The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar has reiterated the federal government’s determination to revive the cotton, textile and garment (CTG) sector of the economy to attract the patronage it deserves from Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of the CTG Stakeholders’ Forum, the minister said issues pertaining to disruption in gas supply to this sector were being addressed.
She expressed dissatisfaction over the shutdown of textile industries over the past years over policy inconsistencies, and lack of infrastructure among others and called for a workable plan that would ensure that stakeholders are held accountable for developments in that sector.
The minister added that the answers to most of the problems bedeviling the sector lied with the stakeholders.
“We are the answers to our problem,” she said, adding that the wanton destruction of gas pipelines must be discouraged.
Meanwhile, her assurances for the revival of the textile industry came as it was disclosed that the sum of N50billion comprising debt takeover, term loans and working capital to 40 beneficiaries across the CTG value chain in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s directive on the intervention fund.
The acting Managing Director/Chief Executive, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olajunju also said a total of N13.37billion of the CBN facility had been disbursed to beneficiaries in the CTG sector as at September 30.
Nevertheless, he said the forum was organised to explore more pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing the sector and foster mutually beneficial relationships, networking and knowledge sharing among stakeholders on current and future trends in the cotton value chain in Nigeria and around the world.
Part of the avenues being explored to boost productivity of the sector was to influence government policy direction to mandate all paramilitary and school uniforms to be sourced and sown within the country to boost patronage and increase business activities in the sector. This is expected to lead to massive employment opportunities going forward.
Stakeholders had particularly complained that they were unable to increase capacity utilisation amid huge stock of unsold inventories in their warehouses.
Olagunju said the forum was mainly to attempt to address issues of local patronage of textile products as part of BoI’s support services to the CTG sector.