By Our Correspondent
#TrackNigeria – A day after reports of his alleged sack from his post as Governor Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has met with Textile Industry Stakeholders in Abuja.
A top official at the CBN confirmed to Newsdiaryonline that the CBN governor actually addressed the Textile Industry Stakeholders in person.
Emefiele’s appearance serves more purposes beyond the measures unveiled by the apex bank boss for the textile sector. It shows that Emefiele remains in office as CBN Governor thus debunking rumours Monday that he had been sacked.
Meanwhile, in his opening address at the Textile Stakeholders’ meeting with the apex bank, Emefiele what he called “a few steps which we believe will support the revival of the textile sector .
These steps, according to him include: “Financial 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.
“Effective immediately, the CBN hereby places 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 added, “We shall, 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.”
Emefiele also announced that “As part of its Anchor Borrowers Program, the CBN will support local growers of cotton 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.
Furthermore, he said “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. In 2016, the CBN 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. We would 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” Emefiele said.
Speaking earlier, the CBN governor said “Today, Nigeria currently spends above $4 billion annually on imported textiles and ready-made clothing. 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. One quick example that highlights the potential of this local market, includes the need to support provision of uniforms and clothing apparels for school students, military and paramilitary officers as well as workers in the industrial sector.
“In addition, when we consider the amount spent on outfits for religious and social events such as weddings, naming and funeral ceremonies on a weekly basis, the potential market size is well over $10bn annually,” he said.