Nigeria loses more than N790bn to smuggling of textile products – Godwin Emefiele

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, revealed that Nigeria is losing more than N790bn ($2.2 billion) annually to smuggling of textile products.

Emefiele stated this at the official ceremony of distributing seeds and other inputs to cotton farmers in Katsina State for the 2019 planting season, under the auspices of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria.

According to him, as many as 130 textile companies have recently been shut down in the country because of constraints.

“Textile industries used to be the largest employers of labour in nigeria after the public service but due to certain constraints, such as smuggling, dumping, lack of access to finance and issue bordering on power, over 130 textile companies have so far perished.’’

Furthermore, the apex bank Governor stressed that the ginners, spinners, and about one million farmers who were planting cotton as their source of livelihood also lost their jobs.

The CBN went tough on smugglers of textile materials and their accomplices in Katsina, threatening to blacklist individuals, banks, and corporate bodies found to be encouraging the practice in any way.

Emefiele also announced that the apex bank is gathering data and investigating the accounts of individuals and corporate bodies’ currently involved or encouraging smuggling and dumping of textile materials into the country.

READ ALSO: Nigeria cuts food imports and saves $21bn in 34 months – Emefiele

He further stated that the investigation would be extended to the 42 other items restricted from FOREX in Nigeria. Names of individuals and companies found wanting would be publicised, and blacklisted, he said.

Revitalisation of the textile industry – Meanwhile, Mr Emefiele described the launch as representing a milestone event being part of the measures the bank have embarked upon along with other stakeholders (including the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) towards the revival of Nigeria’s Cotton, Textiles and Garments industry.

“I believed that the central bank ought to play a more important role in supporting nigeria’s economic development, given the constraints faced by rural farmers, smes and manufacturing companies. More importantly, we believe that cbn’s intervention which is aimed at import substitution will help in conserving scarce foreign exchange for nigeria.”

He further maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari placed considerable emphasis on addressing impediments to the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, as both sectors represent over 52% of the country’s GDP.

“We must revitalise the textile industry to be the largest employer of labour, we feel that we will set the stage rolling, we must come to katsina state which is the largest producer of cotton to begin a process.”

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