The director general and chief executive of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Scientific Technology (NILEST), Professor MK Yakubu, has described the leather industry as leading the country’s non-oil profits.

Yakubu said the industry contributes enormously to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to maintain the position as the largest non-oil foreign exchange earner.

In a welcoming speech at the Leather Day of Technology and Innovation Expo 2023 held yesterday at Eagle Square, Abuja, he said that the leather industry has, of late, proven to be a critical sector that contributes enormously to employment, the generation of wealth, security, GDP. and development.

He said the leather industry is worth $390 billion and is recognized worldwide as a driving tool for industrialization, especially in the developing world.

He said: “Nigeria must give high priority to leather and leather products if it is to take its rightful place in the community of nations. Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the largest economies in the world in the nearest future can be accelerated when leather and leather products through the required technology and innovation are fully integrated into our national socio-economic development process.

“This will help Nigeria to close the existing gaps. It will also speed up the processes that will enable it to become self-sufficient in indigenous technological capacity, thus stimulating a greater sense of national pride based on enduring self-reliance,” Haruna said.