The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has frozen the bank accounts of 15 firms over alleged textile smuggling.
The unnamed companies flouted the federal government’s executive order 003, which makes it mandatory for all ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and services in their procurement of goods and services.
Edward Adamu CBN deputy governor of corporate services, disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting of Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) association on Thursday.
“A lot of progress has been made, but at the same time, more needs to be done to ensure that we build an inclusive economy that supports domestic production of goods and services while offering job opportunities to teeming Nigerians,” he said.
According to him, the apex bank has committed over N120 billion, into revamping the textile industry value chain.
Adamu said over 320,000 farmers had been financed by the bank between 2018 and 2020, with the expected output for seed cotton in 2020 at over 300,000 metric tons.
This, he noted, is expected to enhance the production capacity of the ginneries in producing over 102,000 metric tons of cotton lint.
He added that the CBN was committed to restoring the textile sector to its previous position as the second-largest employer of labour in Africa.
“As you are aware, in the 1970s and early 1980s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry, with over 180 textile mills in operations, which employed close to over 450,000 people. By today, if we had nurtured and encouraged the textile industry, that sector will be employing millions,” he said.
“The textile industry at that time, was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 percent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.”
Yila Yusuf, CBN director of development finance, said the alleged smugglers have been told to patronise local textile factories as restitution.
He also said the bank is collaborating with textile companies in ensuring ease of production and availability of resources.