Posted on February 13, 2017
The Bank of Industry (BoI) said it would increase its N1billion Fashion Fund if it received requests with potential and viable proposals.
The bank said it was ready to finance it with other development banks, including Africa Development Bank.
Acting managing director of the bank, Waheed Olagunju, made this disclosure in Abuja weekend at a Master Class Session with the Mercedes Gonzalez, a USA-based international fashion strategy expert, organised for Nigerian fashion designers.
“We say let’s start with N1 billion, but if we receive requests with potential and viable proposals, we are ready to finance it with other development banks, including Africa Development Bank.
“Because the AfDB, also has a package for Africans fashion designers and we are also collaborating with AfDB in these respect,” he explained.
Olagunju disclosed that the fashion fund which was launched in 2015, has nine per cent interest rate with six months to 12 months’ moratorium period, as well as three years to five years loan tenure.
He said the training would sharpen the skills of Nigerian designers and make them competitive, to produce high quality apparels that would be attractive to both domestic and international markets.
The BoI boss said the training with Gonzalez, who is also the managing director of Global Purchasing Companies, would help to connect Nigerian designers to the international market, especially to the US.
“We are also talking about generating foreign exchange. There is a huge diaspora population outside. In fact non-African and non-Nigerians like Nigerian outfits, they crave for it but the Nigerians entrepreneurs are not able to fill that gap, they are not yet playing on the international markets the way they should do.
“For example, the African Growth and Opportunity Act in US, presents 100 billion dollar market opportunity for apparels.”
Olagunju was worried that while a country like Bangladesh had exported apparels to the tune of 5 billion dollars, Nigeria did nothing and this in spite of the fact that Nigerians could produce these apparels.
Minister of state for industry, trade and investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, said more than ever before, the present administration had stepped up efforts to address the challenges confronting the development of the fashion design industry.
Abubakar said the challenges of electricity, gas, providing necessary infrastructure that would boost the industry were being tackled by the government.
“For me, what is missing for Nigeria fashion design was fashion label.
“We need to do to our fashion group what has happened to our music and our food. No Nigerian leaves the country for two days without looking for Nigerian food.
“Everywhere you go, even Madagascar, they will play Nigeria Music. And that is what I want to do for the fashion industry because we have what it takes.
According to the source, the inability of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN to provide a control tower has led to the equipping of the fire service tower as a makeshift facility, pending when the mobile control tower in Abuja will be moved to Kaduna after the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, to complement the tower there.