By Okeke AngelaKano
Market is the hub of smuggling activities in the country, said the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA).
â€œKano market still remained the main hub of the smugglers, contraband are off loaded in the full glare of everybody in the broad day light without any inhibitionâ€, said Mr. Jaiyeola Olanrewaji, Director General of NTMA.
According to him,Â Customs Service and SON should bring new vigourÂ into battling smuggling, describing it as aâ€ serious cankerworm killing our economy. â€œSmuggling is a sabotage to the economy of the country especially in the textile industryâ€.
He further noted that Government itself should practise what it preaches by patronising local textile materials. â€œWhere do Government Agencies contractors get the fabrics, they supply to the Agencies for their uniforms, door blind, window blinds, e. t. câ€.
He disclosed that during their investigation, some of the big foam manufacturers have totally stopped patronisingÂ Nigerian products, instead of buying from the local market they are buying containers loads of cheap and poor quality fabric from abroad; and ifÂ corporate Nigeria do this, where do we go from here?.
Fielding questions on the N70Â / N100 billion Textile Revival Fund, He noted that the Bank of Industry (BOI) has assured that it is positive about sourcing the fund. â€œOur members are, however, sceptical about the possibility of accessing the loan as the conditionality and requirement attached by BOI are very stringent unlike the condition/ requirements stipulated by the Nigerian Export – Import Bank (NEXIM).
â€œAlthough the Bank of Industry has assured that it is positive about sourcing the fund, our members are, however, skeptical about the possibility of accessing the loan as the requirements attached by BOI are very stringent unlike the conditions stipulated by NEXIM,â€ he told newsmen.
According to him, the bank has asked stakeholders to start applying for the loan even though the money is not yet available.
He further disclosed that some of demands by BOI are that the loan can only be access for refurbishing machineries, and not for procurement of raw materials like cotton and things like that.
â€œIt appears that BOI concentrates more on machinery and its conditions are the same as for its normal loan facilities.Â Although it is agreed that it is a loan and not a gift / grant, the requirements should be more relaxed because it is to bail out ail companies,â€ he said.