The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday set up a committee for the revival of the country’s cotton, textile and garment industry.
This followed the earlier restriction of official forex supply to textile importers to boost local cotton/textile production.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, at the inauguration of the Textile Revival Implementation Committee (TRIC), noted that the target was to revive and set up at least 50 textile companies by 2023.
“Nigeria remains a big market for textile industry. We need to reclaim this industry from smugglers. We need the support of customs and other authorities,” Emefiele said.
Part of the responsibility of the committee will include resuscitating the country’s cotton belt, identifying textile clusters, improving cotton production nationwide and boosting power supply to textile firms across the clusters.
The CBN governor mentioned that, if this happens, the over $2 billion annual loses to textile smuggling will be reversed.
He reiterated the commitment of the apex bank to partner with the Nigerian Customs Service to curb smuggling of textile goods; ensure general reduction of cost of doing business by eliminating multiple taxation; as well as ensure zero per cent duty for machineries needed by the textile industry.
He added that the bank had already engaged 100,000 cotton farmers to cultivate 100,000 hectares of cotton for the 2019 season. He noted that CBN was committed to resuscitate the sector as timeline had been set to achieving this.