Nigeria will lose N5 trillion and 500,000 jobs to the recent pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the exclusion of all forms of textile materials from the forex market in the country, Mr.Muda Yussuf, the Director-General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry(LCCI) has said.
Yussuf in statement said the policy will spell doom for businesses in the fashion, tailoring, fashion accessories and garment industry in the country
He said given the import of textiles sector in the country’s economic value chain, the players should be accorded requisite premium, while policy makers take into account the full ramifications of the consequences of policies and collateral outcomes.
‘’Today Nigeria is clearly the leader in Africa as far as the fashion industry is concerned. Currently the range of fabrics produced by the Nigerian textile industry cannot support the fashion industry in terms of the quantity and quality. This vibrant industry should not be sacrificed on the altar of textile industry regeneration
‘’This submission is not to diminish the importance of textile industries in any way or the significance of industrialization. It is to underscore the importance of a strategic approach to industrialisation,’’ he added
He emphasised the need for the government to strengthen the capacity of domestic industries, enhance their competitiveness, and reduce their import dependence as espoused in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
He also power issue in the sector needs to be addressed as part of the measures to save the textile sector from the excruciating burden of high operating and production cost.
He said in the spirit of the executive order of the President, all uniforms of military and paramilitary institutions should be made from Nigeria produced textiles. This is a low hanging fruit that could be explored while the issue of high production cost is being addressed.
‘’Compelling the citizens to pay exorbitantly for systemic inefficiency is not an appropriate policy option. Such disposition imposes high welfare cost on the citizens, promotes unethical practices in the economy, promotes the growth of underground economy, leads to loss of revenue to government, and results in job losses. It is an economic management model that is repressive and not sustainable.
He said robust incentives and concessions should be made available to our industrialists, adding that the move to create special economic zones in the six geopolitical zones in the country is a step in the right direction.
He also said the Bank of Industry (BoI) has also done a great deal to provide funding for industries, textiles inclusive, but emphasised the need to deal with the fundamentals.
He said there should be collaboration and coordination between the CBN, the Finance Ministry, Budget and Planning and Trade and Investment on trade policy issues.