Central Bank of Nigeria has approved a fresh loan of N19.18bn to nine cotton-producing firms with a view to retooling their processing plants, Punch Newspaper has revealed.
The apex bank has also set aside the sum of N500m to recycle old naira notes being mopped up from the Deposit Money Banks across the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the N19.18bn would be disbursed at a single-digit interest rate.
The funds, according to him, will help to sustain their operations and improve their production capacity.
He said the same support would be extended to the textile and garment firms.
He spoke on Tuesday at the signing of two memoranda of understanding held at the apex bank’s headquarters 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 pact was between the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association and the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police, paramilitary institutions and the National Youth Service Corps.
The second agreement is aimed at facilitating a contract of five years or more with textile and garment companies to manufacture uniforms in Nigeria for use by various arms of Nigeria’s uniform services.
Present at the MoU signing ceremony are the governors of Kaduna Nasir El-Rufai; Cross River, Prof Ben Ayade; Gombe, Alhaji Muhammad Yahaya, and Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu.
The event was also attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; and all the service chiefs and heads of para-military agencies.
Emefiele described the MoU as a giant leap towards the implementation of Executive Order 003, in which President Muhammadu Buhari directed all the FG’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies to give preference to local content in their procurement of goods and services.