Business Hilights
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Banning textile imports before empowering cotton farmers wrong approach—Expert

Development economists and Lagos industry affairs analyst, Dr Isaac Mammah, has faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in first halting importation of textiles and allied materials before beginning to plan for the revival of cotton farming.
He said “For the apex bank to impose a unilateral ban on importation textiles when there has not been any sign of emerging local content in the market is a counterproductive policy”.
“In developed and developing economy, before importation of any product is imposed, there is usually a strong local content that may have been suffering stiff competition that warranted the official ban. The aim of such policies is to protect local producers. But in the case of textile, almost all textile mills in Nigerian are moribund.
Dr Mammah averred that “The CBN and Federal Government would have started reviving local producers with the plan of imposing ban on imports in phases than the outright ban which is now hobbling several garment firms across the country due top scarcity of raw materials and fabrics in particular.
Only recently, the CBN, in partnership with Unity Bank and the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), flagged off distribution of Seeds/inputs supplies to Cotton farmers for the 2019 planting season nationwide.
Business Hilights gathered that the distribution of cotton input supplies to farmers is part of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), an Agricultural Development finance initiative of the CBN operated as an on-lending scheme with participating financial institutions packaged to channel financing support to beneficiaries in the Agric sector.
Unity Bank said its partnership and collaboration with CBN in flagging off this year’s input supplies distribution to cotton farmers, is in support wet season farming which is in recognition of the bank’s established pivotal footprints in agriculture.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, Corporate Planning & Compliance, Unity Bank Plc, Usman Abdulqadir, said CBN is partnering Unity Bank on account of the lender’s strong participation in the ABP aimed at rebuilding customers confidence, alleviating poverty through food and cash crops production to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food and diversifying the economy.