The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday described the revival of the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector as crucial for strengthening economic recovery, boosting employment and creating wealth for Nigerians.
Emefiele, at a meeting in Abuja with critical stakeholders in the CTG sector also said the CBN’s intervention in the sector had led to the creation of 620,000 direct and indirect jobs since the efforts to reposition the sector began in 2019.
The apex bank has disbursed a total of N44 billion between 2019 and 2020 across the CTG value chain while monitoring recovery over the period.
Emefiele, while listing other gains from CBN’s intervention programme in the sector, said nine ginneries had been resuscitated while cotton had been ginned all-year- round for the first time in 10 years.
He said the bank financed over 278,500 hectares in 2019 and 2020, adding that over 90,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of cotton seed was harvested while industry capacity of ginneries increased from an average of 19 per cent to 51 per cent.
He said the textile sector got 100 per cent of its major raw materials (cotton lint) at a CBN- subsidised rate of N440,000 as against the market price of N593,000, adding that the industry has an increase in production of over 10 million meters of yarn materials.
At the meeting, which was convened to among other things, deliberate on the current state of the industry as well as chart the way forward, Emefiele told stakeholders that the uniformed services had started to patronise locally-made textiles for their uniforms while the garment industry received orders for production of uniforms and cotton hand bags.
He stated that the CBN’s engagement with uniformed services has further resulted in no fewer than five agencies partnering with local textile manufacturers.
Emefiele, represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Corporate Services Directorate, Mr. Edward Adamu, stated that the bank is currently collaborating with some private stakeholders towards improving the quality of seeds to guarantee high yields.
He added that textile companies have been supported in the last two to three years, leading to the revival of some previously moribund ones.
Emefiele, however, said for the 2021 wet season, plans were underway with the involvement of ginneries to integrate backwards by cultivating an average of 53,100 hectares with an estimated output of 106,200 metric tonnes at two metric tonnes per hectare.
According to him, the CBN is also working with prime anchors for 10,000 hectares of land with estimated output of 20,000 metric tons.
He stated that the bank would be working with associations to cultivate about 80,000 hectares with an average output of 120,000 metric tonnes at 15 metric tonnes per hectare.
He, however, said while some progress had been recorded, more work needed to be done as opportunities for higher capacity utilisation in textile and garment companies as well as ginneries abound.
He explained that the main objective of the engagement was to “effectively engage with all stakeholders to identify the pain points inhibiting the realisation of the major potentials of the CTG sector intervention and develop strategies to achieve the desired impact of the intervention.”
Emefiele added that the CBN remained committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the CTG policy, adding that it will dedicate appropriate resources to drive its implementation.
Earlier, CBN Director, Development Finance Department, Mr. Yila Yusuf, said the bank had disbursed a total of N44 billion between 2019 and 2020 across the CTG value chain while monitoring recovery over the period.
He stated that the main targets of the CBN intervention in the sector were to close the seed cotton gap of 450,000 metric tonnes by 2022 as well as increase the capacity utilisation of ginneries from less than 30 per cent to 80 per cent within same timeline.
He said the CBN also sought to reduce smuggling and dumping of textile by at least 40 per cent by the end of 2022.
Yusuf, represented by Head, Retail Contact, Division, CBN, Mr. Chika Nwanja, said the CBN had also financed over 200,000 cotton farmers, cultivating 291,761 hectares of land with an output of 94,787 metric tonnes of cotton seed.
He added that this has led to improvement in the household income of each farmer by an average of N240,000.
He said the bank had also financed 19 ginneries, four textile companies and three garment manufacturers under the textile intervention facility, resulting in an increase in the number of active ginneries from 13 in 2019 to 21 as at June 2021.
However, the stakeholders unanimously lauded the CBN’s intervention programme in the sector, describing it as unprecedented.
President, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Mr. Anibe Achimugu, said the progress so far achieved would have been impossible without the apex bank’s drive.
According to him, the Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) remains one of the best agricultural interventions programmes of the CBN.
The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, said the CTG industry could resolve the country’s unemployment challenges, adding that the federal government and the CBN have done a great deal to revive the industry.
James Emejo in Abuja