The Collapse of the Textile Industry in Kano affects Africa’s largest textile market

The state of Kano Textile Industries and its effect on the Nigerian economy: a study of the Kantin Kwari market in Kano State. The Textile industry in Nigeria is the third largest in Africa after Egypt and South Africa. It is the largest employer of labour in the manufacturing sector. Between 1986 and 1991, the sector accounted for 25% of total manufacturing employment (Eneji, M.A. et al), with over 300, 000 people directly employed in the sub-sector. However, in recent times the industry has been faced with a number of challenges resulting in very high production costs. This brought about the closure of many textile companies in the country; thereby leading to increased unemployment and poverty rates.

It is against this backdrop that the study was undertaken to examine the current state of the textile industry in Kano and its effects on the Nigerian economy. For an in depth understanding of the situation, emphasis was placed on the Kantin Kwari textile market in Kano. The Kantin Kwari textile market is one of the largest textile markets in Africa with a daily turnover running into several millions of Naira (K-SEEDS, 2005). With the increasing collapse of the textile industry in the country, the Kantin Kwari market is increasingly flooded with imported textiles..

The data for the survey were gathered using structured questionnaires and in depth interviews. A total of 35 respondents from textile manufacturing industries, textile traders in Kantin Kwari market, relevant government ministry and private organizations were sampled. Majority of the textile firms identified were not functional.

Findings from the study revealed that in the past two decades, Kano had about thirty one (31) textile companies which were all functional and operating in full capacity.. In 2012, the study further revealed that only six textile companies still operate with just about three (3) operating fully.. The study also revealed that, in the past when the textile industry in Kano used to be fully functional operating the normal three (3) shifts, each of the textile firms employed more than three thousands (3000) people, but with the present state of the textile industry in Kano, the existing textile firms now employ less than two thousand (2000) workers (A Respondent from the Textile Firm in Kano).

Many factors have been attributed to the continuous collapse of the textile industry in Nigeria. In Kano, the study showed 39% of the respondents attributed the collapse of the textile industry to inadequate power supply, while another 30% of them attribute it to low patronage of local textiles, 22% of the manufacturers said the major challenge is lack of raw materials.

The study also revealed that as a result of the present decay in the textile industry in Kano, the prices of locally manufactured textile products are very high when compared to imported textiles. This assertion was made by 78% of the respondents. In a similar vein, 83% of the respondents said that majority of the Kantin Kwari market traders do not patronize locally manufactured textile materials. This has invariably affected local manufacturers negatively particularly with the influx of foreigners as agents and dealers of imported textiles. 87% of the traders in the market said that they have been affected negatively by depending on imported textiles. 39% of the traders identified the influx of foreigners into the market as traders to be one of the major effects of the collapse of indigenous textile companies in Kano.

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