To further deepen its market penetration and intervention to specific SME clusters, the Bank of Industry (BoI), has unveiled a N1billion fund to support Nigeria’s fashion industry.
According to the bank, the move is designed to ensure that Nigeria’s fashion industry takes a share of the $1 trillion global market through a cluster intervention that will see the industry increasing their production volumes and quality, thereby making them more competitive in both domestic and international markets.
Besides, the bank disclosed plans to support production hubs set-up by fashion designers in the country as part of efforts to ensure encourage mass production of made-in-Nigeria apparels, brands and designs.
Speaking at the launch of the Fund in Lagos on Tuesday, the Managing Director of the Bank, Rasheed Olaoluwa, explained that having identified a total of 34 SME clusters nationwide to drive the bank’s new SME financing paradigm, the fashion fund was created due to the economic potential it has in the nation.
According to him, fashion is an international, highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another and sold worldwide.
“Globally, fashion industry revenue is over a trillion dollars. In Nigeria, our own African prints, known as Ankara fabrics, have become very popular in the fashion world due to the ingenuity and industry of Nigerian designers. A growing number of shopping malls and e-commerce platforms are emerging in Nigeria for fashion designers and businesses to promote their brands to a mass market.
“We see an opportunity to support Nigeria’s leading fashion businesses, to increase their production volumes and quality, thereby making them more competitive in both the domestic and international markets. The growth in Nigeria’s urban population, the positive macro-economic environment, increasing purchasing power of the emerging middle class and a strong appetite for consumer goods, are positive factors in favour of a flourishing fashion cluster”, he added.
Olaoluwa while highlighting the benefits of the fund expressed confidence in the fund helping the industry to catalyze the fashion cluster while equally diversifying the nation’s economy as well as creating employment for teeming youth population.
President, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Mrs Funmi Ajila Ladipo urged the bank to support the move from producing samples to production for the mass market, adding that over 3000 designers would be captured under the scheme.
Source: Guardian Newspaper