Trade Liberalization and the Collapse of the Nigerian Textile Industry

  • N Nwabueze


This study examines the circumstances leading to the imminent collapse of the Nigerian textile industry. With a decline from124 to 45 firms between 1994 and 2005, a decrease in employment by 87% from 150,000 to about 20,000 in that period, and the few surviving
firms operating at less than 40% installed capacity; total collapse of the industry is imminent. This state of affairs is attributed to the pressure to liberalize international trade by bilateral and multi-lateral interests and the uneconomic infrastructure status of the domestic
economy. To explore the effect of this condition, a checklist was completed by the workers’ and employers’ unions in the industry. Also executives, former employees and employees of shut and surviving firms were interviewed. The results were triangulated with facts derived
from content analysis of relevant secondary documents. From this Nigerian experience, it is deduced that contrary to the belief widely held by some scholars in advanced capitalist economies that neo-liberal globalization has brought prosperity to rich and poor countries
alike; neo-liberal globalization does not bring prosperity to all of mankind. Instead, some of its concomitants portend misery and despair from de-industrialization to marginal players in global capitalism. Drawing empirical justification from the late 2008 global financial crisis and the advanced countries’ bail-out plans, cautious domestic economic protectionism, continued government regulation and monitoring of private capitalist operators as well as revamping domestic industrial infrastructure are advocated to save the textile industry in Nigeria from eventually going under.

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eISSN: 1813-2227