How China is gradually crippling Kano’s textile market

By Joshua Amaugo July 11, 2015 15:13

How China is gradually crippling Kano’s textile market

Despite the promise made by the Nigerian Customs Service to curb the influx of substandard textile materials imported from China, Chinese traders have reportedly continued to import and crowd cheap wares in Kano market to the disadvantage of indigenous traders.

As earlier reported by Post Nigeria, this type of illegal importation has been responsible for the dearth of Nigeria textile industries especially in the Kano-Kaduna axis.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi had earlier said that, “It kills our economy because jobs that would have been created are destroyed.

“Nigeria Customs Service will not treat with kid gloves any national of other countries who engage in any act of smuggling.

“We are Nigerians and have no other country to call our own, hence will not tolerate any person, no matter where he comes from to disrespect the laws of our country.

“Above all, made in Nigeria textiles are mere qualitative than what the Chinese import at lower cost,” he lamented.

See: Nigeria Customs busts Chinese syndicate crippling textile sector

The history of Kano market dates back to the people of Jega, who first occupied the Kantin Kwari textile market, the biggest textile market in Africa.

The Jega people controlled the textile business in Kantin Kwari made the government of their time to give them all the necessary support to boost their business activities.

Kantin Kwari was then dominated by the Lebanese who came to reside there, but, when business activities heightened, they (Lebanese) gave out their residences in Kantin Kwari for rent to the textile marketers.

According to history, when they fully settled, they began to import textile materials to the market from abroad apart from our homemade ones which hitherto, made our economy boom.

In a short period of time, the business activities of Jega marketers began to decline in Kantin Kwari market.

The Lebanese traders and businessmen, who had dominated business for decades, had gained a lot in the market before the coming of Indians and Chinese.

However, things changed when the Chinese stormed the market place as spies, arriving with innovations resulting from their understanding of the secret of business in Kano.

Since then the unfair trading by Chinese has brought the textiles marketers to their knees, through their importation of textile materials; they store the goods, which they store at the warehouses then dispatch to the local market for sale.

Chinese activities according to several news reports have compromised the potential of local textile marketers in Kantin Kwari, the market activities has been jeopardized going by the marketing strategies taken by the Chinese.

According to Leadership for instance, the Chinese use local marketers to attract customers and at the end of the transactions, they settle the middlemen with a meagre N1,000 or even N500.When the Chinese got to understand the business tactics, they granted between N5,000 – N10,000 to a middleman that brings customers.

A trader said, ‘‘The Chinese have hijacked our ancestral business, and straitened business opportunities no thanks to blackout in Nigeria and lack of government support.

“Also bribery and corruption has become order of the day amongst security operatives and the government officials.’’

China has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world through imitative innovations. If a marketer gives Chinese a sample of a product, he quickly orders his at a subsidized rate.

Six years back, the Chinese began importing the native Hausa cap (Zanna Bukar) which is well known to be made in Maiduguri, Borno State. With the coming of the Chinese, the Zanna Bukar has lost its high market value in Maiduguri, but due to price subsidy on the caps, people still embrace the item.

It is no longer news that the Chinese are making a fortune from their imposition, posing a threat to the local dyeing businessmen, especially in areas of the dyeing of fabrics, which has been a main attraction to foreigners and tourists alike for centuries, until the Chinese started importing Ghalilar Textile in the State.

These Chinese business strategies have put local businessmen in the State on the verge of bankruptcy and it appears that no one is capable of any legal action against them as they storm the market place calling on customers to patronize their products at cheaper rates.

Thousands of local dyers have stormed the Emir’s palace in protest.

In their appeal to the Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II, they urged the monarch as well as the Government to intervene in what they described as unfair trading behavior of the Chinese.