By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has placed the access to foreign exchange for all forms of textile materials on the Foreign Exchange restriction list.
The move which is expected to be effective immediately, is in a bid to support the revival of the textile sector.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who revealed these on Tuesday in his opening remarks at the Textiles Industry Stakeholders Meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Abuja, disclosed that Nigeria currently spends above $4 billion annually on imported textiles and ready-made clothing.
He further stated that with a projected population of over 180 million Nigerians, the needs of the domestic market are huge and varied, with immense prospects, not only for job creation, but also for growth of the domestic textile industries.
According to Emefiele, “Effective immediately, the CBN hereby place the access to FX for all forms of textile materials on the FX restriction list. Accordingly, all FX dealers in Nigeria are to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to FX in the Nigerian Foreign exchange market.
“In addition, we shall adopt a range of other Strategies that will make it difficult for recalcitrant smugglers to operate banking business in Nigeria. The details of those strategies will be unfolded in due course”, he stated.
Emefiele, also announced that the CBN has decided to implement a few steps to revive the sector, which includes; “Support to Textile manufacturers with the provision of funds at single digits rate, to refit, retool and upgrade their factories in order to produce high quality textile materials for the local and export market; Initially support the importation of cotton lint for use in textile factories, with a caveat that such importers shall begin sourcing all their cotton needs locally beginning from year 2020.
Others are; “To support local growers of cotton as part of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Program, to enable them meet the needs of the textile industries in Nigeria. The CBN shall also support efforts to source high yield cotton seedlings so as to ensure the yields from our cotton farmers meet global benchmarks.
“As regards provision of stable electricity, the CBN shall support the creation textile production centers in certain designated areas in Nigeria where access to electricity shall be guaranteed”, he said.
The governor, further explained that the CBN in 2916 began discussions with the Kano and Kaduna State Governments to establish textile industrial areas in a bid to guarantee stable electricity in those industrial areas, adding that the apex Bank will intensify efforts with these governments and others that may show keen interest to see to the quick actualization of such programs.
“We believe that these measures will discourage smuggling, resuscitate this critical industry, and support your efforts at creating jobs for Nigerians”, he remarked.
The meeting brought together key players in the textile industry, banks, and officials of the CBN, to examine the challenges faced by textile operators, and to identify promising approaches that will help in reviving this key sector.