By Franklin Alli
The clamouring and lobbying for the Federal Governmentâ€™s N70 billion textile revival fund by manufacturers in the textile sector may soon ebb as the money is said to be nonexistent.
â€œUBA PLC did not succeed in raising the fund through consortiums of banks,â€ said Chairman House of Representative Committee on Industry, Hon. Solomon Agidani.
Since 2006, it will be recalled, textile manufacturers under the umbrella of Nigeria Textile Manufacturers (NTMA) and the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (TGTSSAN)Workers of Nigeria, among others, have queued up to access the fund so that they can retool their machine, expand and to revive dead textile firms.
â€œThe N70 billion was not FGâ€™s fund. Underline. United Bank for Africa(UBA) was to source the fund
, while Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) was authorised to negotiate the loan on behalf of the Federal Government, and disburse to operators in the sector. They have a consultant called Osprey Investment Limited who was to liaise between UBA , NEXIM and the textile manufacturers. But the summary of the whole exercise was that the money was not realised,â€ he disclosed.
He further stated: â€œso there is a new mandate that has shifted management of the fund from NEXIM bank to the Bank of Industry(BOI). BOI has been given the mandate to source N100 billion for textile revival, but we donâ€™t know from where they will get the money.â€
But Hon. Agidani, threw the bombshell when he told newsmen in Lagos that the N70 billion textile revival fund did not exist as, UBA PLC was unable to source the money.
Meanwhile, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ([MAN), has described the N70 billion textile development fund as â€˜ dud chequesâ€™ to textile operators, and urged the federal government to find another alternative to enable the nationâ€™s textile industry to recover.
According to MAN President, Alhaji Bashir Borodo, countries such as China leveraged on its textile industry to grow itâ€™s economy and Nigeria has a lot to gain from itâ€™s textile industry.