Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, said the Federal Government’s National Leather Policy would contribute significantly to economic diversification of the country.
Onu said this when he addressed the Advisory Board of Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists of Nigeria (SLTCN) who paid him a courtesy call in his office on Thursday in Abuja.
The minister ssid that the policy would also help Nigeria in earning more foreign exchange, through export.
“Nigeria can earn foreign exchange from leather products and this will protect the country against economic recession.
“Leather and textile have been gateway for industrialisation of many countries, Nigeria will be able to develop more sophisticated technologies, through leather and textile,” he said.
According to him, the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science Technology is presently supplying the Nigerian Armed Forces with footwears, adding that the development is worth celebrating.
He urged leather technologists to help transfer their skills to willing youths, to improve the nation’s productivity as well as Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Earlier, the President, Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists of Nigeria, Dr Solomon Tanko, said leather products had been contributing to GDP.
“Leather is an article of international trade which has changed the economies of many nations, through its robust value chains addition.
“The global leather trade is put at 100 billion US dollars per annum,” he said.
Tanko said it was natural for the country to key into the global trade properly to create jobs for youths.
“This will also avail the country an opportunity to produce, not only to meet the local demand but also increase its exports to earn foreign exchange as well as increase the country’s GDP.”
The president of the society also said that members society of the society were in the ministry to congratulate Onu on his re-appointed as the minister and to invite him for their forthcoming conference, slated for November.(NAN)