The Central Bank of Nigeria takes measures to address the loss of over $4 billion expended on textile importation annually.
GODWIN Emefiele, governor to the Central Bank of Nigeria is taking measures to reverse the loss over $4 billion Nigeria spend annually on importation of textiles. Two weeks ago, the bank met with stakeholders in the cotton, textile and garment sector where some policy measures were announced.
These measures included the reinforcement of the ban on the use of forex from official sources to finance import of textiles. Steps are currently being taken to penalize smugglers of textile materials who are utilizing our financial system to conduct these illegal activities.
“We also agreed that textile manufacturers will be allowed to import cotton in 2019, but they must engage in backward integration efforts that will support local cultivation of cotton, in order to feed their factories by 2020.
“Efforts are also being made to fast-track the financing of 100,000 cotton farmers for the 2019 farming season, in order to meet the needs of our ginneries,” Emefiele said on Monday at the meeting with stakeholders on palm oil sector.
According to him, “these measures have started bearing fruit with enquiries by various stakeholders and investors on how they can support improved production of textiles locally.
“These steps are necessary in order to address the loss of over $4 billion expended on textile importation annually.
He said that this renewed focus by the CBN to support improved growth in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors in Nigeria, is clearly in line with the federal government’s determination to diversify the base of Nigeria’s economy away from a reliance on crude oil, so as to insulate our economy from the vagaries and shocks associated with volatility in crude oil prices.
“Let me stress that we are not unmindful that our current focus to make life difficult for smugglers of the products being targeted under our intervention will be resisted by unpatriotic and recalcitrant beneficiaries of the status quo. We will not be deterred by their criticisms but will appeal to Nigerians to support these initiatives,” he said.
No doubt, there will be initial pain caused by this new focus, but the medium and long run benefits remain unassailable and glorious for our dear country, Emefiele said.
He also said that the bank will also address the challenges in the cocoa, cassava, beef/cattle ranching, dairy and fish sectors.
“Soon every region of our beloved country will feel the positive impact of our intervention in the agricultural sector. These efforts we hope will not only enable us to conserve our foreign exchange, but also create jobs on a mass scale.
“As these measures begin to bear fruits, we are very optimistic that our states will become more economically viable, given the massive economic activities that will occur from catalysing activities in our agricultural and manufacturing sector,” he said.
– Mar. 18, 2019 @ 06:00 GMT |