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Cotton Farmers Urge CBN to Sustain Anchor Borrower Programme
James Emejo in Abuja
The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has urged the federal government to continue with the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) particularly in cotton farming in order to sustain the gains so far achieved in the sector.
The association maintained that the sudden stoppage of the ABP in the cotton segment after two years of intervention had created problems of continuity.
The group stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of its maiden Nigeria International Cotton Summit and Expo 2023.
However, NACOTAN on its part committed to pursuing the recoveries of loans given to cotton farmers under the ABP.
The farmers also urged the CBN to fine-tune the cotton programme to run for at least five years in order realise the full impact of the intervention.
The association further stressed the need to pay the outstanding balance of input suppliers and service providers who executed their contracts fully but whose payments have been put on hold since 2020.
The communiqué, which was signed by NACOTAN Director, Administration, Mr. Ado Sule and Conference Organizing Committee, Mr. Felix Egbamuno, further committed to urgently sensitize the military and paramilitary on the need to patronize the Cotton, Textile, and Garment (CTG) sector in their sourcing of fabrics, uniforms, and blankets for soldiers and prisoners.
It stated that the revamp of the CTG sector was significantly hinged on reducing smuggling at the country’s borders, adding that the government must provide more aggressive control at the borders by setting up an anti-smuggling task force at all border points.
Among other things, the association stressed that the federal and state governments must as a matter of urgency, eliminate multiple taxations on CTG industries and products.
The communiqué added, “NACOTAN must as a matter of urgency, establish a working relationship (through the Malian Ambassador in Nigeria) with the Government of Mali by means of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on cotton farming best practices.
“NACOTAN should follow up on the Indian High Commissioner’s offer of training and re-training on cotton farming.
“NACOTAN must ensure that cotton farming in Nigeria is ‘rebranded’ to become competitive and therefore attractive, especially to the teeming youths of our nation.
“NACOTAN must join the follow-up effort of the initiative to establish a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and India that allows both countries to pay for goods of trade with their respective currencies.”