Nigeria can generate over 700, 000 jobs from the leather industry, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said on Tuesday in Sokoto
The minister, who made the remark in a message to the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Validation Workshop, said that the leather industry generates N24.5 billion annually.
Onu described the leather industry as Nigeria’s next gold mine which holds the key to industrial growth, jobs and wealth creation.
The minister, who was represented by the Director General, National Centre for Technology Management, Prof. Okechukwu Okwumma, said that the leather industry was strategic to Nigeria’s economic diversification.
Onu stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was working diligently to improve the socio-economic well being of the people by promoting local content through diversification and transformation of the economy.
He said that the ministry would promote value addition in the industry using indigenous and innovative technologies.
Also, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Ai’sha Abubakar, enjoined Nigerians to tap the economic potentials in the leather industry.
Abubakar also urged Nigerians to actively participate in promoting Made-in-Nigeria goods.
She reiterated Federal Government commitment to enhancing business friendly environment, and called on the participants to dwell well on promoting linkages, harnessing productions and overall development of leather in the country.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, advised stakeholder to improve on hide and skin recovery and inspection mechanisms.
Ogbe, represented by Dr Obinna Ofara, said effort were underway for efficient control system to boost the leather industry.
Dr Nagozi Oparah, the Chairperson National Steering Committee on Leather and Leather Products Policy, said the workshop would review researches, collaborations and partnerships on leather development.
“The validation workshop was aimed at bringing stakeholders and experts to deliberate on Leather Products Policy with the aim of validating the policy document,” she said.