CBN and Textile Industry Revival

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) recent strategic move to revive and grow Nigeria’s cotton, textile and garments economic sector and to improve domestic production of cotton from about 80,000 tonnes in 2018 to 300,000 tonnes by 2020, is one of the economic news items that should not be ignored. 

The policy instrument is aimed at addressing a shocking revelation that Nigeria has been spending a whopping N1.23 trillion worth of textile import bill yearly. This is clearly unacceptable. 

To address this development, CBN was reported to have, in Katsina State, launched the distribution of high-yield cotton seeds to more than 100,000 farmers cultivating over 200,000 hectares of farmland. The apex bank additionally, provided such supportive farm inputs as fertilisers and pesticides, among others. The provisions are for the 2019 farming season. 

Given the need for the success of the programme, a National Committee comprising representatives of CBN, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, governments of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe and Zamfara states has been set up. 

The committee’s responsibilities include ensuring that farmers who benefit from the CBN intervention comply with whatever rules and guidelines that govern the scheme and to ensure Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cotton production and textile materials within five years from 2019. 

Ultimately, it can be stated that the success or otherwise of the scheme has been put on the shoulders of the significant committee.

It is encouraging that CBN identified not only the need for the revival of the textiles and garments sector of the economy but has also taken bold steps towards achieving that. The importance of that sector can hardly be a subject of argument. 

As CBN reportedly captured, prior to the sector’s slide from grace to grass, there were about 180 textile mill companies in the country. 

Jointly, they provided employment to about 450,000 people, contributing about 25 per cent of the workforce in the entire manufacturing sector of the country. For instance, some of our active labour and even political leaders are products of the once prosperous textile industry. 

Unfortunately, the sector lost steam, no thanks to a multiplicity of adverse factors including smuggling of textiles and finished clothes into the country, high cost of production occasioned mainly by high energy/power costs, and an insufficient quantity of cotton resulting from low yielding cotton seeds.

With this CBN’s intervention, it will be most desirable for the cotton, textiles and garments sector to bounce back. This promises enormous benefits. For instance, the number of farm hands will increase; more high quality cotton will be produced and enough raw materials made available to keep factories/mills productively busy; more factory hands will be needed and employed; high quality textiles and garments will be produced from the high quality cottons and thus, the craze for imported alternatives will therefore abate. 

What is more, capital flight will be significantly reduced and the country’s foreign exchange reserves will be enhanced. It is also foreseeable that Nigeria can become a net exporter of cotton, textiles and garments especially as the expected new status and capacity of the sector will attract more investors who will expand production further. 

But more important, efforts of CBN through the intervention scheme can be sabotaged if smuggling is not curbed. It is imperative therefore, that the Nigeria Customs should be given marching orders to police the borders effectively – to prevent smuggling. In the main, when the country becomes a net exporter of cotton, textiles and garments, smuggling will be wiped out or drastically reduced without any major threat to the economy.

As CBN has commenced this intervention meant to revive and grow the cotton, textile and garment sector in the country, it is auspicious that the apex bank discloses information on such issues as: the length of time it will take the bank before it exits from the programme. The fund that has been set aside for the period of the programme and the timelines should be explained. Cost of the already provided cotton seeds and other inputs; the overall number of farmers being targeted to benefit from the programme should be disclosed. 

Provision of these and other relevant information will be in the interest of ‘’full disclosure’’ and even aid subsequent appraisal of outcome of the programme.

All told, this bold initiative by the CBN and the resources being deployed and applied to it must not be allowed to go down the drain. It is therefore, necessary for comprehensive policies, rules and guidelines to be developed and put in place. 

The participating farmers and other relevant stakeholders who have contributions to make towards a successful outcome, must be given needed practical training and empowerment. Implementation should be carried out within the policy framework, guidance rules and regulations. Periodic reviews/evaluations must be undertaken. Corrective steps should be taken when and where necessary and of course, deterrent sanctions must be instituted and applied on individuals and organisations who may dispose themselves to sabotaging, stalling or derailing this enterprise. It may be necessary for CBN to consider looking beyond governments in composing the National Committee charged with the realisation of the lofty objectives.

Finally, this is one programme that should not be seen as or allowed to be ‘’business as usual.’’ 

It is important that from the outset, there are established ways and criteria by which the committee and leaders who are mandated to oversee it to success, must be appraised and held accountable. This is critical because since the beginning of this democracy, we have seen such policy instruments backed with huge funds for this kind of revival effort and no one has been punished for failing the nation, in this regard!

