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NECA commends CBN on forex ban for textile importers

Director-General of Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA), Mr. Timothy Olawale has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for banning the sale of foreign exchange to importers of textile materials.

Speaking recently to newsmen, Mr. Olawale said that “the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to stop the sale of forex to importers of textile materials is a welcome development. This decision has the potential of breathing life to the textile industry in Nigeria. The over US$4billion expended on the importation of textile materials only serves to deprive other critical sectors the much needed foreign exchange”

Reflecting on the impact of the textile industry in the past years, Mr. Olawale noted that “the first modern textile mill in Nigeria, Kaduna Textile Mill, was started in 1956 in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria and between then and 1987, there were 37 textile firms in the country, operating about 716,000 spindles and 17,541 looms.”

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This period, he said, was indeed, the glorious era of the textile industry. With an annual growth rate of 65 per cent between 1985 and 1991, while employing about 25% of workers in the manufacturing sector, the textile industry, then, could be called the pride of Nigeria”

While suggesting one of the ways to revive the textile industry beyond the ban on sale of forex to importers and the proposed single digit credit, the NECA boss urged that “efforts should not be spared in policing our borders. The porous nature of the borders has made smuggling a lucrative enterprise and this could derail the laudable effort of the CBN in supporting the textile industry”.

He noted that a co-ordinated effort by Customs, Immigration and other related agencies involved in keeping the borders secure would go a long way in protecting not only the textile industry but the manufacturing industry as a whole.