The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has threatened to reveal the names of persons and companies involved in smuggling and dumping textile materials into the country which has caused the fall of textile industries and boosted unemployment, insecurity in Nigeria.
He disclosed that CBN is investigating the accounts of those culprits and after that, it plans to blacklist and bar every Nigerian bank from working with the companies and their owners.
Mr Godwin disclosed this in Katsina during the official flag-off of the distribution of seeds and other inputs to 100,000 cotton farmers in Nigeria under it’s Anchor Borrower programme.
Mr Emefiele said, “with a population of over 190 million people, Nigeria clearly stands out as a virgin market that must be tapped. Your excellencies, if we are serious or determined in our drive to create jobs on a mass scale and reduce youth restiveness in Nigeria, the cotton, textiles and garments industry cannot be ignored. Consequently, the current trend where all our textile materials are imported from abroad must stop. It also means that, we must all join hands to fight and destroy all attempts by unscrupulous persons and companies to continue to smuggle and dump textile and garments into Nigeria.
“In considering the role which this sector plays in our economic development, we must not just consider the fact of productivity but also, we must view the sector from the standpoint that their existence helps in sustaining the vitality of the neighborhoods in which they operate.
“With the death of these industries, came a rise in unemployment, insecurity and other negative social vices. We must reverse this trend. “In doing this, the CBN is currently gathering data about, and investigating the accounts of individuals and corporates currently involved in smuggling and dumping textile materials into Nigeria.
“This investigation is also being extended to the 42 other items restricted from FOREX in Nigeria. After our investigations, the names of these individuals and companies will be publicized and let me assure everyone that these individuals and companies will be blacklisted and all the banks in Nigeria shall be barred from conducting any banking business with the companies, their owners and top management .
“Today, Nigeria currently spends about $4billion annually on imported textiles and ready-made clothing. With a projected population of over 190 million Nigerians, the needs of the domestic market are huge and varied, with immense prospects for growth of the domestic textile industries. One quick example that highlights the potential of this local market, includes the need to support provision of uniforms and clothing apparels for students, military and paramilitary officers as well as workers in the industrial sector. In addition, when we consider the amount spent on outfits for religious and social events such as weddings, naming and funeral ceremonies on a weekly basis, the potential market size is well over $4bn,”
“This launch today represents a milestone event being part of the measures the CBN along with other stakeholders such as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), have embarked upon in order to revive Nigeria’s Cotton, Textiles and Garments Sector. In this regard, please permit me to thank the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh for his tireless effort in supporting the continued growth and development of Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector.
“This event is taking place here today given the immense potential of Katsina State as the leading cotton producing State in Nigeria. The cotton and textiles industry, given its immense potential, is indeed vital to our growth objectives as a nation, and to our efforts at creating jobs for a large number of Nigerians.
“On assumption of office in June 2014, I indicated in my inaugural speech that one of my key objectives as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is to build a people focused Central Bank. In addition to a focus on key macroeconomic concerns such as lower inflation and exchange rate stability, I believed that the Central Bank ought to play a more important role in supporting Nigeria’s economic development, given the constraints faced by rural farmers, SMES and Manufacturing companies. More importantly, we believe that CBN’s intervention which is aimed at import substitution will help in conserving scarce foreign exchange for Nigeria.
“As a result, under the leadership and support of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), we have placed considerable emphasis on addressing impediments to the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, as both sectors represent over 52% of Nigeria’s GDP. If we are able to drive productivity gains in these sectors, it will undoubtedly translate to higher growth rate for the broader economy, result in increased rural incomes, and improvements in living standards for a majority of Nigerians
“The over 60 percent drop in crude oil prices between 2015 – 2017 and its attendant effects on economic growth, inflation and our external reserves, provided further impetus on the need for the CBN to support measures that will drive productivity in critical sectors of the economy, while also weaning our economy from its reliance on proceeds from the sale of crude oil.
“It is no secret that the past 20 years have been very difficult for the cotton, textiles and garment sector. Farmers and Processors have had to deal with low quality seeds, rising operating cost and weak sales due to high energy cost of running factories, smuggling of textile goods, and poor access to finance. Smuggling of textiles goods alone is also estimated to cost the nation over $2.2bn annually.
“Today, due to the unfortunate activities of smugglers and dumpers, most of the factories mentioned above have all stopped operations, as only 25 textile factories are operating today, and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry presently stands at less than 20,000 people. In addition, a large proportion of our clothing materials are now being imported from China and countries in Europe.”
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