The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a new national leather and products policy to harness the country’s leather resources.
The approval was granted Wednesday at a meeting of the council presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, said the policy would revolutionise the country’s leather industry and create employment.
He said with the approval of the policy, the country’s leather would be harnessed locally as against the present situation where raw or semi-finished leather products are exported outside.
“We want to do this because this is the only way we can create employment, create a lot of wealth and also we will be in a position to fight poverty,” he said.
Mr Onu said the process of industrialisation across the globe starts with textile and leather production “because these are not very high technology areas”.
“These are areas which as of now we have a comparative advantage because our labour cost is relatively low. It is important that this policy is implemented, it will help us to create jobs and wealth,” he said.
He said when implemented, the policy will lead to the creation of more tanneries and other small-scale factories across the country for the processing of leather related products.
“As far as light leather is concerned, we are number two in Africa and number eight in terms of exportation of leather in the world. It is a very vital area because if we harness the livestock that we have in Nigeria and ensure that we process the hide and skin of all animals in the country, we will be creating a lot of jobs and wealth,” he said.