Tapping into Nigeria’s Sleeping Giant

Iyalode Lawson, president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture believes with the right market conditions, Nigeria’s leather industry could be worth $1bn annually by 2025. The global leather industry has an estimated trade value of $100 billion every year, and Lawson hopes that Nigeria’s long history with leather will count for something. While cheap local leather products adorn market stalls in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s indigenous leather industry has been a sleeping giant of the country’s north for over a century. Nigeria has some of the oldest tanneries on the African continent, where young artisans still cure and treat animal hides in the same pits that their ancestors did. For many years, it was a burgeoning industry, earning valuable foreign exchange for the local economy, alongside cocoa plantations in the south, groundnut and rich cotton fields up north.


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