Osun - Olufemi Aluko, of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) , Ile-Ife, says Nigeria is losing out in the pack of countries competing for the 75 billion dollar global leather industry because of ponmo consumption.
Aluko blamed the situation on the country’s neglect of the leather products industry in favour of oil production and consumption of its hides and skin as ponmo.
The don cited global industry report as confirming the situation urged the nation’s policy drivers to refocus on the sector as it holds great potential for export earning and employment.
As we strive to diversify the nation’s economy I advised the Federal Government to create sound, supportive and transparent policies that will revive leather goods industries in Nigeria.
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Aluko said, "Nigerian leather goods businesses must develop procedures to ensure developed markets where products are compliant with environmental and social responsibility requirements as well as international standards.’’
The lecturer explained that the formal leather goods industry had declined almost to extinction which could only be revived by transparent business policies.
According to him, the formal leather goods sector must be revived particularly to supply the domestic, regional and international markets.
He said that considerable hard work would be required by the public and private sectors in coordination for the sector to make considerable further progress but this is necessary as we refocus our economy and use of our abundant hides and skins for leather products rather than for consumption as 'ponmo'.
The lecturer added that economic growth and employment benefits from the sector were potentially considerable.