By Abolaji Adebayo
A Dutch textile and design company, Vlisco Group, has shown interest to invest in the Nigerian cotton and textile industry to aid the country’s economic diversification and job creation in line with its Industrial Revolution strategy.
The Chief Executive Officer, Vlisco Group, David Suddens, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday while discussing with the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, over its proposed investment in the Nigerian cotton textile industry.
Suddens, who led the group’s delegation to the meeting with Minister, said the investment would boost growth and jobs in Nigeria across the entire value-chain from cotton to fashion.
According to him, the Group is sourcing the entire value chain of the industry including cotton, textile printing, wholesale, retail and e-commerce distribution, garment manufacturing and supporting and training of Nigerian fashion designers.
He said, “Vlisco foresees an end-to-end involvement in the Nigerian textile industry from cotton sourcing to retail. We are expecting this investment to yield benefits for the Nigerian economy in terms of economic diversification and job creation in line with the country’s Industrial Revolution strategy.
He stated that the Group’s activities were expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs in Nigeria in the medium term, adding that it envisaged a Vlisco printing factory in Nigeria using Nigerian designs for the Nigerian consumer, retail outlets selling Vlisco products and trained tailors sewing Vlisco fabric into garmet.
Suddens further noted that the group had formed partnership with two spinning and weaving companies based in China and Pakistan in order to help build the Nigerian cotton textile industry.
He explained that the two partners are prepared to move quickly if Vlisco guarantees the purchase of their output, and if agreement can be reached on the details of the Nigerian operation.
The two partners, according to him, are expected to start operations with a weaving mill of between 120 and 140 looms, with each mill producing approximately 12 to 15 million metres of cotton fabric annually.
“Once success is established, both partners will integrate backwards into spinning. The first spinning mills will be for 25,000 spindles, producing yarn for approximately 20 million metres of fabric.
“These mills will then be doubled in size to 50,000 spindles and the weaving mills will also be doubled to 240-280 looms for each factory,” the foreign investor explained.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who expressed delight at Vlisco’s proposed investment in the cotton textile industry, said the Federal Government was committed to the revitalization of the cotton textile industry.
She disclosed that the government would stimulate and support sustainable value addition across the entire cotton, textile and garment sub-sector in order to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians and enable technology transfer.
She urged the investor to take advantage of the Nigerian Government’s incentives for the cotton, textile and garment sub-sector to expand its brand portfolio in Nigeria.