Ecobank commits to supporting ‘adire’ export

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Ecobank Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to utilizing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to increase the export potential of locally manufactured Adire textiles.

This was disclosed by the Executive Director of Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Kola Adeleke, at the ongoing third edition of the annual Ecobank ‘Adire Lagos Experience’, according to The Punch.

The AfCTA is a continental trade agreement that aims to enhance intra-African trade and remove trade obstacles. The World Economic Forum projects that by 2030, the AfCTA will constitute a single market of 1.7 billion people and $6.7 trillion in consumer and industry spending for the area.

Over a hundred exhibitors displayed locally processed Adire clothing designed by indigenous designers at the yearly exhibition hosted at the Ecobank Pan African Centre in Lagos.

“After the programme, these 100 merchants, we are going to continue partnering with them. We are going to support them to build capacity. We are even going to use the opportunity to help them improve the quality of whatever they are producing for export purposes. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that Adire becomes an African brand with global acclaim.

“This is very unique for us as an organisation because it will help to grow our nation’s economy as we see the export potential there. We are going to profile all these merchants on the Ecobank single market trade hub and then position them so that they will be able to export their products to other countries in Africa and beyond,” he said.

In addition, Adeleke stated that Ecobank Nigeria, a pan-African bank with operations in 33 countries, is constantly looking out to support various productive initiatives, and the Adire exhibition fits into this goal. The exhibition is part of the bank’s efforts to support and project the creative industry in the nation.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ogun State, Dr.Oluwasesan Fagbayi, applauded Ecobank for promoting Adire culture to help boost the sector.

Fagbayi said The fabric is synonymous WITH Ogun State. We are the custodians of Adire. It is an indigenous textile from Ogun State and we have to protect it. That is why we are happy with Ecobank for what they are doing today, assisting us to showcase what God has given to us, protecting it, and telling the world that this is what is good for us to be using as fabric.”

Additionally, he noted that the Ogun State Government had started taking action against the problem of imported Adire fabric that had been tampered with, which was seriously endangering the Adire sector.

“The State House of Assembly has commenced steps, through our ministry, to curb the excesses or inflow of Chinese adulterated fabric. First and foremost, we don’t need to address it as ‘Adire Chinese’. It is never Adire because it is a print on its own that does not pass through the process of how the fabric is made. The original fabric is made manually, and it passes through nine stages before it is made.

“We are working on that and a committee has been set up with the approval of the Governor that they should go to the market, you know, look at what we can do and come up with a law, probably, though we may not have the capacity to ban it outright,” Fagbayi explained.

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