To save the local market of fabrics from imminent “bastardization” by the Chinese, the Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the federal government to ban the importation of Chinese adire into the country.
Speaking during the ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ conference session, on Monday in Abeokuta, Obsanjo lamented that the materials – clothes, for producing Adire that were hitherto sourced in Kano, Kaduna and Ado-Ekiti are not available anymore.
The programme was organised by Solteque Nigeria Ltd where Realtor Babatunde Adeyemo of the Pelican Valley and Mrs Oluwatosin Oloko, Permanent Secretary Ogun State Ministry of Culture & Tourism among others were also guest speakers.
Obasanjo however, appealed to the FG to revive the nation’s textile industries in order to make the raw materials for Adire production available for local manufacturers. While imploring the government to do its best to protect the local production of Adire from the imported Chinese Adire and all other things that could be produced locally in the country.
He also made a case for the establishment of a formal training institution where people would learn how to produce Adire and be certified at the end of their learning period
He said: “I want to appreciate the Traditional rulers who attended this event, you have shown that you are real custodians of Culture. People are saying China want to bastardise our Adire product, if not that we don’t value what we have. I want to commend the Ogun State government for the initiative of Oja Itoku for the Adire market. It is good but not good enough if we don’t have Adire sellers in the market.
“The clothes for the production of Adire are in Nigeria where they used to buy it in Kano, Kaduna, and Ado-Ekiti but there is nothing like that anymore. If we want to produce Adire, where would we get the clothes to produce it? What we have to do is that the Adire sellers, manufacturers, and those who promote it, let us join our hands together. What the government needs to do for us is not much. The first thing the government needs to do for us is the revival of the Textile industry, let us beg them to do that for us.
“The second one is the formal training institution where people will be learning how to produce Adire and get certified at the end of the period of their learning. Let us beg the government to do their best to protect our local production of Adire so that the Chinese will not have access to bastardise it for us.”
Speaking further, he said the government should ban the importation of Chinese Adire not only for Adire alone but all other things we produce in Nigeria.
“The government just lifted the ban on the importation of Rice with Dollars, so those of you the Rice farmers should be ready for challenges because the cheapest Rice will soon be imported from Thailand. Thailand’s government has invested a lot of funds into Rice Farming for massive exportation to bastardise Nigeria’s Rice.
“I want to urge you not to only rely on the Adire sellers Association alone, let join hands with those who promote Adire and other stakeholders to have an Association that will be named ‘Adire Association’ with chapters where Abeokuta will be the Headquarters and I’m ready to devote myself as the patron of the Association.”