TECH LEATHER POLICY WILL BOOST INDUSTRIAL GROWTH SAYS MINISTER OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY By Admin Posted on March 13, 2019 4 min read 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Ife Adewole The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu at the inauguration ceremony of the National Steering Committee to implement Leather Products Policy in Nigeria, has advised Nigerians to take advantage of the low cost of labour and invest in the leather industry. Onu said this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking at the inaugural ceremony that the setting up of the committee by the Federal Government was done to boost Nigeria’s industrialization process. He noted that all efforts would be deployed to ensure effective implementation of the policy, adding that past efforts at industrialization failed because “we didn’t do first thing first”. He further said that the widely admired Moroccan Leather products were actually sourced from Nigeria. Onu added that the leather industry is very important to national growth and development because it has the ability to boost our Gross Development Product (GDP) and increase our foreign exchange earnings. He opined that the policy will solve most of the problems hindering the growth of the Leather sector and will enable Nigeria to produce shoes, belts and other leather products similar to what is done in other developed countries of the world. The Committee is expected to set up working plan and budget for the effective implementation exercise of the policy within two months. It is also expected to organise and monitor the overall implementation of the policy in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders and also conduct validation and sensitization workshops for stakeholders in six geographical zones in order to review the draft implementation framework. The Committee may also review the policy in the future after adequate consultation to reflect emerging needs and bridge existing gaps in the policy and also provide related feedback and submit report to the ministry from time to time. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Bitru Bako Nabasu encouraged the committee to ensure the actualisation of this strategic implementation plan to enable Nigerians realize the gains in the leather sector. The chairman of the of the Committee and the Director-General of Nigerians institute of Leather, Science and Technology, NILEST Dr. Eucharia Oparah said that the Leather industry has a lot of potentials but has not been given the needed boost, adding that this step is the beginning of the revitalization of the leather sector.