Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI has said that the recent pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] on the exclusion of all forms of textile materials from the forex market, in both official and unofficial windows, has grave implications for businesses in the fashion, tailoring, fashion accessories and garment industry in the country.
In a statement on Sunday the Chamber said “this industry is one of the fastest growing industry and has created amazing opportunities for many young Nigerians to express their creativity and innovation. The sector is estimated at N5 trillion, creating about 500,000 jobs.
“The industry provides significant value addition to fabrics, whether imported or domestically produced. The policy contemplation of the CBN will put all of these at risk. Trading in textiles is also a major economic activity in the country, both in the northern and southern part of the country. It is a market that responds to changing tastes and fashion trends in the country and beyond. Hundreds of thousands of women and men make a living in the marketing of textiles. The policy makers cannot afford to ignore this segment of economic players. The traders are the bridge between the producers and the consumers. It is therefore very important for policy makers take into account the full ramifications of the consequences of policies and collateral outcomes”.
LCCI said, “today Nigeria is clearly the leader in Africa as far as the fashion industry is concerned. Currently the range of fabrics produced by the Nigerian textile industry cannot support the fashion industry in terms of the quantity and quality. This vibrant industry should not be sacrificed on the altar of textile industry regeneration. This submission is not to diminish the importance of textile industries in anyway or the significance of industrialisation. It is to underscore the importance of a strategic approach to industrialisation. The starting point is to strengthen the capacity of domestic industries, enhance their competitiveness, and reduce their import dependence as espoused in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan [NIRP]. More importantly the power issue needs to be addressed. It is almost impossible to achieve rapid industrialisation without resolving the issue power and the deficit in key infrastructures.