The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has announced that the Apex bank has placed foreign exchange access restriction on the importation all forms of textile materials into the country. He made this known at a meeting with the Textile industry operators on Tuesday.
“Accordingly, all forex dealers in Nigeria are to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to forex in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange market,” The CBN boss said.
The restriction which takes immediate effect is expected to rejuvenate the textile industry in Nigeria and ensure the growth of the sector.
CBN will also in due course establish strategies that will make it impossible for smugglers to operate banking business in Nigeria. “Details of those strategies will be unfolded in due course,” he said
“When we make it difficult for smugglers to bring in smuggled textiles, the sellers will be forced to come to you,” the governor said
Emefiele mentioned that the Apex bank will support the importation of cotton and other raw materials till 2020 after which the textile manufacturers are expected to source for cotton locally from farmers who in turns will be supported through the CBN Anchor Borrowers programme.
The CBN chief also assured the manufacturers of a single digit facility that is meant to help then upgrade their factories to international standard so as to produce globally competitive products.
“In 2016, the CBN began discussions with the Kano and Kaduna state governments to establish textile industrial areas in a bid to guarantee stable electricity in those industrial areas.
“We would intensify efforts with these governments and others that may show keen interest to see to the quick actualisation of such programmes.
“We believe that these measures will discourage smuggling, resuscitate this critical industry, and support your efforts at creating jobs for Nigerians,” he said.
He decried the comatose nature of the textile industry that was the second largest employer of labour after the government employing 25% of the labour force in the manufacturing sector and also supported over 600,000 cotton farmers nationwide.
Responding on behalf of the textile merchants. Mr Anibe Achimugu, the National President, National Cotton Association of Nigeria, express the pleasure of the association with the CBN interventions but pleaded that the interventions should begin quickly as the cotton planting season will begin in May and that it would be profitable to access loans before then and put them to good use.
He also appealed that the working capital loan and the long term loan given by the Bank of Industry be restructured and merged into long term loans so the borrowers could afford to pay back.