Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has pointed out a possible revenue-generating route for Nigeria, noting that Nigeria could potentially generate over $1 billion from leather.
He stated that Nigeria ranked among the highest producers of leather and finished leather products.
Osinbajo said on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop on the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan, according to NAN.
On the current economic benefit of the leather industry to the country, the vice president said that eleven leather exporting companies have, combined, created about 8,000 employment opportunities.
He said, “Nigeria is one of the highest producers of leather and finished leather products in Africa; a study carried out by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) projected that the Nigerian leather industry has the potential to generate over 1 billion dollars by 2025.
“The leather value chain is extensive; it includes animal husbandry, tanneries, finished leather products and leather products marketing.
“The leather and leather products industry currently employs over 750,000 workers with about 500,000 workers in the finished leather goods sector.
“About eleven leather exporting companies have been active at the upstream end of the leather value chain; together, these companies generate about 8000 jobs.
“To date, however, exports are in the order of 272 million dollars; today, Nigeria’s semi-finished and finished leather have their highest patronage in Italy, Spain, India, South Asia and China.
“Shoes, belts, bags and folders are largely traded in West Africa and many parts of Africa.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the famous Aba shoe cluster in Abia, informally exports almost a million pairs of shoes weekly mostly to destinations within Africa.
“The industry is huge and its potential can only be imagined; so, there is no question that properly organised, the leather and leather products industry could become one of the major items in Nigeria’s export basket.”