The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a wide range of initiatives to boost local textile industrial capability including the immediate ban on forex allocation to all textile imports.
The CBN has also approved financial support to textile manufacturers with the provision of funds at single digits rate, to refit, retool and upgrade textile factories in order to produce high quality textile materials for the local and export market.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Tuesday at a CBN meeting with textile industry stakeholders in Nigeria held in Abuja.
"Effective immediately, the CBN hereby place the access to FX for all forms of textile materials on the FX restriction list.
"Accordingly, all FX dealers in Nigeria are to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to FX in the Nigerian Foreign exchange market," Emefiele announced.
In addition, he said the CBN "shall adopt a range of other strategies that will make it difficult for recalcitrant smugglers to operate banking business in Nigeria. The details of those strategies will be unfolded in due course."
According to Emefiele who will serve out his first tenure by June 2019, the Nigeria's textile industry is worth in excess $10billion with a potential of being of the largest employers of labour thus cannot be allowed to be killed by foreign textile products.
The other measures introduced by the CBN to save Nigeria's collapsing textile include; "initial support to the importation of cotton lint for use in textile factories, with a caveat that such importers shall begin sourcing all their cotton needs locally beginning from year 2020."
Also as "part of its Anchor Borrowers Program, the CBN will support local growers of cotton to enable them meet the needs of the textile industries in Nigeria.
"The CBN shall also support efforts to source high yield cotton seedlings so as to ensure the yields from our cotton farmers meet global benchmarks."
The CBN Governor also promised that "as regards provision of stable electricity, the CBN shall support the creation of textile production centres in certain designated areas in Nigeria where access to electricity shall be guaranteed."