Development of dye industry critical to revival of textile sector, says FUTA Don

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The Federal Government has been advised to factor in the development of an indigenous dye industry in its ongoing effort to revive the country’s ailing textile sector. A Professor of Fibre Science and colour chemistry, Abayomi Adetuyi, gave the advice while delivering the 108th Inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

Speaking on the topic: “Colour and Man: Sine Qua Non of Creation and Industrialization” he said large scale botanical gardens containing useful dyeing plants should be established in all Universities of Technology and states of Nigeria and managed properly so that these plants will not go into extinction.

He said the Government should then support the indigenous cottage and small-scale natural dye-production/utilization practitioners through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and favourable policies to enable them generate employment and contribute to the nation’s economic development instead of importing dyes for food and textiles.

Adetuyi said the Ornamental beautification shrubs can be transformed into useful and well commercialized dyes since the use of natural dyes and colouring is ecofriendly and free from hazards associated with imported dyes and chemicals. He said natural dyes are unique in their unequalled richness and subtlety of shades and that every continent or region is endowed with different varieties of food yielding dyeing plants for usage, each possessing unique qualities.

Relating colour to man, the lecturer said that colour symbolism plays important roles in everyday life, art, religion, politics and ceremonies. He said every nation or institution is associated with a unique colour or symbol such as the green and white of the Nigerian national flag representing Nigeria’s natural wealth or fertile land. He defined colour as a psychological interpretation of a physiological response by the eye and brain to physical stimulus of light radiation at different wave lengths.

He said the need to look into the future development of Nigeria particularly in the area of sustainable growth in colourant development and utilization for man’s benefit is very paramount. He said the revival of the country’s textile sector should go and in hand with the development of the local dyeing industry.

The lecturer said Nigerians particularly those in holding the levers of power must have a change of orientation and value system from unbridled materialism and self-interest to national development and interest that will promote infrastructural development within the nation.

Adetuyi said that the Nigerian government should massively invest in all science laboratories and workshops, starting from the elementary to the tertiary institutions and more importantly, University of Technologies and Research Institutions while financial assistance should be provided to support interdisciplinary research work and collaborations in the field of natural colourants.

He advised that University-industry relationship with respect to scientific research should be established and strengthened to enhance dissemination and adoption of research findings and their commercialization and adaptation to solve real societal problems. He said infrastructure such as good roads and rail networks, information technology, available energy and water supply are essential for an improved performance of the nations’ educational and manufacturing sectors.

In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape described the lecturer as an erudite scholar who has mentored protégées and has served in different administrative capacities in the institution. He described the lecture as cerebral, well delivered and apt given the economic situation of the country and the need to diversify the economy.

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