By Josephine Obute
Lagos – A fashioner , Yeside Laguda, has said that fashion would boost the nation’s export revenue drive if the stakeholders collaborated to support the sector.
Laguda disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of her plan to exhibit and promote Adire (tie-and-dye) fabrics in modern styles.
She said that the promotion which she tagged: “Roots” was a way to bring back the history of the nation’s local fabrics into limelight.
“We need to encourage stakeholders to contribute to the economy by fusing creativity and profitability with interests in arts, lifestyles and fashion,” she said.
Laguda also said that she had decided to dedicate her ‘Adire’ designs to Nigerian heroines who had contributed to the fight for freedom and democracy of the country.
They include: Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti, Emotan, Queen Amina, Dora Akinyuli, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Kudirat Abiola and Madam Efunroye Tinubu.
“Fashion is a non-oil export product that I feel is being overlooked; this is an easy problem to tackle in my opinion because as skills are acquired, jobs are created,” she said.
According to her, when revenues generated from export increase, it becomes a win-win situation for all involved; and through it, the fashion industry has a promising advantage for improved tourism.
Laguda said that the industry was no doubt, impressive and growing steadily, but added that it lacked standardization when it comes to the packaging of its products meant for its customers.
“We lack standardisation, and we do not employ global best practices in the industry,” she said.
She applauded the increase in the production rate of the fashion industry in Nigeria adding that it was gradually taking over the export market.
She appealed to the government to assist in training more personnel in the industry to boost the quality of products for export.
“The government can help by training stakeholders in the industry in various skills to make their products ready for export.’’
Laguda said that this was important now that several people were eyeing the industry.
“We need to boost our productivity because our products are having international acceptance and demand,” she said.
She said that artisans should not be trained on a start to finish basis, adding that approach would not work in the garment manufacturing sector.
“Garment manufacturing doesn’t work like other sectors do, there’s an expert on each step of the way to allow for more efficient production methods,” she said.
She said that when people were educated on how the rest of the world worked, it would boost global practices.
“When the stakeholders collaborate in boosting the sector, we can attempt to join the race or even beat others to it, until we employ global best practices, we would continue to run round in cycle,” she said.
She advised other promoters of local fabrics to increase their productivity to meet with international standards and further boost export revenue for the nation