Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, set up a committee for the revitalization of the nation’s cotton, garment and textile industry, with the directive to revive at least 50 textile companies by year 2023. The apex bank intends to revive 20 textile firms within 2019.
Reason For Inaugurating The Textile Revival And Implementation Committee.
The Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while setting up the committee in Abuja, yesterday, expressed concern that the nation spends $2 billion every twelve months on textile smuggling and export, stressing that the sector needs to be revived in order to take advantage of the immense opportunities therein.
He stated that the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee (TRIC), comprising five states involved in cotton production, representatives from CBN, Federal ministries of water resources, power, finance and Nigeria Customs Service, has the duty to resurrect the country’s cotton belt, identify textile groups, improve cotton production countrywide and enhance power supply to textile companies across the country.
According to Emefiele, who got the nod from the Nigerian Senate for a second term in office this week, the team will further seek to identify infrastructure shortfall, especially in area of power supply to the textile clusters.
Ways To Overcome The Challenges Confronting The Cotton, Garment And Textile Industry.
He said the TRIC will work with Nigerian Customs Service to help curb smuggling of textile goods, ensure general decline of cost of doing business by abolishing multiple taxation as well as ensuring zero percent duty for equipment needed by the industry. They are also taxed with identifying the major challenges confronting the textile industry such as fabricating, unsatisfactory local patronage, poor and high cost of production.
Emefiele further stated that the CBN would continue to offer leadership towards the revival of the sector, saying the bank had already involved 100,000 cotton farmers to grow 100,000 hectares of cotton for the 2019 season.
Reactions From Stakeholders Towards The Initiative.
Present at the inauguration ceremony were the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Bala Barnabas; and Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Ibrahim Hassan.
The state governors applauded Emefiele for the passion and resolve to reposition key sectors of the economy, particularly the textile sector and agriculture in general.
Governor Ganduje particularly praised Emefiele for inspiring the cultivation of cotton by farmers. He urged the Central Bank to ascribe importance to the textile industry value chain in order to guarantee success, while stressing that building formidable institutions and good management team has remained critical to the restoration of the sector.
“I am appealing to all stakeholders to work with us to reclaim our country back and everybody must play a role. We made sure we involved all major stakeholders because no important agency relevant to this has been excluded,” the Central Bank chief said.
The Nigerian Textile Industry In Brief.
Sources reported on the whopping $4 billion spent yearly on the importation of textile materials into the country; citing that the apex bank had in March this year, included all types of textile materials to the list of items that are ineligible for foreign exchange from the official windows. This step by the CBN, however, restricted the sale of forex to textile importers.
The Nigerian textile industry was one of the flourishing sub-sectors of the nation’s economy post-independence years. Nourished by locally grown cotton, with massive demand for clothing by a fast-growing population, it provided direct and indirect employment to Nigerians in hundreds of thousands and some expats for several years.
At a time, it contributed about 15% to the
manufacturing sector’s contribution the Nigeria’s GDP.