This post originally appeared on The Guardian Editorial on July 10, 2019.

Senate Issues Stern Warnings, Calls For Proper Investigation Of Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians

The Nigerian senate has issued a stern warning to the South African government to halt the frequent killings of Nigerians by its citizens or face grave consequences.

The senate summoned the Nigerian ambassador to South Africa to explain the circumstances that led to the alleged murder of the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Elizabeth Ndubusi-Chukwu.

The murder of Mrs Ndubusi-Chukwu in June, brought to 127, the number of Nigerians that have been killed in South Africa, in the last three and a half years.

The senate urged the South African government to investigate the death of Nigerians who have died in suspicious circumstances in the country.

Sanwo-Olu Declares Lekki, Admiralty Toll Plaza Free On Thursday

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared Thursday July 11, a toll-free day during the morning and evening peak hours for vehicles plying the Lekki and Admiralty toll plaza in Lekki and Ikoyi, The Nation reports.

The toll plaza would be left open between 6.30am -9.30am and 4.30pm -8.00pm.

The governor stated this while addressing State House Correspondents after a tour of the Victoria Island-Lekki-Ajah axis over traffic gridlock and flooding issues.

The purpose, he said, is for doing traffic situation analysis in the area to find solutions to the issue of traffic gridlock in the area.

 Details shortly…

Kogi Is No Place For Criminals, Gov Bello Warns

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has warned criminal elements within and outside Kogi State to stay off crime and embrace meaningful endeavours.

The governor gave the warning in Okene on Saturday during the parade of some alleged assassins and kidnappers by the Nigerian Police Force, Kogi State Command.

The governor advised the people in the area and Nigeria at large to embrace meaningful and diligent businesses instead of taking to crime.

He said his government will spend the last kobo to guarantee safety of life and property of all citizens and residents of the state. While commending the security agencies in the state for their effort in maintaining law and order,Bello enjoined the people of Kogi and ebiraland in particular that his government was ready to smoke out the criminal elements in the society, noting that those who involve themselves in criminal acts can only run but can’t hide.

Suspected criminals paraded were killers of one of the Governor’s aide late Yusuf Adabenege Onivehu who was the custodian of Sementi and the attackers of the Governor’s domestic aide, Kabiru Onyene including two kidnapping suspects who confessed to the kidnapping of the manager of a micro finance bank in Okene.

The assassins paraded by the police were Yusuf Abdulmumeen, age 32, Abona Jafar, 26, Yusuf Tijani, 29 And Yusuf Abdulkarim, 25 while Yusuf Kebiru, 28 And Yusuf Lawal 35 were the suspected kidnappers.

While parading the suspects Earlier, the Commissioner Of Police, Kogi State Command, Hakim Busari said the combined team of security agencies in the state made the arrest of the criminals noting that the security network in the state was sophisticated enough to locate criminals in any of their hideouts. He said those involved in the crime shall face prosecution.

The suspects Confessed to various crimes they have carried out in Kogi, Edo and Osun states.

Three of the alleged criminals were arrested in Auchi, Edo State while the arrest of others were made in Okene and Ogaminana

Items recovered from the suspects include 2 AK- 47 riffle, 1 Pump Action, 100 Live cartridges and 2 empty AK-47 magazines.

Man Calls Out Rivers Council Chairman For Failure To Bury Legislative Aide Seven Months After Death

A Nigerian man, Oyinemi Nicholas Endeley took to Facebook to call out the Chairman Ahoada West LGA, Hope Ikiriko, for failure to bury his legislative aide 7 Months after he was shot dead while returning from a PDP campaign along Emohua road, Rivers State.

Mr Endeley described the Council Chairman as “incompetent, worthless, good for nothing leader whose conscience is as little as his height.”

Late Rt Hon EFCC Chiko, was an executive and leader of Ahoada West Legislative Council,  and a dogged supporter of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike. He was shot dead on 31 Jan by unknown gunmen who attacked the convoy of Hon. Okpokiri Nwanaka Okpokiri, member representing Ahoada West Constituency.

Mr Endeley noted that the young widow and two children have been abandoned by those the late Efcc Chiko held dear to his heart.

“EFCC was the leader of the legislative arm of government in his LGA. He was second after the incompetent chairman who after one year in office is the most docile, ineffective, unproductive, unsuccessful LGA chairman in Rivers state.

“Not one single project has been done by the midget yet, even to bury EFCC has proved impossible. A man who has pocketed 150 million a month; in 6 six months since January, EFCC was killed, he has pocketed a whopping 900 million yet not even pit latrine toilet has he commissioned.

