… As Emefiele says Nigerian textile industries hold potential to create 2m jobs, reduce $4bn import bills***
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has no plans to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol in the country, for now.
The Corporation indicated in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja on Thursday, advising motorists and other petroleum products consumers to disregard trending rumour of a planned hike in the pump price of PMS.
He added that the statement of the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari, at the National Assembly on Wednesday did not suggest any plan to increase the price of the product.
He clarified that what Kyari said during his engagement with Senate President Ahmed Lawan at the National Assembly was that the price of petrol was abysmally low in Nigeria compared to what was obtained in neighbouring West African countries.
Ughamadu noted that Kyari had observed at the event that the huge disparity in the pump price of petrol between Nigeria on one hand and her neighbouring country on the other hand tended to encourage cross-border leakages.
He advised Nigerians from all walks of life to disregard the insinuation of a hike in the price of petrol by NNPC, adding that the corporation was not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products.
He noted that NNPC’s role as an operator must be differentiated from that of any of the Industry regulators.
The spokesperson further emphasised that as directed by relevant agencies of the Government, the pump Price of petrol remained N145 per litre.
He cautioned petroleum products marketers not to sell petrol above N145 per litre.
He advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Industry regulator, or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station which sells petrol beyond N145 per litre.
In the meantime, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has again stressed that the Nigerian Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector holds huge potentials towards creating more than two million jobs, while reducing the present $4.0 billion import bill incurred annually on textile.
Emefiele said this at the meeting with the Service Chiefs and stakeholders from CTG industries on the present administration’s drive to revive the sector, in Abuja on Thursday.
He explained that the sector also had the capacity to transform Nigeria’s rural economy and revive the textile and garment industries by improving internal revenue across three tiers of government.
He said by achieving that, it would safeguard and earn foreign exchange and ultimately accelerate industrial development by making Nigeria a global player in the textile and apparel sectors.
“This event, therefore, symbolises our commitment to attain self-sufficiency in cotton production, to serve the Textile and Garment segments of the value chain with quality input, as we target zero importation by the year 2020.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have been holding meetings with the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sector 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.
“The CTG sector is however faced with some systemic challenges which has hampered and diminished its role as the leading employer of labour, thereby preventing its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP.
“In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry, with over 180 textile mills in operation, which employed close to over 450,000 people and contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.
“Today, most of the factories have all stopped operations, as only 25 textile factories are operating today at below 20 per cent of their production capacities, and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people,” he said.
The Central Bank Governor disclosed that their interaction with stakeholders revealed that MDAs had not made any significant order for uniforms or clothing materials from Nigerian textile manufacturers and garment companies.
He added that government efforts at resuscitating the textile industry would not be actualised if they were not supported through local patronage among other incentives.
“As a first step, we flagged-off the 2019 Wet Season Cotton Input Distribution to 150,000 farmers in Katsina, Katsina State on May 6th, 2019 under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
“These are cultivating over 180,000 hectares of cotton that will feed our ginneries and be used in the production of high quality textile for use by the armed forces and other uniformed service organisations.
“Production is also ongoing across 23 states of Nigeria with more to come onboard in the next planting season. We have also 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” he added.
He said the bank observed that the local textile factories were carrying huge quantities of unsold stock while garment factories were idle due to lack of local patronage.
Emefiele expressed optimism that with the support and cooperation of the uniform organisations, this trend could be reversed.