The Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology [NILEST] has said it has the capacity fetch the country about N1.1bn annually by producing about 360million pairs of male and female shoes.
This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja by the Director General of the institute, Dr Eucharia Ngozi Oparah at the ongoing 2018 Technology and Innovation Expo.
She said the huge population in the country has created a large market for leather products, as many Nigerians Nigerians can still afford to own a minimum of three pairs of shoes.
She regretted that Nigeria is now a dumping ground for both new and second hand shoes and other leather products from other countries.
“This has led to the closure of some industries like BATA, Anita Shoes, Perfected Shoes and Lernard Shoes Limited, thus affected the economy of our dear country adversely,” she said.
She said there is a need to sensitize Nigerians through campaigns on the good of homemade leather goods.
“It will be necessary for government to enforce the ban on second-hand leather products and place high tariffs on imported articles,” she said.