NILEST to Establish Leather Tannery Centre in Idah

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The Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, said it has concluded arrangement for the establishment of a Leather Tannery Centre in Idah, Kogi.

NILEST Head of Information and Protocol, Remi Basorun, made this known in a statement issued to newsmen in Zaria Saturday.

It said Prof. Mohammed Yakubu, the Director-General of NILEST, led a detachment of the Agency’s Management Board members on an inspection visit to the proposed temporary site of the centre at No.1, Lona Avenue GRA, Idah.

“The DG during a courtesy visit to His Royal Majesty, the Attah of Igalaland, Dr Matthew Alaji Opaluwa, at his Palace after the occasion, intimated the monarch that NILEST is mandated to provide courses of instruction, training and research in the field of leather and related products.

“The DG said that the Leather sector was the second earner of foreign exchange after oil, but its potential has not been fully explored to the advantage of national development.

“He lamented that despite the huge number of abattoirs in the nation the tanneries to convert (tan) these hides and skins into finished leather are in comatose states,” Basorun said.

“The DG said most of the hides and skins produced by these abattoirs were being consumed locally as (ponmo) delicacy, thereby resulting in low production of finished leather for export,” it stated.

According to Basorun, the DG further said that the consumption of the hide and skin as ‘ponmo’ has also diminished the contribution of the sector to national development.

He quoted Yakubu as saying that there must be a change of narrative if the leather sector must meet the leather trade volume target of one billion Dollars in 2025.

“According to the DG, NILEST is channelling means of reaching the 2025 projection through establishment of Leather Tannery Centres throughout the country.

“He said that the tanneries when established would be used to convert the locally available hides and skins into finished leather for export and local use.

“The localities housing the tanneries will be the first to benefit because the youths, women and the vulnerable groups will be trained and empowered in the process.

“The DG said that the available raw materials would be turned to wealth as well,” the statement read in part.

According to him, the Attah of Igala commended Yakubu and his management team on the establishment of the leather tannery centre in Igalaland.

He therefore promised to provide a conducive atmosphere to ensure the effectual take off of the centre.


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