THE federal government has inaugurated a national cotton, textile and garment policy targeted to realise $3 billion annually from textile exports. The policy is also expected to raise seed cotton production from 200,000 metric tonnes in 2003 to more than 500,000 MT by the end of this year.
Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, while speaking during the inauguration of the policy, said the move was a game-changer that would help to reposition the textile sector. He explained that the federal government decided to formulate the policy so as to boost the contribution of the sector to the county’s Gross Domestic Product by increasing the current employment level in the sector from 24,000 to 100,000 by 2017.
“This is the first time we will have a compressive policy, which cuts across the entire value chain. It is not just about textile and cotton, it cuts across the entire value chain. It is called: ‘From farm to fashion’. The policy will address barriers to increased productivity. We need enablers that will make you competitive globally, not just in Africa. This policy provides for a task force that will deal with smuggling and counterfeiting. This time around, we are determined to address the issue of smuggling and counterfeiting. The policy also addresses the issue of skill development. We must turn our quantity to quality. It also addresses the issue of affordable finance, electricity, standards and local patronage,” he said.
In order to demonstrate the commitment of government to the implementation of the textile policy, Aganga said that all military and paramilitary organisations and government schools would be compelled to purchase only made-in-Nigeria textiles and garments.
Also speaking at the event, Frank Jacobs, president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, described the inauguration of the textile document as yet another milestone in the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. While declaring the support of MAN for the implementation of the policy, Jacobs said the document would help to unlock the potential of that sector for the economy.
NBC Sanctions 35 Broadcast Houses
THE National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has sanctioned 35 broadcast stations in the country for violating the broadcasting code during the 2011 general elections. Mark Ojiah, director, spectrum administration, NBC, said while delivering a lecture entitled: “2015 General Elections: Ensuring Fairness, Decency and Access in Broadcast Media” at a sensitisation meeting in Abuja, that the stations were sanctioned for various breaches, including advertisement less than 24 hours to voting; giving undue advantage to some parties in programmes; and non-equitable airtime.”
Others offences that attracted the wrath of the regulator were negative adverts, speculation or announcement of results, and not keeping logs of political programmes.
Confirming the sanctions, Emeka Mbah, director-general, NBC, said some stations had also been sanctioned for their role in the events leading to this year’s general elections. He advised broadcast stations to sign agreements with political parties before taking life campaign broadcasts. Mbah said broadcast stations could avoid running afoul of the law by signing pacts with political parties to enable them take out provocative statements, especially during life broadcasts.
He admitted that the regulatory agency had concerns with several phone-in programmes as well as many stations owned by state governments thrived on impunity and failed to give access to opposition parties. “Day by day, there are minor breaches. No one in the industry will like to risk their investment in the broadcast industry. Where we tend to have issues are largely the television stations that are owned by the state governments. We also have issues with phone-in programmes and life political broadcasts. Other areas we have problems are the paid for political campaigns where people go on soap box and say things largely because they think they paid for it, they can say all sorts of things. We are not saying people cannot pay for you to go on life broadcasting; we all need the money. The responsibility for what goes on air at the end of the day, however, rests with the broadcaster and not the politician or the party that has paid the money,” he said.
— Feb. 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT