Nearly eight months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added textile materials to its list of 42 items barred from access to the official foreign exchange window; and after nearly two years of consultations, stakeholders in the nation’s Cotton, Textiles and Garments (CTG) sector, on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that would lead to the revival of the once labor-intensive segment of the economy.
The first MoU signed at a ceremony facilitated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its Abuja head office, was between the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and Ginning Companies, to guarantee steady off-take and processing of cotton lint and cotton seeds. This was followed by the second between the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association and the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police, Paramilitary Institutions & National Youth Service Corps to facilitate long-term contracts with Textile and Garment companies to manufacture uniforms in Nigeria for use by various arms of Nigeria’s uniform services.
Besides complying with Federal Government’s Executive Order 003, which directs all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to grant preference to local content in their procurement of goods and services, both MoUs could see Nigeria conserving up to $10bn spent yearly on imports, besides its huge employment potentials, besides the millions of jobs to be created and sustained.
Speaking at the ceremony, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, expressed joy that all stakeholders keyed into the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to grow and develop Nigeria’s agricultural sector and the wider economy.
Emefiele urged participants to collaborate closely in ensuring the patronage of local textile and garment factories in the procurement of uniforms, pledging the apex bank’s desire to work with stakeholders in the area of guaranteeing quality.
In this regard, he assured, “that the finished products, as well as wastes, are treated as currency -with the highest level of security until they are delivered to the right clients or disposed of accordingly.”
He also expressed confidence that the MoU signing would resuscitate the CTG sector as well as support the bank’s efforts at creating jobs for many Nigerians.
Also present at the ceremony were governors of Kaduna, Cross River, Gombe and Katsina; two ministers; and Service Chiefs; as well as heads of uniformed services and labour leaders,
In their various remarks, the Governors of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and his Gombe State counterpart, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya as well as the Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Mannir Yakubu, were unanimous in describing the CBN initiative as a revolution. They called for the support of everybody to ensure the country achieves its objective of completely resuscitating the CTG sector.
Also speaking, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola stressed the need for all Nigerians to support every move aimed at conserving foreign exchange for the country, for the overall good of the economy.