CBN earmarks N100bn for CTG industry
Uche Usim, Abuja
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday disclosed that N100 billion had been earmarked as intervention fund for the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) industry, adding that N50 billion has already been disbursed to players in the sector.
Out of the N50 billion already loaned out, N19.18 billion was disbursed to retool nine ginneries at a single-digit interest rate.
He added that the same gesture will be extended to textile farmers and others along the value chain.
The CBN governor described the $4 billion yearly import bill for textiles as totally unacceptable, assuring that players in the cotton value chain would be supported to resume garment production in line with Presidential Executive Order 003.
This is as stakeholders in the cotton business signed two separate Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) aimed at reviving the sector.
The first one was between the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and Ginning Companies; while the second one was between the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association and Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police, Paramilitary Institutions & National Youth Service Corps.
Emefiele who spoke at the event said it was disheartening that only 15 out of about 180 textile companies that existed between 70 and 90s were still alive.
As a strategy to revive the sector, the CBN Governor said it has begun restricting forex access to importers of textiles, while the apex bank was already providing financial support to textile manufacturers to retool, rejig and revive their businesses.
He said: “Our efforts to revive the cotton industry is also in tandem with executive order 003 to utilize local sources for uniforms and hospital wears.
“Before the Buhari administration, 150 textile industries have closed and two million jobs lost.
“Farmers and processors had to deal with low-quality seeds, smuggling of textile and poor infrastructure. Large volumed of textile materials are from Asia. Two years ago, we called the textile mills for a meeting but they were dead.
They raised access to finance, lack of electricity, smuggling and dumping as challenges.
“Luckily, the FG has ordered border closure. Benefits are unprecedented. Rice and poultry businesses are now booming. Before now, people were importing eggs, poultry, beef etc. How do we then create jobs? We need to deal with smuggling and dumping to guarantee jobs. This must be dealt with.
“In April, we flagged off input distribution to 150,000 farmers cultivating 150,000 hectares of cotton in 23 states. Their stock will be ready for off-take by November.
“We have also constituted a Textile Revival Implementation Committee (TRIC) which includes 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.
“We are fully aware that production of uniform wears especially for the armed forces calls for high level security concerns in handling, transportation and storage. To this end, we will work with the security agencies alongside concerned textile and garment factories to ensure that the finished products as well as wastes are treated as currency, with highest level of security until they are delivered to the right clients or disposed accordingly,” he explained.