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Emefiele replies DG of LCCI after criticism on textile FX ban

Nigeria’s dependence on textile importation led to the shut down of many textile companies which, in turn, caused retrenchment in the textile industry.

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Central Bank of Nigeria

Nigeria’s dependence on textile importation led to the shut down of many textile companies which, in turn, caused retrenchment in the textile industry. This is according to the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

Mr Emefiele stated this while responding to the statement by the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, who criticised the CBN for placing FX ban on textile importation.

Nairametrics had reported that the textile material is the latest product to be restricted by the apex bank from accessing its foreign exchange. The CBN said this was done to improve the demand of local textile within the country.

The restriction on textile importation was announced by the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, during a meeting with textile manufacturers, and cotton farmers at the bank’s headquarters, in Abuja.

LCCI criticism

Mr Muda Yusuf had argued that before such policy is executed, there is a need for a strategic approach. He said the Federal Government needs to strengthen the capacity of domestic industries, enhance their competitiveness, and then reduce their import dependence as espoused in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan before placing making such policy.

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He said the FX ban could affect Nigeria’s position in the Fashion industry which Nigeria leads. Yusuf defended his assertion with the range of fabrics produced by the Nigerian textile industry, which could not support the industry in terms of the quantity and quality.

Emefiele’s response and rebuttal

In his response, the Governor of Central bank said the policy will revive the Cotton, Garment and Textile sector, as the old way is not improving the standard of the textile sector, neither is the duty on textile effective to stop the increase in importation.

He counter-argued the call for a strategic approach, stating that the approach led to the closure of the 180 textile mills in Nigeria, a number that has declined to 15 textile companies, according to Emefiele.

“The issue he raised here is that we need to have a strategic approach to the measures. Whereas one will agree with his view on strategic approach, but I begin to wonder what Muda means when he talked about strategic approaches.

“In the past, the country has adopted what he calls a strategic approach and that strategic approach to my understanding is that he seems to say allow them to continue to import, let them continue to dump, let them continue to smuggle into the country, they will build these factories and industries.

“When we address these issues three weeks ago, I had said that at a time in this country, Nigeria had 180 textile mills, today they are dead. Three weeks ago when we held a meeting, there were only 15 textiles companies out of the 180 in the 50s and 60s in the country.

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“Jobs have been lost, and that is why we know that while there is unemployment in our country, we ignore an industry that is the largest employer of labour after the public sector.

“The strategic approach had never worked. I want anybody to quote me; it has never worked. What is the policy we are talking about? Increase in duty. Today, duty on textile is 45 per cent.”

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Coronavirus

WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name

Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.

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Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.

This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.

He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”

Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.

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The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.

Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.

However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.

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Business

Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement

The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.

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Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement, Xenophobia, FG returns tollgates sixteen years after Obasanjo scrapped it from federal roads

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.

READ ALSO: Kenyan Candidate emerges as strong contender to Iweala for WTO

READ MORE: Brent crude records minor gain as growing concerns over COVID-19 limit upside

The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.

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The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.

READ ALSO: GEEP provides COVID-19 palliative microloans to 87,614 traders

The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa.  The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank

Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.

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Coronavirus

Russia announces the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine

Russian President made the announcement in a televised government meeting.

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COVID-19 vaccine, In Sochi, Vladimir Putin has proposed a “unique” economic assistance to Africa 

Russia has announced the registration of its first COVID-19 vaccine in what can be described as a step ahead of other vaccine development.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure, called it effective protection against the deadly pathogen and revealed that one of his own daughters had already received it.

Putin in a televised government meeting said, “As far as I know, this morning the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection in the world was registered,”

READ MORE: Reasons why a record number of people are giving up their US citizenship

The announcement is seen as a propaganda coup for the Russian government against the west amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 750,000 people, infected more than 20 million and crippled major global economies.

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Pharmaceutical firms like AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results.

READ ALSO: WHO admits huge funding gap in pandemic fight, reveals amount needed for vaccine

Nairametrics had about 2 weeks ago reported that Russia had concluded plans to register a coronavirus vaccine between August 10 and August 12 in what would be regarded as the world’s first official approval of a vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic.

It also announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease from October after disclosing that it had completed trials for the vaccine.

READ MORE: Chelsea Football Club owner sells gold mining stake for $1.4 billion

This vaccine which is being developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund started phase 3 trials last week. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Tatyana Golikova, who was at the meeting, disclosed that medics could start receiving the vaccine by the end of the month.

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Russia, which is reported to be the fourth most affected country globally, has recorded almost 900,000 COVID-19 cases with over 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths

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