The First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, has urged the Federal Government to ban imported ‘Aso-Oke’ fabric and revive the nation’s textile industry to boost sustainable economic growth.
Fayemi made the call during the 2019 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) on Saturday in Lagos.
“I will not be a hypocrite to say that we should ban all fabrics because I do wear imported fabrics every now and then.
“But when it comes to Aso-oke that I know that our women in our local communities toil at to do; and do not have the capacity to produce to scale, instead of investing in that capacity, we are acquiring a situation that others are coming to rip off our intellectual property.
“So, I join others to call for a ban on imported Aso-oke from China,” Fayemi said.
According to her, Africa fashion is all about identity, self-love, dignity, attitude and ownership to preserve its culture, heritage and connection to the international community.
Fayemi called for more collaboration between the operators in the fashion industry, the private sector, development partners and the government toward boosting the growth of the fashion and textile industry.
Also, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, Wife of the Kwara State Governor, said that African fashion had evolved and being embraced by lots of foreigners, even in Hollywood movies.
She said that Kwara State produced a lot of Aso Oke and Adire fabrics used for various events, adding that the state used its fashion as a tool for advocacy, empowerment and social development.
Commenting, Erelu Abiola Dosumu, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, said that Nigeria was not maximising the economic benefits of the fashion industry to catalyse job creation, wealth and economic growth.
“There is a keen awareness about the fashion industry and we need to position the fashion industry to grow the Nigerian economy,” she said.
Dosumu called for more intervention funds for the fashion industry, resuscitation of comatose textile mills to boost fabric production and leverage technology to promote Nigeria’s culture and tradition through fashion.