Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters Workers' cards are seen at the closed-down Unitex textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 2, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters Containers of cotton yarns at a closed-down textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 3, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters Fire extinguishers are seen at an entrance of a closed-down textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 3, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters A production department of a textile factory is seen abandoned in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 3, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters Textile-weaving machines are covered at a closed-down textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 3, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters A wooden box containig plastic equipment at a closed-down textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 3, 2016.
Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters A gate of the closed-down Unitex textile factory in Kaduna, Nigeria, November 2, 2016.

Rebooting a Nigerian Textile Factory

Buhari's Push to Revive the Industry

Western nations are not the only ones to have been hit by deindustrialization. Nigeria, for example, once had a robust textile industry that was growing annually at 67 percent during its golden years between 1985 and 1991. But today, of the 175 mills that once operated, only ten remain open with most of them running at half capacity. The industry blamed the decline on the flood of cheaper products from China and India. But when the government sought to ban textile imports in 2010, it only drove the trade underground. Shortly after his election, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced that he wanted to revive Nigeria's textiles by incentivizing investment in ailing factories. "I still recall with clarity that at some point, the textile industry in Nigeria was employing about 320,000 Nigerians," he said in 2015 before a group of foreign investors. (At its height, the industry was the country's second largest employer.) "But today, the same industry employs less than 30,000 people and the factories operate below capacity or they are completely closed...we should be making every effort to ensure that we reopen the closed ones and attract new ones to reduce unemployment." This gallery provides a look into the shuttered Unitex textile factory, which is still struggling to open its doors.

More Photo Galleries

Browse All Photo Galleries