The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to provide cheap funding of single digit under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) aimed at reviving the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) industry.
Nigerian textile industry, before now, with over 150 vibrant textile mills operating at close to full production capacities and once employed over 1 million people, is now dominated by imports from Asia.
Also, the industry is said to be suffering from huge capital flights as a result of the huge importation of textile products. 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 bedevilled the industry, includes policy somersault, smuggling activities and financing.
Worried by this situation, Godwin Emefiele, governor, CBN, weekend, 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 at the meeting that the challenge was how to prevent further dumping of the product in the country with the implementation of the Common External Tariff.
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, Emefiele said.
“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, he said the apex bank and the textile stakeholders would continue to work with relevant government agencies such as the Nigerian Customs Service and Standards Organisation of Nigeria to combat the menace and ensure that importers pay the right duties for products.
Speaking at the meeting, Grace Adereti, chairman of the textile industry, said the industry was in a state of coma as 95 percent of textile products were import, saying 150 containers of textile materials were smuggled into the country in one night on daily basis, even when the country had the capacity to produce 1.5 billion metric tons 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.