- 50 firms to be revitalised by 2023
- Loom Money is ponzi scheme, NDIC, SEC warn depositors
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set up a committee for the revival of the country’s cotton, textile and garment industry, with the mandate to revive a minimum of 50 textile firms by 2023.
However, in the short-term, the apex bank plans to revive 20 textile firms within the 2019 fiscal period.
This is coming as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have warned depositors against the activities of some online scammers, currently running an online investment scheme tagged ‘Loom Money Nigeria,’ describing the scheme as another Ponzi scheme.
The targets of Loom Money are young people, which the operators lure to participate in a pyramid arrangement.
Citing the whopping $4 billion spent annually on importation of textile materials into the country, the apex bank had in March, added all forms of textile materials to the list of items that are not eligible for foreign exchange from the official windows, thereby restricting the sale of forex to textile importers.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, yesterday, further expressed concern that the country loses $2 billion annually to textile smuggling and export, stressing that it was time the country revived the sector in order to take advantage of the massive opportunities therein.
He said the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee (TRIC), comprising representatives from CBN, five states involved in the production of cotton, federal ministries of power, water resources, finance and Nigeria Customs Service, has the responsibility of resuscitating the country’s cotton belt, identify textile clusters, improve cotton production nationwide and boost power supply to textile firms across the clusters.
The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Bala Barnabas; and Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Ibrahim Hassan, were present at the inauguration.
According to Emefiele, who got the Senate’s nod for a second term in office yesterday, the committee will further seek to identify infrastructure deficit, especially power supply to the textile clusters; ensure captive power generation is financed and addressed for the textile clusters as well as encourage independent, private off-grid power to ensure 24 hours, seven days a week operations in the clusters.
He said TRIC would also strengthen the Nigerian Customs Service to curb smuggling of textile goods, ensure general reduction of cost of doing business by eliminating multiple taxation as well as ensure zero per cent duty for machineries needed by the textile industry.
The committee will also attempt to retool and re-fit plants and machinery of the textile industry.
The CBN boss also identified counterfeiting, inadequate local patronage, poor high cost of production and multiple taxation as challenges confronting the sector.
He added that the CBN would continue to provide leadership towards the revitalization of the sector, adding that the bank had already engaged 100,000 cotton farmers to cultivate 100,000 hectares of cotton for the 2019 season.
“I am appealing to all stakeholders to work with us to reclaim our country back and everybody must play a role. We made sure we involved all major stakeholders because no important agency relevant to this has been excluded.
“I am a Nigerian, my children are Nigerians, I feel concern, how do you feel when you go to Kano, foreigners have dominated our markets, selling smuggled textile materials and making a lot of money.
“We must work together to stop this and history will be kind to us as we pursue to reclaim our textile industry.”
All the state governors commended Emefiele for the passion and determination to re-position key sectors of the economy, particularly the textile sector and agriculture in general.
Ganduje particularly hailed Emefiele for encouraging the cultivation of cotton by the farmers, and urged the apex bank to attach importance to the textile value chain in order to guarantee success.
He also stressed that building strong institutions and good management team remained critical to the resuscitation of the sector.