The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a loan of N19.18 bn to nine cotton firms, according to CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, who recently signed two agreements in Abuja. The first agreement was between the National Cotton Association of Nigeria and ginning companies to guarantee steady off-take and processing of cotton lint and cotton seeds.

The second was between the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association and the armed forces, police, paramilitary institutions and the National Youth Service Corps. Emefiele said CBN wants to help enable the firms retool their processing plants. The loan, which would be disbursed at a single-digit interest rate, would assist in sustaining their operations and improving their production capacity, according to a report.

The same support would be extended to textile and garment firms as well, he said. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a message to the 31st annual educational conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria in Abuja recently, said his administration is making effort to expand the textile and garment industry to generate two million jobs. Buhari said the recent policy to close Nigeria’s land borders would help protect the textile industry.