“With all that income, EFCC’s kids have been abandoned, his widow has been abandoned; and the dead body of the leader of the house covered with bullet holes have been abandoned. Oh God, I’m weeping uncontrollably. Why would men be wicked like this? Hope Ikiriko, even if the burial of EFCC chiko, and opening a trust fund for the kids are the only achievements you will record as a chairman for 3yrs; please achieve it,” he said.

See post below:

Sex Toy Shop: Court Grants Senator Abbo N5M Bail

The Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District was granted bail on Monday by Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilellah, Channels Television reports.

This was after he was arraigned by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police at Zuba Magistrate Court, Abuja.

He was granted bail in the sum of N5million and the sureties must have verifiable addresses within the Federal Capital Territory.

The case has since been adjourned to July 22nd for hearing.

Senator Abbo was arraigned on Monday on a one-count of assault which he pleaded not guilty.

He was arraigned after a video of him assaulting a woman went viral.

Gov. Obiano In U.S For MoU Signing, Investment Drive

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra on Sunday evening arrived in the United States on a business visit to the City of Orange in New Jersey.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor landed at the Newark Liberty International Airport in company with some party and government officials.

They were received by officials of the City of Orange, led by Mr Callistus Onyike, an indigene of Anambra and Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the city’s Diaspora Commission.

Obiano is expected to meet with the Mayor of Orange, Mr Ted Green, on Monday to sign a couple of business agreements.

Speaking to newsmen, the governor gave more insights into the purpose of his visit, including exploring areas of “mutual assistance”.

“We are here to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayor of the City of Orange in New Jersey who gladly invited me over for this ceremony.

“Among the things we will be discussing tomorrow are mutual assistance in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, power in various forms, and firefighting.

“Anambra state is growing and we are getting high-rise buildings springing up here and there; we need to develop the capacity to fight fire of that sort.”

The governor added that he would use the opportunity to meet with members of the Anambra community in New Jersey and update them on happenings back home.

“This is an opportunity to update them on what we are doing real time, what we have done in the last five years, and what we want to do in the remaining three years.

“I will preach to them on the need to bring their wealth and investments back home.

“Wealth is not all about money, it includes your contacts, knowledge, experience and skills,” he said.

Onyike, who facilitated the visit, said the essence was to build a “mutually beneficial” relationship between the City of Orange and Anambra.

He said the Mayor had agreed to visit Anambra with a group of investors sometime in November.

Also with the governor were his wife, Ebelechukwu; who joined him from Iowa; his Chief of Staff, Mr Primus Odili, and his Chief Press Secretary, Mr James Eze.

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Launched In Freetown

The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation is a tool that has united more than four thousand Nigerians in Sierra Leone.

Before its introduction, Nigerians living in Sierra Leone were segregated along ethnic lines. But now NIDO has helped to give Nigeria a great image and deepen the nation’s rebranding effort.

Moyo Thomas reports that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari  has since inception, emphasized the importance of looking out for  Nigerians in diaspora, prompting its establishment of Nigeria Diaspora Commission with Abike Dabiri Erewa as its pioneer Director General.

The Commission works with diaspora organizations to ensure proper integration and participation of Nigerians in the countries they reside.

This has also helped in improving the bilateral relations with host countries. The beauty of this synergy was displayed at this Nigerian event in Sierra Leone

The event was the launch of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation,  Sierra Leone Branch and the inauguration of its executive

The Sierra Leonian President, Julius Maada Bio is represented at this event by the Sierra Leonean Minister of Foreign affairs

Nigeria and Sierra Leone have long standing business and social relationships that have been nutured over the years

Countries all over have built themselves into great nations with contributions from the diapora and this has become the focus of Nigeria

The richness of Nigeria is also in its diversity which is a strength for Nigerians in diaspora as they extol brotherhood beyond tongue and tribe.

Happy Birthday Timipre Sylva: Bayelsans Pour In Wishes On Social Media

Chief Timipre Maryln Sylva, Former Governor and leader of the Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC), is celebrating his 55th birthday.

Popularly known as the ‘Peoples Governor,’ Sylva is a seasoned administrator, a grassroot mobilizer whose popularity has been waxing strong despite been out of office for many years.

Sylva turned 55 today and social media users have poured their wishes to the former governor. He is no doubt loved and one of the most influential politician in the state and South-South today. 

Here are some of the Social Media reactions of Timipre Sylva’s fans across the country: