By Eguono Odjegba
The National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, has lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for banning sales of foreign exchange to importers of textile materials, arguing that the action will not only protect efforts at reviving the local industry but protect the industry against unscrupulous elements.
The group’s Secretary General, Comrade lssa Aremu, lamented that the smuggling and wholesale importation of textiles hitherto have contributed to the closure of many textile companies, killing the once second largest employers of labour in the country.
Aremu, who was also the Labour Party governorship candidate in Kwara in the March 9, 2019 elections, said the action of the CBN would promote the growth of the textile industries in Nigeria.
He stated: “One of the tough and courageous actions the Central Bank of Nigeria has taken in a very long time is the recent restriction of foreign exchange for some category of importation, and the most laudable is that of textile importation.
“Our textile industry was the second largest employer of labour in the 70s up till early 90s when unscrupulous elements killed the sector through criminal importations. I am sure that with this policy in place, the recovery of our textile industry looks bright and promising, for as long as the government is able to sustain the present fight against economic terrorism”.
Recall that the CBN had, in its meeting with stakeholders in the Cotton, Textile, and Garment value chain on March 5, 2019, 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 to produce high-quality textile materials for the local and export market.”