Comrade lssa Aremu, General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, (NUTGTWN) has lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for banning sale of Forex to importers of textile materials.
Aremu, also a National Executive Council member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), gave the commendation in llorin on Thursday.
The CBN had in its meeting with stakeholders in the Cotton, Textile, and Garment value chain on March 5, listed all forms of textile materials among items prohibited from foreign exchange in the official windows.
The CBN also promised financial intervention to textile manufacturers at “single digits rate, to refit, retool and upgrade their factories to enable them produce high quality textile materials for the local and export market.”
Aremu, also the Labour Party governorship candidate in Kwara in the March 9 elections, said the action of the CBN would promote growth of the textiles industries in Nigeria.
He observed that smuggling and wholesale importation of textiles had contributed to the closure of many textile industries in the country.
Aremu equated smuggling to “economic terrorism”, adding that the new initiative of the CBN governor would boost local production, create jobs and lessen pressure on forex if fully implemented.
According to him, CBN will make life difficult for smugglers and warned forex dealers in the country to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to foreign currency in the foreign exchange market.
Reports have it that in the 70s and early 80s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry, with more than 180 textile mills in operations, which employed close to over 450,000 people.
The textile industry was the largest employer of labour after the public sector.