Nigeria's temporary suspension in the import of printed fabrics, first announced in August, will now remain in place until the government agrees which materials can be allowed into the country.

The ban was introduced to protect the local industry against dumping - when exported goods are sold below their normal value.

New measures also being adopted by the government include a crackdown on smuggled imports; reduced import taxes on raw materials for textiles; compulsory purchase of locally-made textiles by the army, government and schools; harmonisation of local prices.

But Nigeria hopes to be self-sufficient in textile production by 2006. According to Nigeria's Guardian newspaper, the government hopes to generate a yearly income of $1bn from local textile production - despite the fact that the number of local textile factories in Nigeria has fallen to just 40 from 175 in the mid-1980s.