The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Thursday met with service chiefs and heads of paramilitary agencies over the implementation of the Executive Order 3 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari directing security agencies to source their uniforms locally.
Specifically, the directive was targeted at reviving the Nigerian textile industry through enforcement of Executive Order 003 on Support of Local Content in Procurement by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
Speaking at the meeting held at the apex bank headquarters in Abuja which was also attended by the CEOs of many uniform producing companies, the governor said the apex bank had the full backing of the President to achieve its mandate of reviving the nation’s Cotton, Garment and Textile industry.
Emefiele noted that the revival of the almost moribund textile sector was critical to achieving the current administration’s drive towards economic diversification and creating jobs for millions of the unemployed, with emphasis on agricultural sector’s revolution.
According to him, the priority being placed on the sector is hinged on the conviction that it has the capacity to transform Nigeria’s rural economy and revive the textile and garment industries by creating over two million jobs, improve internal revenue of governmentts, and reduce $4.0bn import bill incurred annually on textile and apparel importation.
He explained further that the sector also had potential to safeguard and earn foreign exchange and by implication accelerate the nation’s industrial development.
Emefiele clarified further: “This event symbolizes our commitment to attain self-sufficiency in cotton production with a view to serving the Textile and Garment segments of the value chain with quality inputs as we target zero importation by the year 2020.
“I have been holding meetings with the CTG aector stakeholders toward reviving Nigeria’s textile sector.
“We analysed the huge potentials that exist in the sector, identified the challenges militating against the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s growth and development and presented quick wins for reviving the sector.
” Crucial to this resolve is the call for patriotism and the need to support local manufacturers of textile through patronage by MDAs as entrenched in Executive Order 003.
“Mr President has directed full compliance with this Order as it will help in addressing the pressure on our foreign reserves through demands for forex for the importation of textile and clothing materials”, the governor added.
He cautioned that governments’ efforts at resuscitating the textile industry would not be actualized if they were not supported through local patronage among other incentives.
On measures put in place by the apex bank to achieve the objectives of the Executive Order, the CBN governor said: “We have put in place necessary mechanisms to ensure use of high yielding varieties that will produce top quality fabrics and those that can compete in the international market.
“We have also observed that our textile factories are carrying huge quantities of unsold stock while our garment factories are idle due to lack of local patronage. We are optimistic that with your support, this trend can be reversed.
“We have the mandate of Mr President to ensure that all uniformed services and theatre wears in hospitals and medical facilities be sourced locally from the Nigerian CTG sector”, he maintained.
Emefiele said that the Bureau of Public Procurement had also been notified to enforce compliance among MDAs.
He said further: “Our model in achieving this presidential directive is to facilitate long term contracts (five years or more) with our textile and garment factories to produce uniforms for our armed forces and uniform services using local fabrics and textile materials.
“We are not naive of the fact that the nature of your jobs will warrant special quality and security around the production of your wares.
According to him, the CBN managemet will work with nominees toward ensuring requisite quality and security associated with your uniforms.
“Your nominees will also join our team to inspect the various textiles and garment factories to ensure their readiness to be engaged on long term contracts to forestall breaches.
“We shall work out payment terms that fit budget releases for uniforms for various organisations”, the top banker added.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, who was represented by a senior army chief at the meeting, commended the governor for the steps being taken to revive the CTG sector.