Nigerian bank to boost local fabric production
As part of efforts to revive Nigeria's ailing textile sector, the country's Bank of Industry (BoI) has signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Iwo community in the Osun state for boosting production of local cotton fabrics sourced from local farmers.
The bank initiated the agreement to encourage local production of fabrics through a system tagged, “from farm to factory,” said the Acting Managing Director of the Bank, Waheed Olagunju, adding that the bank would support vertical and horizontal integration of production value chain of local fabrics.
The MoU was signed by Olagunju on behalf of the bank and the traditional ruler of Iwo land, Oba Adewale Akanbi.
Olagunju assured that the bank would not only help with cash but also enable comprehensive capacity building at every stage of the local fabrics production starting from sustainable supply of cotton through viable farming methods as also in the weaving stages.
Reiterating the bank's commitment to specifically enhance production at the grassroots, the bank official said a local private company, Rabsihimec Nig. Ltd., had been roped in to provide the needed weaving equipment. The local content initiative would further be strengthened through the establishment of vocational schools that will provide necessary expertise for the industry and empower the youths.
“This project is labour-intensive; it is a way of entrenching rural industrialisation at the grassroots and allow speedy growth in the rural setting. It is indeed the only way the real sector of our economy can grow,” Olagunju said.
Iwo traditional ruler Adewale Akanbi lauded the initiative and commitment of the bank. He emphasised that local production of modern attires from local cotton fabrics (Ofi and Adire) had become necessary in the face growing interest in foreign textile materials.
He added that the initiative was tailored towards bringing the sense of local dressing back into the youth by using the local fabrics (Ofi) to make array of modern fashion styles. The initiative was aimed not only aimed at promoting local fabrics but generating job opportunities and foreign exchange.
Describing pants made from local fabric (Ofi) “as good as a branded jean, which has good quality and high durability value like imported materials, and a pride for African nation”, Akanbi said the Adire fabric was suitable for making security uniforms.
He also said moves were afoot to pass a bill in the Osun state assembly that would make it compulsory for pilgrims from the state going on Haj to wear dresses made of Adire fabric. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India