Fabric industry

First Lady of Ogun hails support for adire fabric industry and deplores activities of counterfeiters –

Ogun State Governor’s wife, Bamidele Abiodun, has deplored the activities of “adire” fabric counterfeiters, calling on relevant regulatory bodies in the country to urgently address the problem of intellectual theft that plagues industry.

This is just as she praised Ecobank Nigeria for supporting the just-concluded Adire Market Week held in Abeokuta, the state capital. Ms. Abiodun, in her welcome speech at the event, which was organized by her office in collaboration with the Ajose Foundation, noted that the unfair practice of counterfeiting has a negative impact on the industry, with many people dropping out trade.

According to her, “Foreign manufacturers, aided by Nigerian intermediaries, take original, handmade designs from Nigeria, mass-produce them and then sell them at low prices in Nigerian markets across the country. The effect of this is that genuine adire makers are never able to compete with cheap print alternatives. She added that “an industry that employs tens of thousands of Nigerians across the value chain faces a dilemma. While many have scaled back production, others have considered abandoning the craft altogether, even though it has been in their family for generations.

The First Lady explained that the adire market week was meant to build on the gains from the successful launch of the adireogun.com; to promote the financial inclusion of women-owned businesses, improve the tourism potential of the state and further help Ogun State continue to set the pace as a world capital.

Speaking on the initiative, Ecobank Nigeria Managing Director Bolaji Lawal said the bank identifies adire as a key driver of tourism, culture and creative industry and that supporting the industry will strengthen the empowerment of youth, women, micro, small and medium enterprises. (MSMEs) and other business communities in Ogun State.

Represented by Head of Agency Banking, Nike Kolawole, she said Ecobank will continue to support women in Ogun State and Nigeria, especially local indigenous women who produce adire cloth, so that they continue to thrive. “Ecobank will be by your side and we will always be here to provide you with the support you need to succeed,” she said.

More than 100 exhibitors as well as the works of traders, fashion designers, models and other actors in the adire industry were on display at the fair. The event also attracted the wives of some governors, women dignitaries, fashion entrepreneurs, politicians, business leaders and senior executives.