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Minister defends statement on textile revival fund
May '10
According to a senior minister, while clarifying his earlier remarks on the disbursal of revival funds for the capital starved textile industry, said that, the Federal Government felt that it was necessary to release funds for the textile sector, due to which it announced the N100 billion textile revival fund.

This clarification came about for his earlier statements, wherein he had said that, disbursal of the revival funds at that particular time was unnecessary as there were other problems that the government needed to tackle first.

More so, he had also commented that, if, for example, the fund was provided to the textile industries and they received insufficient supply of electricity to run their machines, then the fund provided will be of waste. Instead, supply of continues electricity should be the first priority, which will help them operate their business flawlessly and then the funds could be of use to them.

He had also informed that, it had to be beyond just giving out money to the textile sectors. Along with funds, it was necessary to ensure that cotton was being grown in abundant quantities and that these mills were provided with regular supply of cotton.

No sooner did he pass these statements, than the stakeholders and industrial experts, reacted sharply to his comments. According to industrial experts and stakeholders and members of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), the impoverished environment of the textile sector was in dire need of the revival funds as thirty percent of the industry's problems revolved around the lack of funds.

The stakeholders also commented that most of the industry's machineries were outdated and banks refrained from doing business with the industry due to its depressing nature. The released funds will now be utilised for up-grading technologies while also improving the working capital.

With the disbursement of funds, a couple of textile firms have started placing orders for new upgraded machineries whereas few others are waiting for their turn to collect the fund.

Refuting allegations, the minister also said that, he never opposed the disbursal of revival funds, but wanted the government to sort out certain measures before the funds were released so as to help revive the textile sector.

Refuting allegations, the minister also said that, for the revival of the industry that generates employment for thousands of Nigerians, disbursal of revival funds was a necessity, but challenges such as higher costs of black oil, lack of electricity, need for modern machines and new technology and the like needed to be addressed first to ensure that fund utilisation took place in the right manner.

According to a source from the ministry, the minister would discuss with the ministry of finance, the righteous implementation of financial policies to boost commerce and industrial developments.

In addition, the 'Made in Nigeria Campaign' will continue as, according to the minister, supporting the domestically created products was the ideal way of improving the economy.

During the USA-Nigeria Business Forum, held across Atlanta, Houston and Chicago from April 12 – 20, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce and Nigerian government.

This agreement aims at promoting products that can be exported, under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Acts (AGOA) to USA from Nigeria.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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