By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the financial institution is currently investigating the accounts of individuals and corporate organisations that are currently involved in smuggling and dumping textile materials into Nigeria.
The CBN governor, whose first term in office is expected to expire in June disclosed this yesterday when he flagged-off the distribution of cotton seeds and other inputs to over 100,000 cotton farmers in Katsina State for the 2019 farming season. Katsina is the home state of the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari.
He said in a statement that the aim is to revive Nigeria’s cotton, textiles and garments sector. Emefiele said the aim is to blacklist the individuals and companies involved in the illicit trade. He also said all banks in Nigeria would be barred from conducting any banking business with the companies, their owners and top management.
This development according to him will improve cotton production from the 80,000 tonnes produced in 2018 to over 300,000 tonnes by 2020. The national flag-off of distribution of cotton seeds/inputs to farmers for the 2019 planting season in Katsina was attended by the governors of Katsina State, Governor Bello Masari and Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, as well as the Minister of Agriculture Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
The CBN boss reiterated that the foreign exchange restriction on finished textiles and other 42 items remained in force. Prior to the flag-off, he noted that the CBN had identified insufficient cotton seeds as one of the major challenges facing cotton farmers, hence the CBN sought to change the narrative on the cotton and textile industry in Nigeria through the distribution of high yielding cotton seeds to farmers. Emefiele further said the move would also reduce the amount spent by Nigeria on imported textiles and ready-made clothing estimated at about $4billion annually.