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FG commits to revival of country’s cotton, textile, garment sectors

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to revive the country’s Cotton, Textile, and Garment (CTG) sector.

Ambassador Nura Rimi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, said this at the 13th delegate conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment, and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Rimi, the strength, integrity, and complexity of a country’s industrial sector greatly affect its economic well-being.

“This is why the Federal Government has initiated a lot of reforms geared towards resuscitating the Cotton, Textile, and Garment (CTG) sector, particularly in policy development and implementation.

“And this has greatly impacted both the industry and the economy at large in the country,” he said.

Rimi recalled that the CTG. sector used to be the liveliest sector of Nigeria’s economy, employing at least 450,000 Nigerians.

He said the sector had also operated more than 170 textile mills throughout the country.

He, however, expressed concern with the sector’s slide to about 20,000 jobs with less than 20 mills, which he deemed unacceptable.

The permanent secretary urged that efforts be made to ensure that the sector was properly revitalised.

He highlighted some of the of the government’s efforts geared towards reviving the sector, which included the grant of a N100 billion loan facility through the Bank of Industry (BoI) to retool, upgrade, and purchase equipment.

“Over the years, this lending facility has benefited not less than 35 textile industries (10 garment firms, 10 ginneries, and other companies that provide critical services to the sector throughout the country).

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“Other measures include the delivery of seeds to cotton producers through a collaboration between the ministry and the Raw Material Research and Development Council.

“Similarly, the government reclassified petrol prices and supply to the CTG sector to cut production costs from 7.62 million Mscf (thousands of standard cubic feet) to 3.36 million Mscf.

“At the same time, the ministry is actively issuing Import Duty Exemption Certificates (IDECs) to duty-free machinery and spare parts importers,” he said.

According to Rimi, the Federal Government’s Executive Order 003 aims to boost local patronage and increase market access in the sector.

He urged people in the industry to reconsider their strategy to capitalise on government procurement processes.

Rimi said:The ministry is currently finalising the textile adjustment tax levy, with a 30 percent levy being remitted to the BoI for sector use through the CTG Fund 2.

“The prospects and challenges in the CTG sector necessitate cross-cutting efforts and careful and strategic action by both government agencies and the private sector to achieve the desired result.” (NAN)

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