The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to provide cheap funding of single digit loan under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF, aimed at reviving the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) industry.
The textile industry with over 150 vibrant textile mills operating at close to full production capacities and once employed over 1million employment is now dominated by imports from Asia.
Also the industry was said to be suffering from huge capital flights as a result of the huge importation of millions of dollars of textile products into the country. India alone is estimated to export textile products worth over $140 million into Nigeria, while imports from China, Indonesia and Taiwan are more likely to be even much higher.
Part of the challenges which has bedeviled the industry include policy somersault, smuggling activities and financing.
Worried by the situation, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, on Friday met with CTG industry stakeholders in Lagos to discuss and come up with holistic solutions for the long term sustainable development of the industry.
He told the stakeholders who gathered at the meeting that the challenge is how to prevent further dumping of the product into the country with the implementation of the Common External Tariff.
Emefiele said in spite of the limitations of the CBN, the Apex bank will continue to play its role while calling on collective efforts of all stakeholders to play their role to bring back the sector.
“We will do our best to provide cheap funding, single digit loan. President Buhari is committed to rejuvenating of the industry and very soon the industry will be brought back”, he said.
Reacting to issue of smuggling, CBN governor said the Apex bank and the textile stakeholders would continue to work with relevant government agencies such as the Nigerian Customs Service and Standard Organization of Nigeria to combat the menace and ensure that importers pay the right duties for products.
Speaking at the meeting, Grace Adereti, Chairman of Textile Industry, said the industry is in a state of coma as 95 per cent of textile products were import as 150 containers of textile materials are smuggled into the country in one night on daily basis, even when the country has the capacity of producing 1.5billion metric tones of cotton.
She was concerned that the industry which created over 18million direct or indirect employment with over 150 vibrant mills in the past could only boost of less than 20 textile companies, still managing to stay afloat.