Nigerian minister of science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu has said newly approved leather policies will create jobs and give the country the tools needed to fight rising poverty levels. Onu said the policy is aimed at boosting business opportunities in the leather industry, adding that the industry generated $921 million for the government in 2013 alone. He said: “We resolved to harness the national leather and by-products policy that will enable the government to attract more investment into the sector. “We would do this in a manner that will allow us to make more gains instead of exporting raw leather or semi-finished products. We want to prepare our nation so that we can process our leather and use the leather in the production of finished leather products. “We have come to realise that it has an application in almost every sector of our economic life, including footwear, apparel and the automobile industry. There is hardly any machine that you will open without finding a leather component. This is the only way we can create more jobs and a lot of wealth. We would be in a position to fight poverty.

Pointing out that in 2013 alone the industry made over £700 million for the government, the minister stated that “If we harness the leather we have in Nigeria and we process our hides and skins, we will be creating a lot of jobs and wealth because of the small-scale enterprises that will spring up. You will now have new business springing up.”