Abuja, Jan. 26, 2023 (NAN) The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), has appealed to the government at all levels to support cotton farmers and ginners.
The association made the appeal in a communiqué issued on Thursday in Abuja after the end of the 1st Nigeria International Cotton Summit and Expo 2023.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day event which was held from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18 in Abuja had the theme: “Revamping the Cotton Value Chain’’.
The communiqué signed by the Director of Administration, NACOTAN, Mr Ado Sule and Chairman, Conference Organising Committee, Mr Felix Egbamuno, also urged the Federal Government to revive the textile and garment sub-sectors.
While emphasising the urgent need to revamp the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) sub sector, the communiqué said that it was crucial in curbing smuggling of cotton products into the country.
“Revamping the CTG sector is significantly hinged on reducing smuggling at the country’s borders.
“Government must provide a more aggressive control at country’s borders by setting up anti-smuggling task force at all points of our borders.’’
The association said that the Federal and state governments must as a matter of urgency eliminate multiple taxation on CTG industries.
According to the communiqué, there is the earnest desire of all the industry players in the CTG sector to bring about a turn-around in the fortunes of this major sector of the manufacturing industry in Nigeria.
“NACOTAN must ensure that cotton farming in Nigeria is rebranded to become competitive and attractive, especially to the teeming youths of our nation,’’it said.
The association also urged military and paramilitary agencies to patronise the Nigerian cotton, textile and garment sector in sourcing fabrics, uniforms and blankets for soldiers, prisoners and others.
The association urged the Federal Government to re-introduce the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) to promote cotton farming in the country.
The communiqué said that the sudden stoppage of the (ABP) after two years created a problem of continuity.
The association emphasised the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fine-tune the programme to run for at least five years to achieve its aim.
“NACOTAN must alert the CBN of the need to fine-tune the programme to run for at least five years in order that the full impact of the programme can be seen.
“NACOTAN must as a matter of priority, convince the need to pay the outstanding balance of input supplies and service providers who executed their contracts fully but whose payments have been put on hold since 2020.’’
According to the communiqué, a committee will be set up to follow up on policies of the government that are geared toward repositioning the cotton sub-sector.
The communiqué promised that NACOTAN would continue to play its role as the umbrella body for the Cotton, Textiles and Garment sector of Nigeria by promoting synergy among stakeholders in the sector.