COVID-19: Textile manufacturers donate N10m, face masks

As its contribution to the fight against coronavirus, the Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), has donated N10 million and face masks to the Covid-19 Committee of the Presidential Task Force (PTF).

While the face masks were presented Tuesday via Lagos delivery point and received by a member of the committee, Mr. Victor Ejiro Edero, a Union Bank PLC cheque of N10 million addressed to Central Bank of Nigeria Covid-19 Relief Fund, was paid into the committee account in Lagos on Friday.

According to the Director General of NTMA, Alhaji Hamma Kwajaffa, “We are all in lockdown and there is inter-state travel ban still active. So, we decided to stay here in Lagos and deliver the materials to the representative of the Covid-19 Committee for onward delivery to Abuja.

“We however will pay the cheque for the N10 million donation directly to CBN Covid-19 Relief Fund account. This is because, one, Central Bank of Nigeria is receiver of all monetry donations on behalf of the Committee.

“Two, we are making the donation through the CBN because of the relationship which exists between textile sector and them. Also because of the keen interest the CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele has shown in cotton-textile sector development and he has been directed by Presidency to ensure that the interest survive.

“To this end, the CBN has been trying to work with the military to uptake our products. You can now imagine if defence, police, paramilitary and schools are taking uniforms’ materials from the textile manufacturers, how the lost glory of textiles in Nigeria will come back.”

Kwajaffa said: “What we have done is to try our best even though our association is not profit making, by supporting the government with some of the things that we do to help people to recover themselves against the pandemic.

“Going forward we are also bringing blankets and fabric for making face masks. The garments make the face masks, which in one way shows that we can produce what we need here in Nigeria and, if we are supported, we can produce one million face masks in one day,” Kwajaffa said.

Vice President of the association, Dr. Michael Ola Adebayo, presenting the face masks on Tuesday, said the gesture became necessary because of the body’s belief that government alone could not be left to the anti-coronavirus fight.

He however expressed the hope that in the post-Covid era, the government would see more reason to involve the textile and garment sector in its effort to grow the economy while creating employment.

He said presently, the garment and textile sector has ensured it did not sack workers despite the huge negative impact of the pandemic lockdown and that it shows the sector has capacity to further grow the economy by contributing to the Made-in-Nigeria policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration while fighting the pandemic.

The NTMA Vice President was accompanied to the Lagos point of delivery by Director General, Alhaji Hamma Kwajaffa and Mrs Aromolaran, a garment factory owner.

“We, the Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) are here to present donation of Covid-19 materials to the Federal Government. We have several of face masks and a cheque of N10 million to be delivered to the government to support its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are aware that everybody is vulnerable and not everybody can be able to buy these materials. So by giving these, the government will be able to reach out to more people who need the materials to protect themselves against the dangerous disease. We also have five thousand blankets coming from Kaduna for onward delivery to Abuja just like we are doing from here in Lagos today.

“NTMA national headquarters is in Lagos and because of inter-state travel ban, we have to send these donations to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 in Abuja through their representative and member of the Covid-19 here in Lagos,” Vice President NTMA, Adebayo, said.

Mrs. Lara Aromolaran, Managing Director, Crown Nature’s Nigeria PLC, a garment manufacturing company in Nigeria, said the gesture was participation in the private sector initiative of Covid-19 fight in the country.

“The materials that we produce which include face masks, doctors shrubs and others are standard guaranteed competing with international quality. And through that we are creating employment which, in a nutshell, means that we are growing the economy while we are fighting the pandemic to save lives,” she said.