BoI promotes made-in-Nigeria goods

By The Citizen
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At the Lagos segment of the event which held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, on Wednesday February 8, top fashion designers who attended the session were excited to interact with Mercedes Gonzalez, the famous international fashion strategy and brand development expert who was brought in by the bank to help sharpen the skills of Nigerian entrepreneurs operating in the various segments of the fashion value chain.

The initiative is also a testimony of the company's listening ears, going by demand from the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), urging the management of the bank to provide training, build capacity and guidance for budding entrepreneurs in the sector.

President of FADAN, Mrs. Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, had made the request during the launch of a special fund for the fashion industry recently, as part of the bank's support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Organised in partnership with Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments, the intervention in the fledgling fashion industry is seen as remedy for the current economic recession.

The session began with an all-inclusive exhibition of made-in-Nigeria goods, showcasing the ingenuity of Nigerians in making dresses, beads, hats, shoes and other gorgeous fashion items.

It was exciting to several fashion enthusiasts that the session conducted by the world's renowned Mercedes Gonzalez, from America, was free of charge.

Speaking at the event, Acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, said the project, 'is to ensure that we sharpen the skills of our entrepreneurs in the textile and apparels company value chain such that they can be able to export and access international market especially the US market, while also taking advantage of our huge population.'

Olagunju said there are a lot of people who like clothes that are made in Nigeria but are unable to meet their demand because of certain limitations.

'So we want them to realise their potentials by bringing such an international strategist and expert and as we can see they are following the presentation and enjoying it and as a financial institution, when they pass through processes like this, they becoming substantially briefed such that when we lend to them, chances of payment are higher. And it only when we lend to them that they pay us with interest which is when my salary is paid because our customers pay our salaries. That is why they say customer is king. So it's good to help our customers to help ourselves,' Olagunju said.

Some of the fashion houses that showcased their wares at the event include Godwin Green couture, Bimbeads, Potter's Signature, Little Weavers, Bolsy Aso-Oke, Grace Hats, House of Marie, Femi Handbags, Ade Bakare couture and Kijipa Africa.

Some of the established names at the event were Lanre Da Silva, Frank Osodi, Mai Atafo, Funmi Ladipo, Nike Ogunlesi, Modela and Kiki Okewale among others.