Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that the country’s textile industry can create not less than 2 million jobs if well harnessed. He made this known while expressing confidence that the industry is poised to make the Nigerian economy self-reliant.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting with cotton, textile, garment producers and farmers in Abuja, Emefiele said the textile industry can also “reduce over $4 billion import bills annually, and save our hard earn foreign exchange, while accelerating the industrial development of the country, and making Nigeria a global player in the textile and garment subsector.”
The industry’s contribution: Emefiele maintained that the country’s textile industry is capable of transforming the economy by reviving the cotton and garment sector, thereby improving Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) across the three tiers of government.
Flashback: Emefiele was quoted to have recalled how the country’s textile industry was contributing immensely to the economy.
According to him, in the 1980s and 1990s, Nigeria was recognised as Africa’s largest textile industry with over 180 textile mills in operations, employing close to over 450,000 people, and contributing over 25% of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.
The CBN governor said the textile industry is now different entirely from what it used to be, and that most of the factories have all stopped operations. He said only 25 textile factories are operational at below 20% of their production capacity, and the workforce of the textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people.
Prior to this development, Nairametrics had reported that Nigeria loses over N790 billion ($2.2 billion) to the smuggling of textile goods annually. Emefiele stated this during the official flag-off of the distribution of seeds and other inputs to cotton farmers in Katsina State for the 2019 planting season, under the auspices of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria.
Furthermore, the apex bank Governor stressed that the ginners, spinners, and about one million farmers who were planting cotton as their source of livelihood also lost their jobs.
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