's collapse. 

Umar Mohammad, former deputy-secretary of the Textiles Workers Union, says they warned the government for years that without help the factories would close.

“Then, at last, the industry started collapsing one by one until today [in] Kaduna, where only one or two textile industries are working,” he said.               

Former factory workers say about 9,000 of their ranks are waiting for back pay in Kaduna alone. And they insist that if factories re-open, the locally-made clothes will outsell the lower-cost imports.

“It was just mismanagement," said Joseph Gabriel, a former marketing manager. "When I was working, even our products, people were waiting to collect. People were rushing to buy. We were unable to meet up with the demands.”
 
Workers say the failed industry in Kaduna affected more than the economy.

A bridge separates Kaduna city, which is divided like the country as a whole with mostly Christians in the south and mostly Muslims in the north. Clashes between the two groups are common.

But former textile workers and their families say the violence is fueled by poverty that has intensified since the jobs disappeared. They say if people had enough money to survive, they wouldn’t fight on the streets over small sums of money.

“No help. Everybody’s going up and down," said Tina, the wife of a former textile worker. "Everybody has to mind their business. That’s why you’re going to go down to fight. To get something to eat.”

The former textile workers say they will continue to protest outside the old factories and lobby for back pay. But returning to their jobs, they say, is still the ultimate goal.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid