The First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, has urged the federal government to ban imported Aso-Oke fabrics and focus on reviving the nation’s textile industry. This, according to her, would boost economic growth.
Fayemi stated this recently, in Lagos, during the 2019 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) organised by First Bank Limited with the theme: ‘Africa Unites.’
“I’m not advising that we should ban all fabrics because I do wear imported fabrics.
But when it comes to local production of Aso-oke I have confidence in our women in local communities who are producing quality fabrics and they don’t have the capacity to produce in large scale.
“Therefore, instead of investing in that capacity, we are faced with a situation where others are coming to steal our intellectual property. So, I join others to call for a ban on imported Aso-oke from China,” Fayemi said.
She also stated that Africa fashion is all about identity, self-love, dignity, attitude and ownership in order to preserve culture, heritage and connection to the international community.
Fayemi further noted that increased collaboration between various stakeholders in the industry would be strategic in boosting the growth of the textile industry.
The Business Manager, Corporate Banking, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Helen Ugboh, said the bank’s support for the AFWN was aimed at increasing engagement and international recognition of African fashion which was consistent with its drive to enable Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) development.
She said the bank’s continued support for the textile industry, Nollywood, indigenous fashion designers and other value creating sectors, was to enhance economic development, sustainability, empowerment and social change in the country.
According to her, “At FirstBank, we put our customers and SMEs at the heart of our business because SME empowerment is an activity we hold dearly. Our 125-year stay has seen us making impact in every aspect of national development.
“As you may be aware, we are also a huge supporter of home grown textile and textile in general. In celebrating the Bank’s 125th anniversary, we further demonstrated support of the textile industry through our over 18,000 staff within the FBNHoldings group being furnished with customized anniversary Ankara fabric to further reiterate our 125 years of being woven into the fabric of the society.
In our just concluded FBNHoldings Christmas event, fashion designers were tasked with the challenge of creating designs with the anniversary fabric; some of these designers are part of this year’s AFWN.”