RE: WORKING COMMITTEE ON COTTON, TEXTILE & GARMENT
We write in respect of the Federal Government`s continued and tireless effort and commitment to reviving the Cotton, Textile and Garment sub sector as one of the critical and needed strategy to diversify the economy and bring real development to the economy through industrialization.
In the journey to achieve this, we seize this opportunity to communicate the association’s commitment to work with the committee to ensure that all goals are realized. Following this, Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association as the body promoting and advocating growth and development of the sub sector, hereby wish to responsibly guide the committee on adequate representation of the different arms of our association sub sector, especially, the Garment arm.
In this wise, we ,therefore, hereby recommend one of our active and committed members, with high garment capacity and industry experience – CROWN NATURES NIGERIA PLC ,a consumer garment manufacturing company which has a good pedigree and an Association member for the past eight years. It is our considered hope therefore that, she is given a pride of place on the Committee to bring on board her wealth of experience and knowledge hence will add immense value to the deliberations of the implementation Committee.
We look forward to fruitful deliberations to proffer solutions to the areas challenging the sub sector.
Please accept our warm regards our President.
WHAT PROBLEM THE CTG POLICY WOULD SOLVE AND THE CONSTRIANTS
The Cotton, Textile and Garment Policy launched in January by the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment means to tackle and solve the myriads of the Sector’s problems ranging from poor infrastructure, marketing and the seed issues in the cotton sector, in order that the Sector could compete globally with her counter parts in Asia and other parts of the World.
- The planned establishment of Industrial Parks where all amenities and infrastructure will be deployed to serve the centre would be a commendable effort towards alleviating the problems of the sector especially the electricity which is about 30-35% energy expends.
- Most Nigerian Textile plants self generate 80% of energy but with success of gas in the south it has reduced most of the cost in this area but still when compared with some mills in East Africa the cost of gas was still high. It is noticed that there is plea to expand gas from Ajaokuta to Abuja, Kaduna and Kano but as of now they still use the cut throat price of diesel and LPFO.
- There is a plan to mandate all Uniformed Ministries and Agencies to purchase their wares directly from Textile Manufacturers and if this is done it would alleviate and cushion down the marketing issue to a large extent.
- The plan to access the AGOA market for the garment sector is also a commendable aspect towards riding to a large extend the problems of the garment sector.
- The plan to develop and supply the BT cotton to farmers will go a long way in production of higher yield cotton and supply of certified quality seeds to cotton farmers at subsidized rates that will make all cotton Long Stapple.
- The planned establishment of Cotton Corporation will serve as a Board and comprising of stakeholders will be a welcome development as it should be in a position to discuss the marketing, guarantee minimum price and the gazette market issues.
- With the approval of new tariff regime, Duty and Vat free for 2years for those who invest in the sector for 2015-19. Major Textile Manufacturers will be granted a 3year tax holiday. A number of these companies are presently recording losses. With these, there is hope for foreign direct investment as furnishing, standards, smuggling, skills, development shall be improved upon and thereby creating wealth and generate massive employment for the sector.
Nigerian government has been good in producing policies that have not been attainable in the past e.g. the EEG policy that was heralded and acceptable by a majority of manufacturers who rushed to it but alas it crashed thereby consuming a lot of capital from mill owners. Similarly, the CTG policy has a lot of constraints on implement ability because for instance to set up a textile plant will take a maximum of 3years to establish, the epileptic power and linking up of gas to the North are definitely not short-term plans. The local patronage issue has been on the drawing board for a long time and nothing had been achievable. Government needs to abrogate and abolish the procurement act and all these take a long time.
With the Minister at the Launching saying that if the present government was not re-elected into power the programme was bound to fail clearly indicates that the CTG was a political hogwash and purely a political grandstanding that was only meant to achieve political goals.
The BT Cotton that is meant to provide high yielding seeds to farmers will take up to 2years to start planting because they will need to establish “Farm Trials” before the seeds are confirmed fit for distribution to farmers.
So really, there are only a few or no immediate implementable policy to the benefit of the sector but a means of prolonging this administration to support their continuity.
Again, the setting up of a Civilian Task Force shall not create any magic as only the Military and the Customs could carry arms as the smugglers have superior weapons. This Task Force that is armless cannot perform any magic. The Customs under their law could raid markets but they have never done so.