WED, JULY 22 2020-theG&BJournal– The late elder statesmen, Mallam IsmailaIsa Funtua who died in Abuja on Monday at the age of 78 years would be remembered for his singular unrelenting commitment to Industrialization in Nigeria. In his posthumously tribute, the Vice President IndustriALL Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu observed that untill his death Mallam Isa Funtua was among “the few standing African entrepreneurs counted on the side of domestic production in place of wholesale importation and smuggling.”
Aremu said while he could mean many things to all: a publisher, elder statesman, a silent and dignified politician, father and grandfather, he would be “remembered more as an investor and enthusiastic employer of labour. The labour leader said “Notwithstanding the challenges of electricity supply, smuggling and high costs of long term funds for investment, Mallam Isa, tirelessly worked for Industrialization and beneficiation in Nigeria.”
He said the deceased was among the main drivers of the historic first comprehensive Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) policy announced by President Muhammadu Buhari two years ago.
The CTG policy aims at reviving the entire value chains of cotton growing, Ginneries, spinning and weaving, printing and garments production.
“The survival of the few pioneers textile mills namely s United Nigerian Textile Company, Kaduna and Ikorodu Lagos (which used to employed 10,500 workers ) and Funtua textile mill with over 500 workers presently can almost solely be attributed to the relentless activism and investment patriotism of Alhaji Isa Funtua. “
‘’We hereby convey our heartfelt condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, the UNTL group of companies, government and people of Katsina state and leadership of National Union of Textile and Garment( NUTGWN) and Textile and Garment Employers Association (NTGEA) for this singular irreplaceable loss.,’’ Aremu said.
Aremu, speaking on behalf of the Organized Labour condoled President Buhari the employers, workers, trade unions, traders, Trade and Investment Ministry officials dealing with textile and garment value chains on the death of the late entrepreneur.
Comrade Aremu noted that the best tribute to Mallam Isa is to sustain his legacy of industry and enterprises for sustainable employment for mass of unemployed youths especially in the North.
He therefore called on the 19 Northern governors to ensure speedy and full implementation of Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG), the proposed establishment of industrial park in, revival of KTL in Kaduna as well as payment of outstanding entitlements of the workers.
Alhaji Isa Funtua was born in Funtua, Katsina State, he was a pioneer student of the Federal Training Centre, Kaduna. He also trained as an administrative officer at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, and as an administrator at the Manchester University in the UK. He was an active member of the prestigious Alumni of the National Institute AANI, the motto of which is Towards A Better Society.
He was the Monitor General of the Senior Executive Course 9 in 1998 of the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru. He served the Katsina Native Authority for seven years as Administrative Officer. He later served in various ministries in the defunct Northern Region before his secondment by the Northern Region government as the Personnel Manager of the then 10,500 strong United Nigerian Textile Company, Kaduna. From there he became a successful entrepreneur.
Funtua was the Founder of Bulet International Nigeria Limited (the largest wholly-owned indigenous construction company) which built most of the iconic public buildings in Abuja. He was the founding Managing Director of the New Africa Holdings (publishers of the defunct Democrat newspapers).