$1 billion in revenue possible with ban on consumption of animal skins
Yakubu made the revelation on Wednesday at the 6th Annual National Conference of the Society for Leather Technologists and Chemists of Nigeria, which is being held in Zaria.
The chief executive, however, said that to achieve this, Nigerians should stop the consumption of animal skin.
According to him, Nigeria should ban the consumption of animal skin to ensure the development of a robust leather business.
“Nigeria’s leather exports are expected to generate over $1 billion in annual revenue by 2025, making it a cash cow in the non-oil sector of the economy,” he said. he declares.
Yakubu said Nigeria has maintained a reliable supply of leather products to European and Asian markets.
The DG cited the Nigeria Export Promotion Council’s Trade Performance Index as indicating that Italy and Spain receive over 71% of Nigeria’s total leather exports.
Yahaya argued that the “inappropriate” consumption of animal skins has led to the closure of most tanneries in the country.
“Many leather industries have been shut down, with less than 14 tanneries managing to exist at varying levels of operation.
“Several reasons have been identified and documented for the closure of tanneries, chief among them being the inappropriate consumption of animal skin which is the main raw material of the leather industry.
“Besides the economic indiscretion of having animal skin on our menu, you will agree with me that the health and environmental risks associated with the handling, processing and consumption of animal skin should worry about,” he said.
The chief executive said he would continue to engage key stakeholders in the crusade against the consumption of animal skins across Nigeria.
He however agreed that it would be a Herculean task to stop his use, but felt that with consultation and legislation this would be achieved.
“With consultation and legislation, this main raw material for the leather industry will be saved from our kitchen and redirected to a more productive leather business,” Yahaya said.
He urged leather technologists and chemists to join NILEST in the project to end the consumption of animal skin in the country, to harness its potential for the growth of the leather industry.
In his remarks, Dr. Pushaka Julius, National President of the Society, said they would work with the institute and other key stakeholders to fill the gaps to technologically transform the leather industry.
He said the world was moving towards high technology and conventional ways of doing things had changed, as such “Nigeria’s leather sector needs to adapt to global trends”.
Earlier, Dr. Danlami Elisha, chairman of the local organizing committee for the conference, said Nigeria was seventh in Africa on the list of hides and skins producing countries.
Elisha said the conference aimed to provide better ways to transform the Nigerian leather industry to boost incomes and employment.