With less than seven months to the end of the year, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Thursday set machinery in motion to revive at least 20 textile companies.
At the inauguration of Textile Revival Implementation Committee, CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said the cotton and textile (CTG) sector has suffered many difficulties within the last 20 years.
Some of the challenges he cited include low cotton production, poor power and transport infrastructure, obsolete production lines, smuggling and counterfeiting, inadequate local patronage, high cost of production, and multiple taxations among others.
According to him, smuggling of textile goods alone has been estimated to cost the nation over $2.2bn.
“It’s no secret that the past 20 years have been very difficult for the cotton, textiles and garment sector.
“Today, most of the textile factories have all stopped operations and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people.
“In addition, a large proportion of our clothing materials are imported from China and countries in Europe.
“Our consultations with key stakeholders in the CTG sub-sector necessitated the constitution of this Textile Revival Implementation Committee as a pre-requisite to fixing the identified challenges in the CTG sub-sector.
“A consolidated approach of this magnitude will afford us economies of scale, synergy in resource utilization and provide a holistic solution to harnessing the potentials of the CTG sub-sector in Nigeria.”
The committee is expected to resuscitate at least 50 textile firms by the end of 2023; collaborate with stakeholders to identify, name and shame textile smugglers in Nigeria as well as develop a framework for the eradication of smuggling and dumping of textile products into Nigeria.
It will also facilitate the production of 200,000 hectares of cotton fields by 2020 and maintain an annual increase of 100,000 hectares over the next three years.
In addition, the committee will work to deliver a minimum of 50 megawatts of captive power to CTG firms in the interested states by 2021, and facilitate the effective pricing and delivery of gas, black oil and diesel to CTG firms in Lagos and other interested states.
This is expected to enhance their power generation and consumption.
Emefiele disclosed that CBN has taken the initial step with the flag-off of input distribution to 100,000 cotton farmers, as well as cultivating 100,000 hectares in 23 states of the federation.
He expressed optimism that the bank would resuscitate the cotton belts nationwide and grow the value chain until the last mile of textile production.
“We will need to set timelines for these deliverables and charge the technical committees to develop road maps that must be achieved within the set timelines,” he added.