Putting the right policy frameworks in place will play a major role in improving the brand competitiveness in Africa and revive the textile industry, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporation, First Bank Limited, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, has said
Ani-Mumuney, said this in Lagos, at the Fashion Souk event organised by First Bank Nigeria Limited in partnership with Eventful at the weekend.
She also stated that the souk was an opportunity to bring SMEs to their buyers in an affordable manner, therefore allowing people to see what enterprises have to offer.
“Beyond bringing SMEs to their buyers, we believe in supporting partners. So, eventful is our partner on this and we have been supporting them in the last seven years on this.
“We also have the food and street souk coming up. I’m picking that because when you enable partners, it means that you grow together when we grow small to medium scale business, we also grow the nation,” she noted.
She explained that the bank provides support to businesses across the entire value chain and provides access to finance for them as well.
According to Ani-Mumney, “The role of the developer or any bank goes beyond financing; it should really be across that entire value chain. The banks are able to think very differently and outside the box and we are able to support scaling.
“In Nigeria today, we have the designers who do the end to end. Where we need to get to regarding the fashion industry is a situation where we have a garment district, fashion district as we have in different parts of the world.
“A business of fashion is big business. There is a lot we need to do to revive our textile industry. African print is more about the textile industry, the local textile not the imports.
“We need to have the right policies in place, if Nigeria becomes a dumping ground, it will not help local manufacturers.”
Also speaking at the event, one of the vendors, Creative Director, Gbenga Art Nigeria, Gbenga Ayo Dada, said the fashion souk was amazing for the brands, especially in bringing the brands in close contact with the right customers.