By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Abuja – The Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) has urged the Federal Government to establish Fashion Council to formulate policies that would boost garment and textile industry in the country.
Mrs Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, the National President of FADAN made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
“When established, the council would look into relevant garment policies and put in place policies that would support garment and textile industry in Nigeria.
“Fashion and textile are not entertainment, it is business so we have to attached business to garment; let the Fashion Council and policies be put in place; when i operation, a lot of revenue can be generated to the government.
The FADAN president said that it was regrettable that most of the fabrics used in the fashion industry in Nigeria are imported.
“There is the need for government to attached importance to garment and clothing because most of what we use is not made in Nigeria; they are made abroad.
“Chinese usually have a big fair where they exhibit the new textile material that they have, and thousands of Nigerians go there to buy.
Why can’t we do the same in Nigeria; so there should be Fashion Council and policies to support garment manufacturing in the country,” she stressed.
Ajila-Ladipo explained that if the textile and garment industries are in comatose as they are currently, “then they should not ban importation of clothing because people are not going to go naked in the street.”
She said that “in spite that the popular South West fabric, “Aso-Oke” has been in existence for a long time, they are still being hand-woven. By now we should have machines producing them’’.
“Meanwhile, China and Indonesia have started making their own version of Aso-Oke and exporting them to Nigeria.
“This is because weavers are not getting support; by now, people should not be weaving locally like that; there should have been clusters, a big place where these things are done.
“That is what they do in Ghana; that is why they were able to transport their ‘Kente’ all over the world and it has become a brand,” she said.
Ajila-Ladipo emphasised that most of the textile industry in Nigeria are not working adding that `garmenting’ is important as people wear garment from birth to death.
“By and large, there are lot of things that need to be put in place to take the indigenous textile and fashion industry to the next level,” Ajila-Ladipo said.