The associations are non-profit, voluntary private sector organisations which, in collaboration with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, cater for the interests of the textile and textile-related manufacturers, on manufacturing and human resources matters. They are fully registered and recognized by the Federal Government. The NTMA came into existence in 1967 while the restructuring of the Trade Unions in 1978 gave birth to NTGTEA in that year.
The Nigerian Textile Industry in perspective
Textile industry has been an age-long cottage industry in Nigeria, considering that Aso-Oke, Akwete as well as the dyeing pits of Kano constitute part of our cultural heritage. They are still there today because clothing is one of the major needs of man.
However, modern textile manufacturing in the country started in the 1950s. The first factories were those embarked upon by the regional governments as deliberate programmes of promoting industrial development through policy of import substitution industrialization. This led to the establishment of Kaduna Textile Mills Limited in Kaduna in 1956, Nigerian Textile Mills Limited in Lagos, Aba Textile Mills Limited in Aba, and Bendel Textile Mills Limited in Asaba in the early 60s.
The next major outfits came on board when erstwhile textile importers/merchants, invariably of Lebanese and India origins decided to transform themselves into manufacturers. The Indian dominated the Lagos axis while the Lebanese dominated Kano. This transformation was the single most significant impetus to the growth of the textile industry in Nigeria. These groups still dominate the industry. Later, the Chinese and other nationals joined the investors in the industry. It is on record that from less than 5 units in the early 1960s, the textile industry had as many as 175 units by mid-80s.
Various government policies led to further development in the industry, so that later, many units are fully integrated i.e. their operations cover the entire processes of textile production – spinning, weaving, printing, dyeing, finishing and make-up. Some have also integrated backward into cotton farming.
Some involved themselves in high-technology projects for the manufacture of polyester stable fibre (PSF), Partially Oriented Yarn (POY) and Polyester Filament Yarn (PFY) all of which have direct linkage with the Petrol-chemical industry. There was the promise, from the Government, That the country's Petrol Chemical industry would provide necessary raw materials for these factories. The non-functioning of the petrol-chemical industry in Nigeria has left the huge investment to waste away.
In its flourishing days, the industry had state-of-the-art textile machinery which surpasses any other sub-Saharan country., and the total textile machinery in the country far surpasses that of all remaining sub-Saharan countries put together.
The industry had an installed capacity of about 1.7 billion metres of fabrics and is capable of providing direct employment for about 250,000 workers, that is besides those who are employed in the cottage sector of the industry, especially in garmenting, and used to be the largest employer of labour after the government.