Expert has said leather industry is very critical to national growth and development as it can boost the country’s Gross Development Product (GDP) and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Speaking at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) high-power roundtable discussion event, recently in Kano State on the theme, ‘Leveraging on China-Nigeria Economic Relation to Reindustrialise the Economy’ an economic expert, Bello Abba Yakasai stated that the manufacturers in Nigeria should leveraging on china and Nigeria economic relation to industrialize the economy based leather industry
He noted that leather industry has featured as one of the areas of trade, saying that Nigerian leather industry generate between $600 million to $800 million through export annually.
Yakasai stated that Nigeria is tanning and exporting between 40 million to 50 million skins annually, saying that “According to the Minister of Science and Technology, Nigerian leather industry could be worth about $900 million in export in the coming years and it can employ about a million people direct and indirect FTE.”
He further suggested that instead of exporting leather from Nigeria, China and Nigeria should invest into further processing of the products, as this will result in more employment and training of Nigerian artisanal processors of leather and leather products.
He added that it will enhance the growth of MSMEs and encourage export of finished leather products which will growth and earn Nigeria bigger foreign exchange from the industry.
He cited China and Nigeria trade in leather and leather products showed value of export of leather from Nigeria in 2017, Hide and Skins export to China stands between $6 to $ 8.5 million, while value import of leather products and leather subtitles from china footwear 300 million pairs annually value at an average N2000 per pair, resulting to $1.7 billion and other products up to 20 million pieces valued at over $600 million.
Also, recently, the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), in its recent report projects that the Nigerian leather industry can generate over $1 billion by 2025.
The head of Research, NESG, Mr. Olusegun Omisakin, noted that the leather value chain market is huge with immense potential of unlocking potentials across the industry and reducing unemployment rate with projected foreign exchange earnings of over $1 billion by the year 2025.
He stated that Nigeria has the largest resource of goatskin and kidskin in Africa representing 46 per cent and 18 per cent of the total in West Africa and Africa, respectively.
Being a dominant producer in Africa, he noted that the country also contributes about 60 per cent to the West African production of goatskin and kidskin. “Domestically, the industry represents the second major earner of foreign exchange after oil with total export of tanned skins amounting to about $240 million in 2015.