Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has charged leather products with aiding the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Onu made his announcement during the graduation and matriculation of 34 and 48 trainees respectively, in Borno State in Abuja.
Dr Onu added: “if the nation could be well skilled and mastered in leather works production, we could move to develop more sophisticated technological areas.’’
He said Nigeria could be an industrialised nation if leather and textile works are properly utilised.
“When we properly utilise leather products, we will be in a better position to ensure our drive to be an industrialised nation to be irreversible,” he added.
According to Dr Onu, the best way the nation could tackle poverty is by endowing its citizens with adequate skills.
“The best way to fight poverty is to give people technology and technical know-how they really require, in order to improve productivity,” he added.
Earlier, the acting director-general of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Dr. Eucharia Ngozi Oparah, said the leather industry has the capacity to employ thousands of Nigerians directly or indirectly across the leather value chain.
She also said the leather industry is a significant foreign exchange earner which contributes immensely to the nation’s GDP. “As you are all aware the leather industry is a key player in the President Buhari’s diversification agenda,” she added.
She said the institute is delighted to be one of the implementing partners for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria towards empowering youths, women, retirees, refugees and physically challenged Internally Displaced Persons.