Two million jobs coming as CBN plans N100bn textile funding

About two million jobs are to be created in the textile industry with the expected injection of massive cash to revive the comatose sector

Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, said that the apex bank is looking at injecting N100 billion as its intervention in the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) value chain.

The bankers’ bank has 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.

While the President delivered his message at the 31st National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja, Emefiele spoke after the signing of 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 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.

Emefiele said already, “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, 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.”

According to him, “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.”

Emefiele noted that “production of uniform wears especially for the armed forces calls for high level security concerns in handling, transportation and storage.”

This he added “is to help sustain their operations and improve their production capacity.”

The CBN governor lamented that “smuggling of textiles goods alone is estimated to have cost the nation an import bill of over $4billion 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.”

He was concerned that a large proportion of our clothing materials are imported from Asia and countries in Europe. But going forward, he said “there will be dedicated and carefully planned actions that are holistic and will encompass every node of the CTG value chain.”

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.

“This Committee is driving the initiative to achieve self-sufficiency in cotton production and textile materials within a span of three years.”

President 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.

The president noted that the order mandates all “’procuring authorities to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.”

He explained that the CBN had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian military and paramilitary outfits, as part of efforts to revive the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) sector in Nigeria.

Buhari said: “In recent time, the CBN has taken a number of commendable efforts to encourage patronage of local fabrics towards driving economic policy.

“I am glad to report to you that this is already yielding positive fruits. The existing 40,000 garments and textile workers must be trained and retrained, I will use this opportunity to call on the CBN to collaborate with your union and the ITF to come in and encourage the union to provide funds towards this end.”

General-Secretary of NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu, commended the federal government for closing Nigeria’s borders to end smuggling of goods into the country.

Aremu said the move was imperative as it was aiding production and consumption of local goods in the country.

National President of the union, 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.

Adaji said that the policy, if implemented, would help to meet federal 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.

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