Stakeholders Canvass Quick Implementation of the National Leather Policy As Lagos holds maiden leather Fair & Exhibition

Some stakeholders in leather products have called on the Federal and State governments to fast track the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan.

They made the call in Lagos during the State’s maiden edition of the Leather Business to Business Summit and Expo, jointly organized by the National Steering Committee on Implementation of Leather Policy, Lagos State Government and Lagos Shoemakers Association, tagged ‘LASSMA 2022″

According to the stakeholders who acknowledged the new policy as timely, leather is a cash cow for the country and concerted efforts must be made to enable both the citizens and the country to benefit maximally from it, rather than wasting money importing finished leather products.

In a keynote address to the summit, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Adetutu Ososanya, expressed the State’s continued support through the provision of direct access to market at the nearly completed leather hub in Matori, Mushin area of Lagos, which would create both direct and indirect job to Nigerians

“As a responsive and responsible Government, this = Administration has provided support (i.e. access to market, access to finance, construction of leather hub which is 65 percent completed etc.) to entrepreneurs in this sector and business owners in other sectors to mitigate challenges hindering market access and production.
The completion of the hub would translate to generation of direct and indirect jobs for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the leather business. Also, when production takes-off, the Lagos Leather Hub would be able to train about 100 students in leather works and bridge the gap in tannery/leather value chain. The leather hub is about 65 per cent ready and will be completed in December” the Governor stated.

On the consumption of raw hide skin, popularly called “ponmo”, the Lagos State Governor advised NILEST to make deliberate efforts to incorporate the sellers of ponmo who may naturally feel threatened that their source of livelihood is being taken away as this would ensure extensive buy-in and less opposition from those who have been eating it and depriving the nation of multimillion dollar potential revenue from leather.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the National Steering Committee on the Implementation of Leather Policy, Professor Mohammed Yakubu assured the stakeholders that adequate reorientation would be conducted nationwide to discourage ponmo consumption.

He said “the Implementation Plan reflects the renewed commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Stakeholders and Actors in the leather industry to develop the Industry. This Leather Business to Business (B2B) summit is part of the actualization of the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan. As you are already aware, if this Leather Policy is fully implemented in Nigeria, it will bring about increase in industrial growth, economic diversification, job and wealth creation, the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), productivity, local and export market. It will also enhance reduction in capital flight, promotion of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), and strengthen intra/inter relationship between private, public and international leather organizations. In a recessed economy such as the entire World is facing, there is no doubt that the involvement of organized scientific and technological approaches would provide the much needed palliatives”

Earlier, the President, Lagos Shoemakers Association, Mr Yesiru Bello commended both the Lagos State and Federal governments for the bold steps taken to improve the welfare of players in the indigenous leather industry, while also aiming to boost the nation’s revenue.

The three day conference has as it’s theme: “Repositioning the Nigeria Leather Industry for Global Competitiveness”

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