The Diapers, Sanitary pads, Napkins and Wipes industry has been described as a strategic tool for National development particularly in areas of job creation and economic growth. Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Edet Sunday Akpan stated this during the Validation Meeting of the Draft National Industrial Policy on the sector held in Abuja.
Represented by the Director Human Resource Management of the Ministry, Mr Alabi Samuel Akintuwa, the Permanent Secretary further said “the sector is a developing category with strong growth prospects considering the high fertility and birth rate of Nigerian Women estimated by the United Nations International Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF) to be 5.9 million babies annually”.
Mr Edet stated that the challenges confronting the industry were identified in the policy, adding that strategies and incentives to drive that sector have also been identified for implementation.
Speaking at the occasion, Acting Director of Industrial Development Department, Dr. Francis Alaneme said in the past that over 4 billion naira worth of diapers were being imported annually to the detriment of the economy and government decided to stop it and see how available local resources could be used especially as the country has some companies that are into petrol chemicals that can provide the needed raw materials in the sector. He disclosed that the validation meeting is aimed at taking a final assessment of the policy before it is sent to Federal Executive Council[FEC] for approval after which it becomes a policy to guide the development of the sector.
Mr Simon Shick of Virony Nig Ltd., a company that is into the production of diapers described the policy as encouraging especially as his organization has plans to make Nigeria its production base. ‘’We want to stay in Nigeria as our production base so that in future we can produce most of our products in Nigeria not only for the Nigerian market but also for other African countries” he said.
Umar Maryam Yusuf
For: DD Press