The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says, Nigeria currently spends about $4 billion on importation of textile materials and ready-made clothing annually.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the disclosure on Monday in Katsina, in a keynote address during the flag -off of the distribution of high yielding cotton seeds and other farm input to cotton farmers.
“Nigeria with projected population of over 190 million, the needs of domestic market are huge and varied with immense prospects for growth of the domestic textile industries,’’ he said.
He, however, said that cotton, textiles and garment sectors had been in difficulty in the past 20 years.
‘’Farmers and processors have had to deal with low quality seeds and rising operation cost, weak sales due to high energy costs of running factories and poor access to finance,’’ he said.
He noted that smuggling of textiles goods alone was also estimated to cost the nation over $2.2 billion annually.
‘’We must reverse these trends, and in doing so, the CBN is currently gathering data about, and investigating the accounts of individuals and corporate organisations involved in smuggling and dumping textile materials into the country.
“This investigation is also being extended to the 42 other items restricted from FOREX in Nigeria.
“After our investigations, the names of these individuals will be publicised and will be barred from conducting any banking business with companies or their operators,’’ he said.
According to him, with the provision of seedlings to over 100,000 farmers cultivating over 200,000 hectares of farmlands, we expect production of cotton to be high.
“These measures will help to improve cotton production from 80,000 tons produced in 2018 to over 300,000 tons by 2020.
“We also believe that these steps which we are embarking on today, will not only resuscitate this vital sector, but will also help to support our efforts at creating jobs for a large number of Nigerians,’’ he said.
In his goodwill address, Gov Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the agric. sector to the next level.
He said that since the country now had committed leadership, there was also the need to have commitments from the Nigeria Customs Service and strong monitoring from the central government to achieve the desired goal.
‘’We need to be serious in all the steps that we have taken in order to succeed, because the importation of textile materials is at the expense of textile industries in the country,’’ he said. (NAN)