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Cotton ginners want FG to bar foreigners from textile industry By Zakariyya Adaramola | Publish Date: Aug 5 2018 1:12AM The Cotton Ginners Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to bar foreigners from importing cotton into the country’s textile and garment industry. The association’s president, Salman Abdullahi, said in a statement that allowing foreign investors to import cotton would spell doom for our local industry. “It has come to our knowledge that there are some international organisations with the proposal to invest in Nigeria in the Textile and Garment industry with a proviso that they would have to be allowed to bring into the country cotton from their home countries to feed the proposed industries. “We hereby reject this proposal in its entirety because of the danger it poses to cotton production in Nigeria and the devastating impact it would have on over two million Nigerian cotton farmers and their dependants,” he said. He said the proposal, if approved, would bring cotton production in Nigeria to total extinction and all efforts that had been in put in place over the years on cotton production jeopardized. Besides, he added, that would mean the end of over 52 existing cotton ginneries and their huge investment lost, apart from losing many textiles firms that are trying to come back to operation. He said: “We are indeed at a loss, by the assertion that there is no cotton in Nigeria. We are fully aware that cotton can be grown in 26 out of the 36 states of the federation. Cotton has been in existence in this country for close to a century. “It is a major cash crop that contributed to the GDP of the nation and the development of not only Northern Nigeria but the entire country before the advent of oil.” Abdullahi said the Federal Government should join hands with stakeholders, including would be investors, to aggressively work to revive cotton production in the country and not kill it. “We believe that well-meaning investors should rather help to develop and grow the production of cotton and not to bring it to extinction. Investors should help the existing stakeholders such as farmers, ginneries, textile firms to survive and not send them packing,” he said. He said while the association did not object to having genuine investment in the ailing sector, it believed it should be investment that would further promote employment of our teeming youths, especially at the grassroots which would help to foster security peace in the country.
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