The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a ban of foreign exchange (FX) access for the importation of all forms of textiles as part of measures to revive the ailing sector.
The inclusion of textile brings to 43 the number of items which the apex bank has banned from FX access since 2015 when that policy was first announced.
“Effective immediately, the CBN hereby places the access to FX for all forms of textile materials on the FX restriction list. Accordingly, all FX dealers in Nigeria are to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to FX in the Nigerian foreign exchange market,” Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, announced at a meeting with textile industry stakeholders in Abuja.
“In addition, we shall adopt a range of other strategies that will make it difficult for recalcitrant smugglers to operate banking business in Nigeria. The details of those strategies will be unfolded in due course,” the governor said.
Apart from FX ban, the apex bank would also provide some financial support to textile manufacturers, specifically funds at single –digit interest rate, to refit, retool and upgrade their factories in order to produce high quality textile materials for the local and export market.
Emefiele said the CBN intervention had become necessary due to immense challenges the sector faces and especially considering that Nigeria currently spends over $4 billion annually on imported textiles and ready- made clothing.
The governor emphasized that with a projected population of over 180 million, the needs of the domestic market are huge and varied, with immense prospects not only for job creation but also for growth of the domestic textile industry.
Business Day, 6th March, 2019
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