Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

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The Textile Revival: Buhari's Turn in the Ring

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

Nigeria’s textile industry is in the spotlight once again, as Buhari’s administration has pledged to succeed where three previous administrations have failed — he plans to revive the ailing textile industry. There are many areas of the Nigerian economy that need help, but textile manufacturing is an "easy" target because just 30 years ago, it was thriving. In the mid-1980’s, the country boasted 175 textile firms that employed over 350,000 people and produced 72% of the textiles made in West Africa.

Fast-forward a few decades later, and there are 25 factories operating at less than 50% capacity and employing a mere 25,000 people. The textile industry is the poster child for the decline of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and each successive government has taken a stab at restoring it to its lost glow. For Buhari, this battle will be fought on several fronts, and failure in any single area may lead to a scenario with which we are all too familiar: raised hopes preceding crushing disappointment.

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