This after the government pumped billions of public funds to rescue them. The Nigerian government has floated a series of funding schemes totalling over $1.18bn in the last 30 years to salvage the local textile industry, according to public information from government institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration (1999-2007) launched a Textile Development Fund to revive the ailing industry. This was followed by a N100bn Cotton, Textile and Garment Fund during the tenure of the Musa Yar’adua/Goodluck Jonathan government (2007-2015).
At the peak of their glory in the late 80s, about 127 textile firms scattered across the major industrial hubs in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Benin in the old Bendel State and Aba in Abia State were busy churning out African print fabrics into the market.
Prominent amongst them were the Aswani Textile Mills in Isolo, Lagos; United Nigerian Textile Limited, Kaduna; Afprint Nigeria Plc, Isolo, Lagos; Nigerian Textile Mills Plc on Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; Aba Textile Mills, Abia; Asaba Textile Mills, Delta State; Edo Textile Mills, African Textile Manufacturers Ltd. and Tofa Textile Ltd. in Kano. However, the tide turned in the 90s with the opening of the nation’s borders to foreign fabrics, especially from China, Bangladesh and India.