A fresh hope of boosting the nation’s moribund textile industry may be in the horizon as talks over proposed investment in Nigeria by a Dutch company are ongoing at the Presidency.
Vlisco Group, a textile and design company, founded in Helmond, The Netherlands, yesterday, was engaged in a high-level discussion with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, a development that two sources in the knowledge of the discussion has described as “welcome” and “optimistic”.
The Vlisco Group, which designs, produces and distributes fashion fabrics for the West and Central African market and African consumers in global metropolitan cities, has grown into an essential part of African culture, receiving widespread attention from the art, design and fashion world.
The Chief Executive Officer of Vlisco Group, David 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.
The Group is participating across the sector value chain from sourcing of cotton, textile printing, wholesale, retail and e-commerce distribution, garment manufacturing and supporting and training of Nigerian fashion designers.
“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.
“Vlisco Group’s activities are expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs in Nigeria in the medium term. We also envisage 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 garment,” he said.
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.
“The two partners are very serious industrialists with first-class operations in their own countries. Both 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,” he added.
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,” he explained.
For the minister, who expressed delight at Vlisco’s proposed investment in the cotton textile industry, the Federal Government is committed to the revitalisation of the sector, as it promises job creation and wealth.
She disclosed that the government would stimulate and support sustainable value addition along the entire cotton.