After several decades of flip-flop policy of reviving Nigeria’s textile industry, the Central Bank says it is injecting N100 billion as its intervention in the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) value chain.
Expectedly, the intervention will unleash on the economy more than two million jobs in a major effort aimed at reviving the comatose sector.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, said on Wednesday that the bank had already disbursed about N50 billion to the cotton and ginning components.
Also on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said he had directed the CBN to pump money into the sector for the local production of textiles and garments
The President said the cotton, textile and garment sector had the capacity to transform Nigeria’s economy and refine the sector to bring about an industry capable of creating more than two million jobs.
He said in a message to the 31st National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented by the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, called on the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to facilitate training of textile workers to sustain current efforts at improving local garments production in the country.
He noted that the administration was committed to improving the industries in the country with the signing of the Executive Order 003.
Emefiele had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Ginning Companies and Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association and Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police, Paramilitary Institutions & National Youth Service Corps also in Abuja.
The CBN governor said the CBN’s intention was to ensure that local players took control of the cotton, textile and garment industry and get it revived to facilitate its job creation capacity.
“Approval to a tune of N19.18billion has been granted to finance nine ginneries with a view to retooling their processing plants, while providing them with improved access to finance at single digit interest rate.
“The same support he said will be extended to the textile and garment firms.
“The bank has invested heavily in local textile and garment factories “to retool and produce assorted uniforms for our uniformed services that meet international standards,’’ he said.
“The CBN is improving the linkage between cotton farmers and ginneries, by ensuring that ginneries are able to off-take the high-quality cotton produced by cotton farmers.”
Emefiele also promised to work with the security agencies, to ensure that the finished uniformed for service personnel and the wastes generated “are treated as currency,” adding that the “highest level of security until they are delivered to the right clients or disposed accordingly.”
He, however, said production of uniform wears especially for the armed forces called for high level security concerns in handling, transportation and storage.
On the smuggling of textiles, the CBN governor said: “Smuggling of textiles goods alone is estimated to have cost the nation an import bill of over $4 billion annually on textiles and apparel leading to a situation where most of the textile factories, all stopped operations and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people today from about 2 million in the boom years.”
The governor said he had constituted a Textile Revival Implementation Committee (TRIC) whose members include the CBN, Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development; Water Resources; Industry, Trade and Investment; and the Governments of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe and Zamfara States.
“This Committee is driving the initiative to achieve self-sufficiency in cotton production and textile materials within a span of three years.”
The General-Secretary of NUTGTWN, Mr Issa Aremu, commended the Federal Government for closing Nigeria’s borders to curb smuggling of goods into the country.
Aremu said the move was aiding production and consumption of local goods in the country.
On his part, the National President of the union, Mr John Adaji, noted that the administration had shown commitment to revamping the textile industry with the introduction of a comprehensive Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Policy.
The policy, if implemented, will help to meet government’s target of creating 100 million jobs in ten years, adding that the union had the capacity to create no fewer than 2.5 million jobs, he said.