By Desmond Ogudu
About N100 billion has been sunk into the entire textile value chain, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said.
Mr. Emefiele disclosed this in Abuja, Tuesday, when the apex bank signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) with all the uniformed organisations in the country.
Speaking at the ceremony, the CBN chief said that the bank was committed to restoring the lost glory of the textile industry which has the capability of being the second largest employer of labour in the country.
He said that the government’s investment was capable of stopping the $4 billion being lost annually to imported textiles. Going forward, he said, all uniformed federal government agencies would source all their uniform needs from local textiles and garments factories.
This was the terms of MoU signed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), all the uniformed organisations representatives and other stakeholders in the textile industry. The MoU is a part of the CBN’s holistic support initiative to revamp the textile industry and its entire value chain.
The organisations that signed the MoU include: the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, the Airforce, the Civil Defence, the Correctional Services, and the Nigerian Customs. Others include: the NYSC, the Road Safety Corp, Immigration, Federal Fire Service and the Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.
Also in attendance were the Minister of Interior, Ogebeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governors of Kaduna, Cross River – Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai and Prof. Ben Ayade – and the Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu.
“We are fully aware that production of uniform wears especially for the armed forces calls for high level security concerns in handling, transportation and storage. To this end, we will work with the security agencies alongside concerned textile and garment factories to ensure that the finished products as well as wastes are treated as currency -with highest level of security until they are delivered to the right clients or disposed accordingly”, the CBN Governor said.
“We believe that these steps which we are embarking on today, will not only resuscitate this vital sector, but it will also help support our efforts at creating jobs for a large number of Nigerians”.
“Today we are set to take a giant leap towards the implementation of Executive Order 003, which President Muhammadu Buhari directed all MDAs to comply with by granting preference to local content in their procurement of goods and services”, he said.
Mr. Emefiele also said: “We have arrived at the juncture where we are opportune to establish a closer collaboration and ties to leverage on each other’s strengths to spearhead patronage of our local textile and garment factories in procurement of uniforms going forward”.