Following the earlier restriction of official forex supply to textile importers to boost local cotton/textile production, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday set up a committee for the revival of the country's cotton, textile and garment industry.
While setting up the Textile Revival and Implementation Committee (TRIC) in Abuja, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele said the target is 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.
He said the committee would have the responsibility of resuscitating the country's cotton belt, identify textile clusters, improve cotton production nationwide and boost power supply to textile firms across the clusters.
Emefiele said if this happen, the over $2 billion annual loses to textile smuggling will be reversed.
He said the CBN would partner 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 said already the bank had 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.
The inauguration was witnessed by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, Jigawa state Deputy Governor, Ibrahim Hassan and Kaduna state Deputy Governor, Bala Barnabas.
The Nigeria cotton/textile industry is the third largest in Africa, next only to Egypt and South Africa.