Last week, the Senate charged the Federal Government to ban importation of textiles into the country for a period of five years to encourage local production just as Taiwo Hassan looks at the impact of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s N100 billion intervention on the project.
Indeed, the move by the Federal Government to resuscitate the country’s textile sector, which at a time was the second highest employer of labour after agriculture, has been applauded by all and sundry.
In fact, the paradigm shift towards the revival of the moribund industry is apt as it is coming when the Federal Government is thinking of sustainability and self-sufficiency in all spheres of the economy.
To set the ball rolling and demonstrate its stance on sufficiency, government had since August closed the country’s borders with her neigbours to ensure that Nigerians consume what they produce and also promote local production of goods.
However, as government shifts attention to reviving the country’s textile industry, industry stakeholders have so far expressed satisfaction with the role of CBN, especially as it is boosting the effort with N100 billion funding intervention.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari said he had directed the CBN to pump money into the sector for local production of textiles and garments.
The president stated that the cotton, textile and garment sectors 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.
While confirming the presidential directive, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that the apex bank was looking at injecting N100 billion as its intervention in the cotton, textile and garment value chain, saying that about two million jobs are to be created afterwards.
Emefiele explained that the apex bank had already disbursed about N50 billion to the cotton and ginning components of the sector.
The CBN governor said the bank’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.
He disclosed that an “approval to the tune of N19.18 billion 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, would be extended to the textile and garment firms, adding that the apex bank had invested heavily in local textile and garment factories “to retool and produce assorted uniforms for our uniformed services that meet international standards.”
The governor explained that the CBN 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.
He said: “This Committee is driving the initiative to achieve self-sufficiency in cotton production and textile materials within a span of three years.”
However, at the upper chamber of the national assembly, the challenges facing the country’s textile industry came to the front burners with the Senate emphatically urging the Federal Government to ban importation of textile into the country for five years to encourage local production.
In a debate on a motion sponsored by Sen. Kabir Barkiya (APC-Katsina Central) during plenary on “Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose textile industry,” the upper chamber lauded government’s stronger motivation to encourage local textile manufacturing companies, by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry.
While debating the motion, Barkiya noted that the textile industry in the country played a significant role in the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy with a record of over 140 companies in the 1960s and 1970s.
He said: “The textile industry recorded an annual growth of 67 per cent and as at 1991, employed above 25 per cent of the workers in the manufacturing sector.
“The textile industry was then the highest employer of labour apart from the civil service.”
He noted that the industry had witnessed massive decline in the last two decades with many textile companies such as Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile and Aba Textile among others closing shops and throwing their workers into the job market.
Contributing, Sen. Robert Boroffice (APC-Ondo North) said that the importation of textile materials was as a result of the comatose level of the textile industry.
“The closure of our borders is an eye opener. China closed its borders for 40 years for its industrialisation and development. I believe that the closure of our borders should be extended to allow us put our house in order.”
The lawmaker further said that government policies like increase in taxation, high cost of production, trade liberalisation resulting in massive importation of textile materials had negatively affected the production of local textile materials.
Barkiya said that the resuscitation of the industry would provide additional revenue and assist government to diversify the nation’s economy.
As the current administration moves to revamp the textile industry with the introduction of a comprehensive cotton, textile and garment policy, it is believed that the existing 40,000 garments will be catalyst for the creation of no fewer than 2.5 million jobs.
Published On : 21-11-2019
Source : New Telegraph