There are several questions stakeholders in the livestock production sector should ask themselves with respect to the global leather industry.
Are Nigerians aware of the fact that the global leather industry is currently worth about $500bn a year and the raw material used in the sector is cattle hide?
As Nigerians debate the creation of cattle ranches across Nigeria, are they aware of the fact that the global leather goods market was valued at $414bn in 2017, and it is expected to reach $629.65bn by 2025?
Here are the top 10 producers worldwide.
- China produces 6.17bn square feet of leather goods and accounts for 25% of global output.
- Brazil produces 2.36bn square feet of leather goods and accounts for 9.5% of global output.
- Russia produces 1.65bn square feet of leather goods accounting for 7% of global output
- India produces 1.56bn square feet of leather goods and accounts for 6.4% of global output
- Italy produces 1.52bn square feet of leather goods and accounts for 6.3% of global production
- South Korea produces 1.14bn square feet of leather goods and accounts for 4.8% of global output
- Argentina produces 804m square feet of leather goods and accounts for 3.4% of global production
- The US produces 719m square feet of leather goods, accounting for 3% of global output
- Mexico produces 642m square feet of leather goods accounting for 2.7% of global production
- Turkey produces 529m square feet of leather goods accounting for 2.2% of global production
Here are the world’s top 10 fashion brands. When we open our mega ranches in Nigeria, how do we attract them to come and establish leather manufacturing plants:
- House of Versace
- Ralph Lauren
- Louis Vuitton
Do you know that Italy exports $3.8bn worth of leather goods a year? Why should our income not be higher if we have the land and cattle? I passionately believe that cattle ranches will be a dramatic game-changer in Nigeria.
What makes my blood boil is that Nigerians are one of the world’s biggest consumers of these luxury goods. We consume them but do not manufacture them and then think we have the right to live in a peaceful and prosperous country?
You cannot be an eternal consumer, not producing what you consume and not expect the ceiling to collapse on your head. Nigeria actually needs to ban the purchase of any luxury good not manufactured locally.
If these companies really value our custom, they must come and open shop in Nigeria. We have bankrolled them for long enough.
Make no mistake about where the responsibility for production lies though. It is the state governors who have to set aside land for these ranches and then go out to woo these companies to come and set up shop in Nigeria.
Personally, I am holding Simon Lalong, the chairman of the Northern State Governors Forum responsible for the lack of action. He should be the primary driver of this project, exploiting the Fulani herdsmen crisis to the maximum, turning it into a money-spinner.
Governor Lalong should ask President Buhari for use of his presidential jet and visit every dairy company, leather manufacturer and animal feed compounder on earth. He should offer them 50-year land leases, three year tax holidays and duty-free access to the Ecowas market if they open plants that employ 1,000 Nigerians or more.
It is then up to the governors of the six largest states to set aside land for the ranches and for President Buhari to provide security. President Buhari should also begin negotiating with his Ecowas colleagues about market access.
Is there any strategy being drawn up at all, or do we think all these problems will just disappear on their own overnight?
These are things we need to do if we want to eradicate banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, corruption, herdsmen terror, etc.